Keynote speaker Rep. David E. Skaggs (D-CO), a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said that "in spite of the media attention to this subject...|economic intelligence~ is really very traditional work." He explained that the intelligence community has always been involved in business and economic matters because an understanding of an adversary's economic decisions helps with an understanding of its actions. The current debate should focus on the community's new customers and how it can better serve them, said Skaggs.
"Making economic policy is different from defense policy," he noted. The intelligence community must learn to accommodate economic policymakers, such as those in the Department of Treasury, and these new customers must learn how to use intelligence. According to the congressman, if any new policy is to be effective, it must advise those in the private sector on how to protect themselves.
Skaggs said the intelligence community must be more aggressive in declassifying information in order to improve its relationship with the private sector. "An increasing amount of intelligence comes from open sources, so it should be unclassified or downgraded," the representative explained. He went on to say that private firms spend $14 billion annually on complying with classification requirements, which is a costly burden.
Revamping the intelligence classification system is also on the agenda for the Clinton administration, according to Steven Garfinkel, director of the Information Security Oversight Office.
On November 10, his office completed its draft version of an executive order laying out what a post-cold war secrecy system should be, and the policy is now under review by the president.
According to Garfinkel, this draft executive order constitutes the first examination of cold war programs in the post-cold war world. It will likely be changed significantly before it is finalized, he explained.
The draft emphasizes a commitment to open government. It establishes a rule that limits the time information should remain classified to ten years (fifteen years for top secret information) and allows for an extension at the back end. It also requires declassification of almost all information that is forty years old, with the following four narrow exceptions:
* If it reveals the identity of a human intelligence source
* If it contains any information that is not publicly available that would help in the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction
* If it would compromise a cryptology formula
* If it would go against the provisions of a treaty
No deadline has been set for a final version of this executive order. "We are not going to see a new secrecy system very soon," Garfinkel predicted. He also believes that once an executive order is instituted, if it is similar to the draft, there would be an initial increase in costs, but the changes to the system should ultimately result in modest savings.
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|Title Annotation:||Security Spotlight; Third Annual International Security Systems Symposium and Exhibition|
|Date:||Jan 1, 1994|
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|Next Article:||Understanding the nature of leadership.|
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