Secrecy News StoriesExcerpts of Key Secrecy News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of secrecy news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
The CIA has released hundreds of declassified documents detailing investigations into possible alien life. The Central Intelligence Agency posted documents of reported Unidentified Flying Objects that range in date from the late 1940s to the 1950s. While playing off the hype of the TV show reboot "The X-Files," the CIA broke down the cases into two categories, whether you side with Agent Mulder or Agent Scully. For believers in alien life ... one case you can choose to investigate is the case of a flying saucer in Germany in 1952. An eyewitness told investigators that an object "resembling a huge flying pan" landed in a forest clearing in the Soviet zone of Germany in 1952. The eyewitness said once he was closer to the area where it landed, he saw two men dressed in shiny metallic clothing. Spooked by the eyewitness ... the mysterious men jumped into the large flying pan object and it spun out into the sky. "The whole object then began to rise slowly from the ground and rotate like a top," the eyewitness told the CIA. The man told a judge he thought he was dreaming but said there was a circular imprint on the ground where the object had landed. If that case intrigues you, there are four more listed on the CIA blog post. But if you are more of a skeptic like Scully, and believe there is a simple explanation for flying saucer sightings, then the documents from the scientific advisory panel on UFOs in 1953 will help you prove your case.
Note: Explore these intriguing 'X-Files' on the CIA website at this link. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO cover-up and disclosure news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.
The United States has slipped so far with respect to transparency that some open-government groups now rank it behind Yemen, Kyrgyzstan and Liberia. Today, the Freedom of Information Act – our country’s signature right-to-information law – is alarmingly dysfunctional. It is impeding the ability of the press to do its job. Sharyl Attkisson, a journalist with five Emmy Awards ... asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last October for records related to a virus that had possibly killed 14 children and paralyzed another 115. The CDC still hasn’t turned over a single document in response. This isn’t the first such experience for Attkisson. She recently told a congressional committee that it took the Department of Defense 10 years to respond to a request she made in 2003. It is a sad turn of events that FOIA has become so unhelpful to journalists. Like many other citizens who make requests under FOIA – which allows any person to request federal agency records for any reason – journalists face backlogs, excuses for withholding, and delays. “Non-responsiveness is the norm,” Karen Kaiser, general counsel of The Associated Press, told a Senate panel in May. Agencies could do a far better job of enforcing FOIA as it is written. Notably, agencies need to faithfully adhere to a provision of FOIA that allows journalists’ requests to go to the front of the queue when there is an “urgency to inform the public.” As it stands, agencies reject these so-called “expedited processing” requests the vast majority of the time.
Note: Along with having her FOIA requests stalled, Sharyl Attkisson has sometimes been spied on and computer-hacked by U.S intelligence agencies for her investigative journalism. The number of FOIA requests denied by government agencies has been rapidly increasing in recent years.
A 9/11 Congressional Committee investigated whether there were terror links to Saudi Arabia, but that portion of the report is classified by the government; fearing release could hurt U.S. relationships with a key Middle East ally. Now there are growing calls for the secret report to be made public. 28 pages classified as top secret by President Bush ... look at what if any relationship existed between the 9/11 hijackers and the Saudi Government. These pages are the only part of the report kept hidden from the public. Just a few weeks ago, Republican Presidential Candidate Rand Paul introduced a measure in the Senate calling for public disclosure; both Senators Gillibrand and Schumer support it. The Former head of the 9-11 Inquiry who has read the "secret" pages says "Collectively they tell us that the hijackers did not operate alone. That there was a support network which facilitated their ability to carry out such a complicated and heinous assault as 9/11. And, they tell us that Saudi Arabia was the premier part of that support network," said Bob Graham, a former senator. Former Senator Graham believes the pages have remained classified to keep Americans from knowing the depth of Saudi involvement in 9/11. 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals. Saudi Arabia has repeatedly denied any connection.
Note: If the former head of the 9/11 Commission says these pages should be declassified, will people listen. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.
