As required by law, the Director of National Intelligence today disclosed that the budget for the National Intelligence Program in Fiscal Year 2007 was $43.5 billion.
The disclosure was strongly resisted by the intelligence bureaucracy, and for that very reason it may have significant repercussions for national security classification policy.
Although the aggregate intelligence budget figures for 1997 and 1998 ($26.6 and $26.7 billion respectively) had previously been disclosed in response to a Freedom of  information Act lawsuit brought by the Federation of American Scientists, intelligence officials literally swore under oath that any further disclosures would damage national
“Information about the intelligence budget is of great interest to nations and non-state groups (e.g., terrorists and drug traffickers) wishing to calculate the strengths and weaknesses of the United States and their own points of vulnerability to U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies,” then-DCI George J. Tenet told a federal court in April 2003, explaining his position that disclosure of the intelligence budget total would cause “serious damage” to the United States.
Even historical budget information from half a century ago “must be withheld from public disclosure… because its release would tend to reveal intelligence methods,” declared then-acting DCI John E. McLaughlin in a 2004 lawsuit, also filed by FAS.
Deferring to executive authority, federal judges including Judge Thomas F. Hogan and Judge Ricardo M. Urbina accepted these statements at face value and ruled in favor of continued secrecy.
But now it appears that such information may safely be disclosed after all.
Because the new disclosure is so sharply at odds with past practice, it may introduce some positive instability into a recalcitrant classification system.  The question implicitly arises, if intelligence officials were wrong to classify this information, what other data are they wrongly withholding?


Upon lawful request and for a thousand dollars, Comcast, one of the nation’s leading telecommunications companies, will intercept its customers’ communications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The cost for performing any FISA surveillance “requiring deployment of an intercept device” is $1,000.00 for the “initial start-up fee (including the first month of intercept service),” according to a newly disclosed Comcast Handbook for Law Enforcement.

Thereafter, the surveillance fee goes down to “$750.00 per month for each subsequent month in which the original [FISA] order or any extensions of the original order are active.”  With respect to surveillance policy, the Comcast manual hews closely to the letter of the law, as one would hope and expect.

“If your [FISA intercept] request pertains to individuals outside the U.S., please be sure you have complied with all the requirements in 50 U.S.C. sections 105A and/or 105B,” the manual says, referring to provisions of the Protect America Act that was enacted last month. “Requests such as these can not be honored after one year and must be dated prior to February 5, 2008, unless extended by Congress.”

Comcast will also comply with disclosure demands presented in the form of National Security Letters.  owever, the manual says, “Attention must be paid to the various court proceedings in which the legal status of such requests is at issue.”

In short, “Comcast will assist law enforcement agencies in their investigations while protecting subscriber privacy as required by law and applicable privacy policies.”

At the same time, “Comcast reserves the right to respond or object to, or seek clarification of, any legal requests and treat legal requests for subscriber information in any manner consistent with applicable law.”

A copy of the manual was obtained by Secrecy News.

See “Comcast Cable Law Enforcement Handbook,” September 2007:

Novità su

Intus Legere presenta il “Forum sulla Legge di riforma dei Servizi”.
Si apre oggi su Intus Legere il “Forum sulla Legge di riforma dei
Servizi”. Autorevolissimi commentatori ed esperti del settore
confronteranno idee, opinioni e proposte inerenti la nuova Legge
124/2007 sulla “Struttura del sistema di informazione per la sicurezza
della Repubblica e nuova discipina del segreto” che entrerà in vigore il
prossimo 12 ottobre.
Già disponibile on line il primo contributo del Prof. Marco Giaconi. A
breve il contributo del Prof. Mario Caligiuri.

Buona lettura.

Intus Legere Staff


questa la legge che andrà in vigore dal 12 Ottobre. su il forum per la discussione sulle tematiche.



After September 11th 2001 there has been a growing awareness in the West that counterterrorist efforts  will not be successful  against global jihadism without   a long-term strategy of soft power designed to conquer the hearts and minds of Islamic communities around the world. Although the struggle against Al-Qaeda must  necessarily  employ the instruments of hard power  (military and police force), the latter will not be effective in the long-run if the West does not  develop and implement  a  strategy of soft power  (the power of ideas,  of culture,  of information, of mass communication, of education) to undermine jihadism.   The arrest or physical elimination of one or more members of a jihadist organization will only be a short-term success if jihadism continues to recruit, indoctrinate and train new members. Al Qaeda is implementing its own soft power strategy including  propaganda, disinformation and psychological warfare activities. This strategy, which reflects an advanced adaptation to  the new environment  of  globalization and the information revolution pursues two basic objectives: (1) In the Islamic world (including Islamic communities in the West)  jihadist strategy aims  to radicalize Islamic populations, widen popular support for global jihadism and spread  feelings of  hatred  for the  West, the US, Israel and  Judaism.   One of the methods used is to spread paranoid conspiracy  theories of a “Zionist-Christian alliance”  against the Islamic world. (2) In the West, jihadist strategy aims to intimidate and demoralize public opinion,  undermine popular consensus and support to governments, weaken the public’s faith in the capacity of governments to protect them from terrorist attacks, spread confusion and guilt feelings in countries that have been attacked by jihadism

During the Cold War the West, led by the United States,  successfully employed soft power and strategic influence to contain the expansion of communism in Western Europe and in other regions of the world. This eventually led to the breakdown of the Soviet system.  One of the key challenges of the 21st century is   developing a  long-term Western strategy  to  undermine  jihadism using the instruments of soft power,  including the media,  education, cultural influence,   support of reformist and modernizing movements within Islam and  currents of Islamic thought that are critical of jihadism.  Such a strategy should aim at creating a more positive and attractive image of  Western societies and progressively diminishing the attractiveness of the jihadist world-view.       


For further information please contact me at the e-mail address below or prof. Sergio Germani, academic director of the conference( . To register please contact Mr. Francesco D’Arrigo (