In the wake of the Open Government Directive issued by President Obama in December of 2009, agencies have been working to take specific actions to implement the principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration. However, do we want our National Security Agency (NSA) being transparent about all of their defense tactics and cyber plans?
Does sharing all of this information mean that everyone has access to it? Do we really want potential enemies and hackers to have information on how NSA is governing their cyber security practices? NSA says no! –some things should be kept private.
On November 21st, NSA said it will not publicly release a Presidential Directive document that would establish a broader set of standards that would guide Federal agencies in confronting cyber threats. Presidential Policy Directive 20, first reported in the Washington Post on November 14th, was reportedly signed by President Obama in October and explicitly makes a distinction between network defense and cyber-operations to guide officials charged with making often-rapid decisions when confronted with electronic threats.
The document was requested through FOIA buy the Electronic Privacy and Information Center (EPIC) to be made public, however NSA denied the request stating that much of the information is classified as “Secret” and “Top Secret.” Access to this information by the general public (bad guys included) could indeed lead to grave damage to our national security.
Please join Winvale & Parature for our Open Government Lunch Seminar on December 5th to discuss whether or not your agency is “Open.”