[One spy unit is] responsible for some of the United Kingdom's most controversial tactics of surveillance, online propaganda and deceit. Documents ... demonstrate how the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), a unit of the signals intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), is involved in efforts against political groups it considers "extremist". Though its existence was secret until last year, JTRIG quickly developed a distinctive profile [after] Edward Snowden revealed that the unit had engaged in "dirty tricks" like deploying sexual "honey traps" designed to discredit targets, launching denial-of-service attacks to shut down Internet chat rooms, pushing veiled propaganda onto social networks and generally warping discourse online. Particularly revealing is a fascinating 42-page document from 2011 detailing JTRIG's activities. The document lays out the tactics the agency uses to manipulate public opinion, its scientific and psychological research into how human thinking and behavior can be influenced. Many GCHQ documents describing the "missions" of the "customers" for which it works make clear that the agency has a wide mandate far beyond national security, including providing help on intelligence to the Bank of England, ... to various departments on agriculture and whaling activities, to government financial divisions to enable good investment decisions. Beyond JTRIG's targeting of Anonymous, other parts of GCHQ targeted political activists deemed to be "radical," even monitoring the visits of people to the WikiLeaks website. [The document] includes detailed discussions of how to foster "obedience" and "conformity".
Note: Read amazing excerpts of this report at the link above showing how JTRIG plays an active role on the Internet in directly manipulating many political discussions and websites. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in intelligence agencies from reliable major media sources.
British spies have developed "dirty tricks" ... that include releasing computer viruses, spying on journalists and diplomats, jamming phones and computers, and using sex to lure targets into "honey traps." Documents taken from the National Security Agency by Edward Snowden ... describe techniques developed by a secret British spy unit called the Joint Threat Research and Intelligence Group (JTRIG). According to the documents ... the agency's goal was to "destroy, deny, degrade [and] disrupt" enemies by "discrediting" them, planting misinformation and shutting down their communications. The propaganda campaigns use deception, mass messaging and "pushing stories" via Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and YouTube. JTRIG also uses "false flag" operations, in which British agents carry out online actions that are designed to look like they were performed by one of Britain's adversaries. Other documents ... show that JTRIG ... used a DDOS attack to shut down Internet chat rooms used by members of the hacktivist group known as Anonymous. A computer virus called Ambassadors Reception was "used in a variety of different areas" and was "very effective." When sent to adversaries ... the virus will "encrypt itself, delete all emails ... and block the computer user from logging on. Spies have long used sexual "honey traps" to snare, blackmail and influence targets. Most often, a male target is led to believe he has an opportunity for a romantic relationship or a sexual liaison with a woman, only to find that the woman is actually an intelligence operative.
Note: You can read the documents released by Snowden at this link and this one. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
Mark Rossini, a former FBI special agent at the center of an enduring mystery related to [9/11] says he is "appalled" by the newly declassified statements by former CIA Director George Tenet defending the spy agency's efforts to detect and stop the plot. Rossini, who was assigned to the CIA's Counterterrorism Center (CTC) at the time of the attacks, has long maintained that the U.S. government has covered up secret relations between the spy agency and Saudi individuals who may have abetted the plot. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers who flew commercial airliners (on 9/11) were Saudis. A heavily redacted 2005 CIA inspector general's report, parts of which had previously been released, was further declassified earlier this month. The Obama administration has [still] refused to declassify 28 pages dealing with Saudi connections. Rossini and another FBI agent assigned to the CTC, Doug Miller, learned in January 2000 that one of the future hijackers ... had a multi-entry visa to enter the U.S. But when Miller and Rossini attempted to warn FBI headquarters that al-Mihdhar could be loose in the U.S., a CIA supervisor ordered them to remain silent. Rossini says he is "deeply concerned" by how the agency continues to suppress information related to contacts between the CIA and Saudi Arabia, particularly when the spy agency is declassifying other portions of documents to show that it did everything possible to thwart the September 11, 2001 plot. "There would have not been a 9/11 if Doug's CIR [Central Intelligence Report] on al-Mihdhar was sent," he told Newsweek in an email. "Period. End of story."
Note: Read a Times of London article showing that some of the hijackers listed in the final 9/11 report are still alive. Several major media articles also reported that some of the 9/11 hijackers may have trained at US military bases. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore other excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.
