SOFTWAR News


NSA RECOGNIZES SOFTWAR MEDIA STATUS
AGREES TO DO FOIA ON WEBSTER HUBBELL




SOFTWAR NEWS - OCTOBER 4, 1999

On September 23, 1999 the National Security Agency (NSA) determined that this reporter "should be considered a 'media' requestor." The NSA determination came after years of legal battles, a long series of (paid) published articles, radio and TV show appearances and threats of Court action.

"Based upon this information regarding your publication record," wrote NSA attorney Barbara McNamara. "You have demonstrated that you qualify as a representative of the news media, and as such, will be charged only for duplication in excess of 100 pages."

The NSA recognition follows similar official letters recognizing this reporter from the CIA, the Defense Dept., the Dept. of Justice, the FAA and the Commerce Dept. The NSA letter that finally recognizes this reporter as "media" also noted that the most recent Freedom of Information Request will be served.

More importantly, that request is on former Attorney General WEBSTER HUBBELL.

Few people know that Clinton associate, and convicted felon, Webster Hubbell participated in a TOP SECRET project intended to bug every phone in America called "CLIPPER". Documents obtained by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show that Attorney General Janet Reno tasked Webster Hubbell to run the project.

According to a March 1993 Justice Dept. memo from Stephen Colgate, Assistant Attorney General for Administration, to Webster Hubbell, "FBI, NSA and NSC want to push legislation which would require all government agencies and eventually everyone in the U.S. to use a new public-key based cryptography method."

The method that Colgate wrote about was embodied in the CLIPPER chip, a special device developed by the NSA that would allow the Federal government to tap any phone, fax or computer so equipped.

Colgate's memo to Hubbell was for a meeting with Vice President Al Gore. Gore chaired the meeting with Hubbell, Reno, Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, and Leon Panetta in March 1993. Since 1993, Vice President Gore has issued several statements in support of the wire tap project:

  "We want to assure users of key escrow encryption products
  that they will not be the subject of unauthorized
  surveillance.  As we have done with the CLIPPER chip, future
  key escrow systems must contain safeguards to provide for key
  disclosure only under legal authorization."

Al Gore
http://www.softwar.net/al2000.html

Gore's promise that "safeguards" were in place to provide only legal access to the CLIPPER back-door was actually yet another tall tale from the Vice President. According to NASA engineer Benita Cooper, the CLIPPER project was filled with illegal holes and security risks.

   "Devices using the EES (CAPSTONE and CLIPPER), which
   implement the classified SKIPJACK algorithm, must be
   programmed.  The chip programmer is a device provided by the
   National Security Agency (NSA).  There is no assurance,
   without scrutiny, that all keying material introduced during
   the chip programming is not already available to the NSA.
   Thus, not only do the key escrow agents have a decryption
   capability, the NSA also retains this capability.  Moreover,
   compromise of the NSA keys, such as in the Walker case,
   could compromise the entire EES system."

Benita A. Cooper - NASA Associate Administrator for
Management Systems and Facilities
http://www.softwar.net/nist.html


NSA LETTER TO SOFTWAR

NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, MARYLAND 20755-6

23 September 1999
Serial: J9663A-99

Mr. Charles R. Smith
7707 Whirlaway Drive
Midlothian, VA 23112

Dear Mr. Smith:

This replies to your letter dated 5 April 1999 appealing the
National Security Agency's decision to place you in the
"commercial" fee category rather than the "media" category to
process your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for
various records related to project Clipper from 1993 to the
present. I have reviewed your original request dated 25 February
1999, the Deputy Director of Policy's 30 March 1999 letter
informing you of your placement in the "commercial" fee
category, and your letter of appeal. As a result of this review,
I have concluded that you should be considered a "media"
requester.

A FOIA requester has the burden of demonstrating that he is
entitled to be treated as a "media" requester. Your 25 February
1999 request, as well as your past requests to this agency, did
not provide the necessary documentation to support the "media"
category you sought. The only documentation you provided to this
agency in the past as evidence of prior publication were general
historical perspectives on the importance of codes which were
derived from publicly available material. They did not relate to
the information you sought in your requests, and did not
demonstrate any particular expertise with the subject of the
requested information. In addition, the articles were printed by
and for government publications which are not entities that are
"organized and operated to publish...news to the public."
Because you did not prove your qualifications, you were not
placed in the "media" category.

In your appeal letter, you indicate that we placed you in the
"commercial" fee category based on the fact that newsletters
were available for subscription or cost from your internet
website. That was not the case. The information available to us
at the time of your initial requests in 1997 indicated that
SOFTWAR specialized in offensive and defensive information
warfare techniques. It appeared that your primary interest in
obtaining the information was for commercial gain by enhancing
the sales of your products and services, rather than to inform
the public about government activities.

In your most recent appeal letter, you provided samples of
articles written since 1997, as well as evidence of your
freelance status with "The Washington Times." We also located
additional articles authored by you from late 1997 to the
present. Based upon this information regarding your publication
record, you have demonstrated that you qualify as a
representative of the news media, and as such, will be charged
only for duplication in excess of 100 pages.


Your 25 February 1999 FOIA request will be returned to the
Office of Policy to be processed in the order in which it was
received. If you have any questions, please contact the FOIA
Office between 0700 and 1530 EST on (301) 688-6527.

Sincerely,

BARBARA A. MCNAMARA
Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act
Appeals Authority



FIN


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