John Young's an interesting source of information, but I've never heard anyone question his basic facts. Deserves cross-posting. My interpretation of the USA founders and wisest philosophers of the last few centuries is they would support an open government -- not secret police agencies like NSC/NSA/CIA/ETC. This Morales lawsuit is some fallout from the Crypto AG debacle. -hedges- ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Mon, 04 May 1998 23:11:45 -0400 From: John Young <jyaat_private> To: cypherpunksat_private Subject: NSA Ordered to Tell Secrets In an April 30 Memorandum Opinion and Order Senior US District of New Mexico Judge Santiago Campos has ordered the National Security Agency to produce in camera evidence that it can refuse to respond to allegations of NSA intercepts of Libyan and Iranian encrypted messages in the 1980s. http://jya.com/whp043098.htm (102K) This order was issued in repsonse to cryptographer Bill Payne's FOIA request for the information as part of his wrongful termination suit against NSA and Sandia National Laboratory. In the 56-page order Judge Campos reviews the principal actions in the suit, and to buttress the order for NSA to tell him what it knows about the intercepts invokes recent FOIA regulations which more stringently require intelligence agencies to substantiate the use of the "Glomar response" in refusing to affirm or deny the existence of information on the grounds that to do so would harm national security. He states that case law requires more diligent review in the case of "Glomarization," so he is obligated to make a review in this instance. He states that based on what NSA has heretofore provided the court, withholding of information on these intercepts does not appear justified. Campos has reviewed public documents on allegations of the Swiss firm Crypto AG's "spiking" of its cryptographic equipment (with direction by NSA for backdoors) then selling it to Libya and Iran, Crypto AG's employee Hans Buehler's story of the work, Reagan's statement on the intercepts, and other reports, and finds that while the stories are not authoritative of the USG position, they do warrant his detailed review of NSA's Glomar response. Campos says, paraphrased, "if NSA continues to have the right it claims in this case to determine what is secret and what is not, then it can declare anything secret and thereby undercut the very purpose of the FOIA. That is not acceptable." It's an impressive summary of the legal conflict between the public's right to know and governmental secrecy. And may help ease access information on NSA global surveillance operations. Or, if Campos decides in NSA's favor, may shut the door more securely.
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