Wednesday, January 02, 2013

The Protection of Classified Information: The Legal Framework

When WikiLeaks published classified information, many wondered about the legalities involved. Legal background information is now available from a new Congressional Research Service report, The Protection of Classified Information: The Legal Framework by Legislative Attorney Jennifer K. Elsea. According to the summary, the report
provides an overview of the relationship between executive and legislative authority over national security information, and summarizes the current laws that form the legal framework protecting classified information, including current executive orders and some agency regulations pertaining to the handling of unauthorized disclosures of classified information by government officers and employees. The report also summarizes criminal laws that pertain specifically to the unauthorized disclosure of classified information, as well as civil and administrative penalties. Finally, the report describes some recent developments in executive branch security policies and legislation currently before Congress (S. 3454).

* Understanding the Risks Inherent in Shadow Banking

Staff at the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank have published a paper exploring how shadow banking relates to systemic risk and the recent financial crisis. The paper, Understanding the Risks Inherent in Shadow Banking: A Primer and Practical Lessons Learned by David Luttrell, Harvey Rosenblum and Jackson Thies, is divided into two parts. "The first serves as a primer on shadow banking; the second provides a narrative of how the system froze during the financial crisis and pertinent lessons learned for the current reform effort." The paper explains shadow banking came about because technological advances opened up new avenues of credit. "The various other avenues of credit flow have been called the shadow banking system— so named because they intermediate credit with less transparency and regulation than in traditional banking. Shadow banks are at the center of our global market-based financial intermediation system, conducting maturity, liquidity, and credit transformation without explicit public sector credit guarantees or liquidity access."

Long-Term Implications of an Aging Population

The National Academies recently released a congressionally mandated study from the National Research Council about the long-term economic implications of the ratio of people aged 65+ to people aged 20-64 rising by 80%. Entitled Aging and the Macroeconomy: Long-Term Implications of an Older Population, the report offers "four practical approaches for preparing resources to support the future consumption of households and for adapting to the new economic landscape." A free pdf of the 239 page report is available from the Academies website as is a $49.00 paperback version. More information is available from the press release.

ACS Online Response Option

According to a Dec. 17, 2012 news release, in 2013 the Census Bureau will begin offering a secure online response option for the American Community Survey (ACS). Households sampled for the ACS will receive a package introducing the survey and providing a secure website to complete the survey which also includes new questions about computer and internet use. Alternative paper, telephone, and personal interviewing options are available for those not choosing the cost-effective secure website option.