Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Congress doing it's job ???

HOUSE MOVES TO LIMIT "SENSITIVE SECURITY INFORMATION"

The scope of the "sensitive security information" (SSI) control
category that prevents disclosure of certain kinds of
transportation security-related information would be significantly
curtailed by the House version of the 2007 Department of Homeland
Security Appropriations Act.

The House bill would mandate automatic disclosure of SSI when it
becomes three years old if it is not part of an active security
plan and unless a written determination is made by the Secretary
that it must be withheld.


It would also require DHS to revise its written policy on SSI to
provide common representative examples of what constitutes SSI,
and it would make it easier for parties in litigation to gain
access to SSI. See the SSI provision in the 2007 Homeland
Security Appropriations bill, which awaits final action on the
House floor, here:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/congress/2006/hr5441.html

The White House denounced the House measure.


"The Administration strongly opposes Section 525 [the SSI
provision], which would jeopardize an important program that
protects Sensitive Security Information (SSI) from public release
by deeming it automatically releasable in three years...,"

according to a May 25 Statement of Administration Policy.

"This provision would require the Secretary to undertake an
ongoing, burdensome review process to protect this secure
sensitive information that would otherwise remain appropriately
protected by regulation
," the White House said. See (at page 4):

http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/2006/05/whsap-dhs.pdf

And see, relatedly, "Homeland Security Department: FY2007
Appropriations," Congressional Research Service, May 10, 2006:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/RL33428.pdf

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