“CIA Realizes It’s Been Using Black Highlighters All These Years“:
A report released Tuesday by the CIA’s Office of the Inspector General revealed that the CIA has mistakenly obscured hundreds of thousands of pages of critical intelligence information with black highlighters.
According to the report, sections of the documents—”almost invariably the most crucial passages”—are marred by an indelible black ink that renders the lines impossible to read, due to a top-secret highlighting policy that began at the agency’s inception in 1947.
“Terrorist Has No Idea What To Do With All This Plutonium“:
Yaquub Akhtar, the leader of an eight-man cell linked to a terrorist organization known as the Army Of Martyrs, admitted Tuesday that he “doesn’t have the slightest clue” what to do with the quarter-kilogram of plutonium he recently acquired.
And “RIAA Bans Telling Friends About Songs.”
Posted on December 3, 2005 at 9:26 AM •
I wasn’t going to even bother writing about this, but I got too many e-mails from people.
We all know that masking over the text of a PDF document doesn’t actually erase the underlying text, right?
Seems like we don’t.
Italian media have published classified sections of an official US military inquiry into the accidental killing of an Italian agent in Baghdad.
A Greek medical student at Bologna University who was surfing the web early on Sunday found that with two simple clicks of his computer mouse he could restore censored portions of the report.
Posted on May 3, 2005 at 9:11 AM •
This is a great article on some of the ridiculous effects of government secrecy. (Unfortunately, you have to register to read it.)
Ever since Sept. 11, 2001, the federal government has advised airplane pilots against flying near 100 nuclear power plants around the country or they will be forced down by fighter jets. But pilots say there’s a hitch in the instructions: aviation security officials refuse to disclose the precise location of the plants because they
consider that “SSI”—Sensitive Security Information.
“The message is; ‘please don’t fly there, but we can’t tell you where there is,'” says Melissa Rudinger of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, a trade group representing 60% of American pilots.
Determined to find a way out of the Catch-22, the pilots’ group sat down with a commercial mapping company, and in a matter of days plotted the exact geographical locations of the plants from data found on the Internet and in libraries. It made the information available to its 400,000 members on its Web site—until officials from the Transportation Security Administration asked them to take the information down. “Their concern was that [terrorists] mining the Internet could use it,” Ms. Rudinger says.
For example, when a top Federal Aviation Administration official testified last year before the 9/11 commission, his remarks were
broadcast live nationally. But when the administration included a transcript in a recent report on threats to commercial airliners, the testimony was heavily edited. “How do you redact something that
is part of the public record?” asked Rep. Carolyn Maloney, (D., N.Y.) at a recent hearing on the problems of government
overclassification. Among the specific words blacked out were the seemingly innocuous phrase: “we are hearing this, this, this, this
Government officials could not explain why the words were withheld, other than to note that they were designated SSI.
Posted on March 24, 2005 at 9:48 AM •
Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.