More than 300 international companies including Pepsi, Ikea, FedEx, AIG, Deutsche Bank and Abbott Laboratories allegedly secured secret deals from Luxembourg to drastically reduce their global tax bills. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), citing leaked documents, reported that the companies appear to have channelled hundreds of billions of dollars through the European duchy, and saved billions of dollars in taxes. PricewaterhouseCoopers is alleged to have helped multinational companies obtain at least 548 tax rulings in Luxembourg from 2002 to 2010. These legal secret deals allegedly feature complex financial structures designed to create drastic tax reductions. The rulings provide written assurance that companies' tax-saving plans will be viewed favourably by Luxembourg authorities. Some firms have allegedly enjoyed effective tax rates of less than 1% on the profits they've shuffled into Luxembourg. The ICIJ claims to have reviewed 28,000 pages of confidential documents before reaching its conclusion. The documents include hundreds of private tax rulings, known as "comfort letters", that Luxembourg provides to corporations seeking favourable tax treatment. Earlier, the European Union (EU) initiated a probe on Luxembourg over its tax treatment of big companies such as Amazon and Fiat Finance, which apparently violated European law. Luxembourg officials have supplied some information to the EU in connection with the investigation but have refused to provide a larger set of documents relating to its tax rulings.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.
The US National Security Agency (NSA) spied on French Presidents Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande in 2006-12, Wikileaks says [citing] "top secret intelligence reports and technical documents" from the NSA. A file dated 2010 suggests that French officials were aware that the US was spying upon them and intended to complain about it. According to the summary of an intercepted exchange, the French envoy to Washington ... discussed Mr Sarkozy's plan to express his "frustration" over US unwillingness to sign a "bilateral intelligence co-operation agreement". "The main sticking point is the US desire to continue spying on France," the intercept says. [One analyst commented] "Of course they know that spying goes on – even between friends. But the cardinal rule is not to get found out. When you do, you must expect the full force of diplomatic outrage." In response to the alleged leaks, National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said: "As a general matter, we do not conduct any foreign intelligence surveillance activities unless there is a specific and validated national security purpose. This applies to ordinary citizens and world leaders alike." In 2013 Brazilian media reported that NSA documents showed the agency had also spied on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico. [Also] in 2013 the NSA was accused of spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel. German media later reported that Germany's national intelligence agency had spied on ... the EU's headquarters on behalf of the US.
Note: The claim of a "threat to national security" is widely used both to perpetrate and to cover up huge amounts of illegal behavior. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on secrecy excesses from reliable major media sources.
Robert David Steele, former Marine, CIA case officer, and US co-founder of the US Marine Corps intelligence activity, is ... widely recognised as the leader of the Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) paradigm. In 1992, despite opposition from the CIA, he obtained Marine Corps permission to organise a landmark international conference on open source intelligence – the paradigm of deriving information to support policy decisions not through secret activities, but from open public sources available to all. The conference was such a success it brought in over 620 attendees from the intelligence world. But the CIA ... ensured that Steele was prohibited from running a second conference, [prompting] him to resign from his position as second-ranking civilian in Marine Corps intelligence. Last month, Steele presented a startling paper at the Libtech conference in New York. Drawing on principles set out in his latest book, The Open-Source Everything Manifesto ... he told the audience that all the major preconditions for revolution – set out in his 1976 graduate thesis – were now present in the United States and Britain. Steele's book ... connects up the increasing corruption, inefficiency and unaccountability of the intelligence system and its political and financial masters with escalating inequalities and environmental crises. But he also offers a comprehensive vision of hope. "Sharing, not secrecy, is the means by which we ... can create a nonzero win-win Earth that works for one hundred percent of humanity."
The United States is in the final stages of negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive free-trade agreement. Who will benefit from the TPP? One strong hint is [a provision] called “Investor-State Dispute Settlement,” or ISDS. Imagine that the United States bans a toxic chemical that is often added to gasoline because of its health and environmental consequences. If a foreign company that makes the toxic chemical opposes the law, it would normally have to challenge it in a U.S. court. But with ISDS, the company could skip the U.S. courts and go before an international panel of arbitrators. If the company won, the ruling couldn’t be challenged in U.S. courts, and the arbitration panel could require American taxpayers to cough up millions — and even billions — of dollars in damages. ISDS could lead to gigantic fines, but it wouldn’t employ independent judges. Instead, highly paid corporate lawyers would go back and forth between representing corporations one day and sitting in judgement the next. If the tilt toward giant corporations wasn’t clear enough, consider who would get to use this special court: only international investors, which are, by and large, big corporations. So if a Vietnamese company with U.S. operations wanted to challenge an increase in the U.S. minimum wage, it could use ISDS. But if an American labor union believed Vietnam was allowing Vietnamese companies to pay slave wages in violation of trade commitments, the union would have to make its case in the Vietnamese courts.
