[IWAR] USA NSA Ordered to Tell Secrets (fwd)

From: Mark Hedges (hedgesat_private)
Date: Mon May 04 1998 - 21:47:34 PDT

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    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.

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Apr 13 2001 - 13:08:27 PDT