Category Archives: Surveillance

WikiLeaks, the Proposed SHIELD Act, and the First Amendment

The release of formerly classified documents and government cables by the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks in 2010 poses a dilemma. The government often has exclusive possession of information about its policies, programs, processes, and activities that would be of great value to informed public debate. But government officials often insist that such information be kept secret, even from those to whom they are accountable –the American people. How should we resolve this dilemma? The issue is complex and has many dimensions.

Following release of the documents, the Securing Human Intelligence and Enforcing Lawful Dissemination (SHIELD) Act was introduced in Congress. The proposed legislation would amend the Espionage Act of 1917 to make it a crime for any person knowingly and willfully to disseminate, in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States, “any classified information . . . concerning the human intelligence activities of the United States or . . . concerning the identity of a classified source or informant” working with the intelligence community of the United States.

Foundational Questions Regarding the Federal Role in Cybersecurity

During the last two years of the Bush administration, the senior leadership at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spent substantial time and effort in first helping to craft, and then attempting to implement, Homeland Security Presidential Directive 23/National Security Presidential Directive 54 (HSPD 23/NSPD 54), Cyber Security and Monitoring.

A Comparative Study of the Information Security Policies of Japan and the United States

This article describes the information security policies and institutions of the Japanese government and draws attention to comparable policies and institutions of the U.S. government. We begin with a discussion of Japan’s cybersecurity system. In Part II, we examine a particular type of information security policy, namely, cryptography policy, as a special example of how the different systems operate. Japan has implemented a cryptography policy that draws extensively on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Cryptography Policy Guidelines. These guidelines are discussed to highlight issues that might emerge in the future in cryptography and merit attention at an international level. Part III analyzes anti-bot policy. Bots, an increasing concern on the Internet, break into an individual user’s PC and remotely control it. Bots pose a real problem for many nations, and there is clearly a need for multinational cooperation. This article concludes by suggesting that all involved parties must determine the appropriate extent of lawful access to communications. Moreover, cooperation in eliminating bots provides a good opportunity for Japan and the United States to lead an international effort.