30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Science and Technology

Nov 9, 2007 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., January 8, 2013 - As the United States prepares to transition this month from Cold War-era missile detection programs to a more sophisticated infrared platform, recently declassified documents published by the National Security Archive take a fresh look at the history of the U.S. space-based early warning program. The new materials flesh out critical details about the progress and problems associated with the new "SBIRS" program, which is about to become operational.
Nov 9, 2007 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., November 9, 2007 - In anticipation of the planned launch of the final Defense Support Program (DSP) satellite tomorrow evening, which was originally scheduled to be orbited in October 2005, the National Security Archive has posted on the Web a collection of declassified documents tracing the history of the program from its roots as Subsystem G of WS-117L in 1957. At that time the U.S. began seriously planning to deploy satellites that would detect the infrared signals emitted by intercontinental ballistic missiles in order to provide warning of a Soviet missile attack.
Oct 1, 2007 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, October 1, 2007 - Today the National Security Archive publishes a collection of documents concerning U.S. policy with regard to acknowledging the “fact of” U.S. satellite reconnaissance operations – particularly satellite photoreconnaissance. It was 29 years ago today that President Jimmy Carter, in a speech at the Kennedy Space Center, acknowledged that the U.S. was operating photoreconnaissance satellites. As the documents illustrate, the perceived need to persuade segments of the public that the U.S.
Sep 14, 2007 | Briefing Book
Update - Washington, D.C., April 11, 2008 – The policy debate over using U.S. reconnaissance satellites to obtain imagery of targets in the United States dates back to the earliest days of spy satellites, according to an updated collection of declassified documents published today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org). Obtained and edited by Archive senior fellow Dr.
Jul 13, 2007 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., July 13, 2007 - Throughout the 1960s and most of the 1970s, while the U.S. government conducted its space reconnaissance program under a veil of absolute secrecy, officials debated whether information about the program (including the "fact of" its existence and certain photographs) should be disclosed to other elements of the government, public, allies, and even the Soviet Union, according to documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and archival research and posted today by the National Security Archive.
May 5, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, May 5, 2006 - Many U.S. government officials and scientists disagreed with the findings of a presidential panel that the double flash signal picked up by a U.S. nuclear detonation detection satellite (Vela 6911) in late September 1979 was possibly not a nuclear test, according to a number of studies posted today by the National Security Archive. The signal appeared to come from a 3,000 mile area that included the South Atlantic, Indian Ocean, tip of Africa, and part of Antarctica.
Mar 28, 2006 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, March 28, 2006 - The Central Intelligence Agency and National Reconnaissance Office used the nation's spy satellites and spy planes to obtain high-resolution images of the nuclear facilities of allies, adversaries and neutral nations alike, as illustrated in a collection of overhead reconnaissance images posted on the Web today by the National Security Archive. Today's posting includes 15 photographs and five photographic interpretation reports from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. The images were obtained by U-2 spy planes and CORONA and KH-7 reconnaissance satellites.
Dec 14, 2004 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 14: Front page stories in The Washington Post ("New Spy Satellite Debated on Hill," Dec. 11, 2004) and The New York Times ("New Spy Plan Said to Involve Satellite System," Dec. 12, 2004) describe a secret satellite program that the Senate intelligence committee has voted to cancel but survives in the current intelligence budget due to strong support from the House and Senate appropriations committees and the House intelligence committee. Senator John D.
Oct 16, 2002 | Briefing Book
Today, October 16, 2002, the National Security Archive publishes on the Web a comprehensive documentary history of U.S. aerial espionage in the Cold War and beyond. This publication comes 40 years to the day after CIA analysts briefed President John F. Kennedy on what is probably the most famous overhead reconnaissance photograph of all time.
Nov 15, 2001 | Briefing Book
As noted in Biowar: The Nixon Administration's Decision to End U.S. Biological Warfare Programs, public attention has become intensely focused upon the threat of attack by biological agents, as the continuing reports of anthrax-contaminated mail facilities and congressional offices appear in the news. The effort to determine who sent the anthrax-laced letters, how they have managed to become so widely dispersed, and to come to grips with the health threat posed have revealed the uncertainties surrounding any such outbreak.

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