Note: The above article was written by courageous US Senator Elizabeth Warren, and further clarifies why the TPP is a pending disaster.
This spring, President Obama and Republican leaders in Congress want to use an outdated process used to pass the North American Free Trade Agreement more than 20 years ago — a rule called “fast track” — to force ... passage of the giant Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, trade deal. A fast-tracked TPP would lock in a rigged set of economic rules, lasting potentially forever, before most Americans — let alone some members of Congress — have had a chance to understand it thoroughly. It would be a grave mistake for Congress to authorize fast-tracking this giant trade deal. We now know that NAFTA [has] contributed to the huge U.S. trade deficits. We now import about $500 billion more in goods and services each year than we export. Following NAFTA with the Trans-Pacific Partnership is like turning a bad television show into a terrible movie. As for the problems with the TPP? What's been leaked about its proposals reveals, for example, that the pharmaceutical industry would get stronger patent protections, delaying cheaper generic versions of drugs. The deal also gives global corporations an international tribunal of private attorneys, outside any nation's legal system, that can order compensation for lost expected profits resulting from a nation's regulations, including our own. These extraordinary rights for corporations put governments on the defensive over legitimate public health or environmental rules.
Note: The above article was co-authored by former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, and current president of the AFL-CIO Richard Trumka. For more, see this article, or watch the two minute video Robert Reich made to educate the public about the dangers of the TPP.
A secretive group met behind closed doors in New York this week. What they decided may lead to higher drug prices for you and hundreds of millions around the world. Representatives from the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries convened to decide the future of their trade relations in the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership (T.P.P.). Powerful companies appear to have been given influence over the proceedings, even as full access is withheld from many government officials from the partnership countries. Among the topics negotiators have considered are some of the most contentious T.P.P. provisions — those relating to intellectual property rights. These rules could help big pharmaceutical companies maintain or increase their monopoly profits on brand-name drugs [and] block cheaper generic drugs from the market. Big Pharma’s profits would rise, at the expense of the health of patients and the budgets of consumers and governments. Of course, pharmaceutical companies claim they need to charge high prices to fund their research and development. This just isn’t so. For one thing, drug companies spend more on marketing and advertising than on new ideas. Overly restrictive intellectual property rights actually slow new discoveries. As it is, most of the important innovations come out of our universities and research centers, like the National Institutes of Health, funded by government and foundations.
Note: Read what a former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Health has to say about the egregious profiteering of Big Pharma. Watch an excellent, two-minute video by former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich on the TPP titled "The Worst Trade Deal You've Never Heard of," or read leaked draft texts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for yourself.
The trade rules of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership ... would cover nearly 40 percent of the world economy. Access to the text of the proposed deal is highly restricted. At last month’s World Economic Forum in Switzerland, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman defended the ... refusal to release the full text of the proposed trade pact. “It is incomprehensible to me that leaders of major corporate interests who stand to gain enormous financial benefits from this agreement are actively involved in the writing of the TPP, while at the same time, the elected officials of this country, representing the American people, have little or no knowledge of what’s in it,” wrote Sen. Bernie Sanders, independent-Vt., in a letter to Froman last month. Congressional lawmakers are permitted to view the text of the agreement only in the U.S. trade representative’s office, without their own staff members or experts present. They are not allowed to take copies of the agreement back to Capitol Hill for deeper, independent evaluation. Despite those restrictions, specific details of the agreement’s text have surfaced from unauthorized leaks. One of the leaks showed the U.S. proposing to empower corporations to attempt to overturn domestic regulations, while ... another leaked provision would help the pharmaceutical industry inflate the price of medicines.
Note: For more, watch an excellent, two-minute video by former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich on the TPP titled "The Worst Trade Deal You've Never Heard of," or read leaked draft texts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for yourself.
