An officious bureaucrat with the U.S. Army has tried to intimidate the Federation of American Scientists into removing from its Web site a copy of the Army’s recently updated regulation on operational security. And FAS government secrecy project director Steven Aftergood told the bureaucrat in no uncertain terms to get lost.
In Cheryl Clark’s May 4 e-mail message, (PDF) she said that hosting a copy of Army Regulation 530-1 (PDF) was “illegal” because the document bears a For Official Use Only classification. It “is a FOUO publication, it is not intended for public release,” she wrote.
Clark tried to say that because the FAS is not an official Army Publications web site, “you can link to our publications, but you cannot host them.”
“Please remove this publication immediately or further action will be taken,” Clark wrote.
Most people would be appropriately intimidated, which was likely the intent. But the threat has no basis in law whatsoever. Aftergood’s public response sets the record straight.
“Our publications are not illegal nor in violation of any applicable regulation,” he wrote in his response.
“I have considered your request that we remove Army publications from the Federation of American Scientists web site,” I responded today. “I have decided not to comply.”
By law the Army cannot copyright its publications, the response explained. Nor is FAS, a non-governmental organization, subject to internal Army regulations on information policy. . . .
To eliminate potential confusion, we added a disclaimer to our Army doctrine web page indicating that the FAS collection of Army records is not an official Army source, and directing readers to several such official sites. — Secrecy News
Now a copy of the document is mirrored here, too. Come and get it while it’s hot!