Thursday, August 15, 2013

Report of the Subcommittee on Military Justice in Combat Zones

The Defense Legal Policy Board has released a report dated May 30, 2013 which addresses both best practices and areas for improvement regarding "military justice in cases of U.S. Service members alleged to have caused the death, injury or abuse of non-combatants in Iraq or Afghanistan." The Secretary of Defense's questions explored by the committee were:
  1. The manner in which such alleged offenses are initially reported and investigated; are there ways to ensure that alleged offenses are reported and investigated promptly, thoroughly, and accurately? Are there ways to improve cooperation with local law enforcement and local communities?
  2. The command level at which the initial and final disposition authority now resides in such cases; is it at the right levels, or should the disposition authority be withheld to a different level?
  3. In joint, deployed areas, should military justice be pursued within the joint force, utilizing joint resources, rather than having cases handled separately and within each component service?
  4. In deployed areas, are resources adequate for the investigation of offenses and the administration of military justice?
  5. Should the system of military justice be revised in some manner to improve the way in which cases involving multiple defendants are handled? In cases involving multiple defendants, should the system be revised in some manner to better secure the testimony and cooperation of those involved in the offense? Are there lessons to be learned from the civilian system?
  6. Does the military justice system in deployed areas fully preserve the rights of the accused, while also respecting the rights and needs of victims and witnesses?

To read the Report of the Subcommittee on Military Justice in Combat Zones access:

Friday, August 02, 2013

Targeting U.S. Technologies

The Defense Security Service has published its 2013 annual report about the targeting of U.S. technology by foreign entities. Targeting U.S. Technologies: A Trend Analysis of Cleared Industry Reporting uses "information contained in reports from industry to develop analytical assessments that articulate the threat to U.S. information and technology..." Key findings include that electronics was "East Asia and the Pacific's most commonly reported targeted technology, with attempts aimed at specific sensitive components rather than complete systems." U.S. defense technology may be the target of South and Central Asia while Near East entities tend to use "complicated and opaque procurement networks to attempt to avoid export-control regulations." Europe and Eurasia ranked fourth in collection attempts, but contain some of the most skillful collectors targeting U.S. information and technology.

Reports from 2008 through 2013 are available from the Defense Security Service's Counterintelligence Report's page.

SIGAR (Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction) Quarterly Report

The July 30, 2013 SIGAR (Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction) Quarterly Report pinpoints key concerns in the reconstruction of Afghanistan. In the introduction to the report, John F. Sopki, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan, states a concern that the Army has failed to act "on SIGAR’s recommendations to prevent supporters of the insurgency, including supporters of the Taliban, the Haqqani network, and al-Qaeda, from receiving government contracts." Among the contracting and procurement concerns he mentions is that the Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF) has a monopoly on providing security service and USAID implementing partners who need armed security have to pay often inconsistent and inappropriate fees. The report also mentioned the Defense Department is "moving forward with a $771.8 million purchase of aircraft the Afghan National Army cannot operate or maintain."

SIGAR is launching a high risk list that will "call attention to programs, projects, and practices in Afghanistan that SIGAR finds especially vulnerable to waste, fraud, and abuse, or which may be otherwise seriously detrimental to the U.S. government’s reconstruction objectives."

The July 30 report along with other SIGAR reports is available from

Thursday, August 01, 2013

NSA's Core Values

Given the recent NSA leaks by Edward Snowden, NSA's Deputy Director, John C. Inglis, has added explanation of NSA/CSS's core values to its website. In addition to a core value message, Inglis has given answers to a set of questions about civil liberties vs national security and provided a link to a NSA/CSS Core Values Brochure.

A group composed of civil society groups, industry and international experts in communications surveillance law, and policy and technology experts has published a set of principles they believe nations should consider in relation to State surveillance of communications. International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance discusses the following principles: legality, legitimate aim, necessity, adequacy, proportionality, competent judicial authority, due process, user notification, transparency, public oversight, integrity of communications and systems, safeguards for international cooperation, and safeguards against illegitimate access.

Organizations participating in the International Principles are listed on the website as follows:
The International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance was co-operatively written by privacy organizations and advocates worldwide, including but not limited to Access, Article 19, Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia, Asociación por los Derechos Civiles, Association for Progressive Communications, Bits of Freedom, Center for Internet & Society India, Comision Colombiana de Juristas, Electronic Frontier Foundation, European Digital Rights, Fundación Karisma, Open Net Korea, Open Rights Group, Privacy International, and the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic. In addition, we also want to thank IP Justice, SHARE Foundation - SHARE Defense and Instituto NUPEF for help connecting concerned groups together.