What President Obama called for in his State of the Union: completion and adoption of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement, or TPP, for the Asia-Pacific region. The president [and other TPP supporters] make two major arguments. One is that the trade pact would create lots of new jobs and raise American incomes and living standards. The other is that it would strengthen U.S. alliances in Asia while curbing Chinese influence. Over the last 35 years, the U.S. has ... concluded many free-trade agreements. In advance of each, U.S. leaders promised the deals would create high-paying jobs, reduce the trade deficit, increase GDP and raise living standards. None of these [promises] came true. In fact, the U.S. non-oil trade deficit continued to grow, millions of jobs were offshored and mean household income has hardly risen since 2000. And economists overwhelmingly agree that rising U.S. income inequality is being driven in part by international trade. The ever-closer linking of the U.S. economy to those of the TPP countries over the last 35 years has not ... deterred U.S. trade partners and allies from developing ever closer ties with China. The TPP is not going to bring together nations such as Mexico, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei to gang up against China. That is just not going to happen. Thus the TPP fails on both economic and political grounds.
Note: Read an excellent Washington Post article showing how the claim of 65,000 jobs created with the TPP is a blatant lie and manipulation. Then watch an excellent, two-minute video by former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich on the TPP titled "The Worst Trade Deal You've Never Heard of," or read leaked draft texts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership for yourself.
Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the New York Times, believes his newspaper – in company with the US mainstream media – failed their audiences after 9/11. He told the German news magazine Der Spiegel that he agreed with the criticism originally made by an NYT reporter, James Risen, Baquet said: “The mainstream press was not aggressive enough after 9/11, was not aggressive enough in asking questions about a decision to go to war in Iraq, was not aggressive enough in asking the hard questions about the war on terror. I accept that for the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times”. Baquet, in charge of the NYT since May 2014, was previously editor-in-chief of the LA Times. In his wide-ranging interview with Der Spiegel, Baquet also spoke about the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden having chosen to tell his story to the Guardian. He said he regards the Guardian as “a new competitor [for the NYT] in the digital age.” He said: “Does it make me nervous that they compete with us and in fact beat us on the Snowden story? Yes. "It hurt a lot. It meant two things. Morally, it meant that somebody with a big story to tell didn’t think we were the place to go, and that’s painful. And then it also meant that we got beaten on what was arguably the biggest national security story in many, many years.
Note: When asked about the New York Times' refusal to report on military drone base locations in the interview referenced above, Baquet recalls, "A high-ranking CIA official called me up and made the case to leave out where the drone base was. It was Saudi Arabia. I accepted it. And I was wrong." For more along these lines, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing articles about mass media manipulation.
Nearly 130,000 pages of declassified Air Force files on UFO investigations and sightings are now available in one place online. Declassified government records about UFOs have long existed on microfilm in the National Archives in Washington, DC. Many of them also live on websites devoted to the topic. But UFO enthusiast John Greenewald says his database, Project Blue Book Collection, is the first to compile every single declassified document from the Blue Book project -- headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio from 1947 to 1969 -- in one place for anyone to search or download for free. The collection consists of files from Project Blue Book, Project Sign and Project Grudge, the names given to official investigations into unidentified flying objects by the United States military. Greenewald's ... says he's just driven by curiosity. "I'm a history buff. I think this stuff should be accessible," he said. "It defied explanation," he said, "and 5,000 FOIAs later my curiosity hasn't gone away." The collection contains 10,000 PDFs, each representing a different case. The files include the details of some of the most famous UFO cases, including the Exeter incident, the Kenneth Arnold sighting and the Mantell crash. Still, Greenewald believes the contents are "just the tip of the iceberg." "It's all a puzzle," he said. "Just when you think you've got all the pieces to make a picture, you realize it's only a piece of a bigger puzzle."
Republicans who now run Congress say they want to cooperate with President Obama, and point to the administration's Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, as the model. The only problem is the TPP would be a disaster. If you haven't heard much about the TPP, that's part of the problem. It would be the largest trade deal in history ... representing 792 million people and accounting for 40 percent of the world economy -- yet it's been devised in secret. Lobbyists from America's biggest corporations and Wall Street's biggest banks have been involved but not the American public. That's a recipe for fatter profits and bigger paychecks at the top, but not a good deal for most of us, or even for most of the rest of the world. Big corporations and Wall Street want ... more international protection when it comes to their intellectual property and other assets. But they want less protection of consumers, workers, small investors, and the environment, because these interfere with their profits. So they've been seeking trade rules that allow them to override these protections. Not surprisingly for a deal that's been drafted mostly by corporate and Wall Street lobbyists, the TPP provides exactly this mix. In other words, the TPP is a Trojan horse in a global race to the bottom, giving big corporations and Wall Street banks a way to eliminate any and all laws and regulations that get in the way of their profits.
Note: The above article is written by former US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. For more along these lines, see this summary of an article that appeared in the Guardian newspaper in 2013. You can also read the TPP's Intellectual property and environment language for yourself.
The “war on terror” is not the CIA’s first venture into human experimentation. At the dawn of the Cold War, German scientists and doctors with Nazi records of human experimentation were given new identities and brought to the United States under Operation Paperclip. In 1953, the CIA established the MK-ULTRA program, [which] evolved into experiments in psychological torture. During the Vietnam War, the CIA developed the Phoenix program, which combined psychological torture with brutal interrogations, human experimentation and extrajudicial executions. In 1963, the CIA produced a manual titled “Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation” to guide agents in the art of extracting information. An updated version of the Kubark guide [was] produced in 1983 and titled “Human Resource Exploitation Manual” [for CIA supported] right-wing regimes in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Here we are again. On April 15, 2002, [psychologists hired by the CIA] Mitchell and Jessen arrived at a black site in Thailand to supervise the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, the first “high-value detainee” captured by the CIA. From then ... at least thirty-eight people were subjected to psychological and physical torments, and the results were methodically documented and analyzed. That is the textbook definition of human experimentation.
Note: For more along these lines, see this list depicting the rampant use of humans as guinea pigs in government, military, and medical experiments over the last century, or watch "Human Resources", a two-hour documentary on the subject. For more, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Mind Control Information Center.
Entrepreneurs and established companies alike depend on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Newly released documents reveal that the office, tasked with evaluating and protecting the rights to intellectual property, has a covert system for delaying controversial or inconvenient patents. It’s a system that ... could function as a way to limit or stomp out emerging companies. Before today, the program — named the Sensitive Application Warning System (SAWS) — has been mentioned only anecdotally by examiners who work in or with the office, and in a government memo that was leaked in March 2006. However, a new 50-page document obtained by a law firm’s Freedom of Information Act request shows the sweeping scope and conflicting interests of this particular set of rules. The law firm behind the request, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, frequently represents major tech companies, including Apple, Google, Twitter, and Oracle. For Thomas Franklin, a partner at Kilpatrick Townsend, applications that he prosecutes typically issue as patents 22 months after filing. Any application that is categorized in SAWS, however ... can be delayed for years. There is no official channel to notify an applicant once her patent is placed in the system. Franklin told Yahoo Tech., “That’s what piqued my interest as a constitutional issue. There’s a secret program that they’re not supposed to talk about.”
Note: When the government has a "property interest" in any patent application, it may be rejected, stolen, or classified according to secret criteria. Among new energy technology researchers, it is well known that the patent office can block patents of amazing inventions that could cost oil and energy companies billions of dollars. Read this excellent summary for more on this.
The U.S. Air Force has kept an unmanned space shuttle in orbit for the past two years. No one without security clearance knows what it’s been doing up there. The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, which can enter orbit and land without human intervention, is scheduled to touch down this week. The landing will mark completion of the program’s third and longest mission. The Air Force has two such spacecraft for these low-earth orbit missions, all of which are classified. “The mission is basically top secret,” says Captain Chris Hoyler, an Air Force spokesman. Marco Caceres, a space analyst with Teal Group, says the Air Force is most likely interested in having a surveillance platform that can “maneuver in orbit faster” than satellites. The Air Force appears to be planning a future for the program. Speculation has flourished online about what the government is doing. Theories range from surveillance to [developing] the platform for a new generation of kinetic weapons that can be used from space [to] testing the craft so it can eventually drop special-forces soldiers from space to anywhere on the planet, within minutes.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government secrecy from reliable major media sources.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.