Showing posts with label Government Authority. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Government Authority. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Need-To-Know Is Antithetical And Harmful To The Scientific Process

Originally Published December 21, 2011; Last Updated January 28, 2020; Last Republished January 28, 2020:

United States, National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity has requested researchers and scientific journals to withhold fundamental data1 related to the laboratory gene manipulation and inter-species transmission of the influenza A-H5N1—effectively classifying the scientific data and imposing a government gated "need-to-know" requirement.

One need look no further than our current dysfunctional classification system2 to understand how harmful and antithetical a government gated "need-to-know" requirements will be to the scientific process.


UPDATED 10/15/2018 NAP, Understanding the Economics of Microbial Threats: Proceedings of a Workshop (2018) and Global health 2035 Report
UPDATED 02/17/2018 CDC, Interim Estimates of 2017–18 Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness — United States, February 2018 and CDC, Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness, 2005-2018
UPDATED 07/15/2017 WHO, Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) and WHO, FluNet Summary; Global circulation of influenza viruses July 07, 2017
UPDATED 05/15/2017 NAP, Global Health and the Future Role of the United States (2017), Infectious Disease, Pandemic Influenza, and Antimicrobial Resistance: Global Health Security Is National Security and Scowcroft Institute, The Growing Threat of Pandemics: Enhancing Domestic and International Biosecurity Paper focuses on creating realistic and effective plans for reducing the threat of pandemics...  and NAP, Perspectives on Research with H5N1 Avian Influenza,  Chapter 3 and NAP, The Threat of Pandemic Influenza

UPDATED 04/21/2017 WHO, Pandemic Influenza Risk Management WHO Interim Guidance and NAP, Rapid Medical Countermeasure Response to Infectious Diseases Enabling Sustainable Capabilities Through Ongoing Public and Private-Sector Partnerships and WHO, Global Influenza Programme (GIP) and CDC, Pandemic Influenza, Planning and Preparedness Resources, Global Planning and CDC, Interim Pre-pandemic Planning Guidance: Community Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Mitigation in the United States

UPDATED 07/29/2016 NAP, Soliciting Stakeholder Input for a Revision of Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL): Proceedings of a Workshop (2016) Chapter: INTRODUCTION
UPDATED 07/15/2016 NAP, Chemical Laboratory Safety and Security: A Guide to Developing Standard Operating Procedures (2016) Chapter: Front Matter and NAS, Chemical Laboratory Safety and Security: A Guide to Prudent Chemical Management

UPDATED 11/11/2013 iGEM, Synthetic Biology A non-government-gated totally transparent participatory paradigm is a preferred model for all responsible biological research.


UPDATED 01/28/2020 Nature, US Officials Revisit Rules for Disclosing Risky Disease [Gain-of-Function] Experiments 

UPDATED 04/08/2019 JID, Influenza Vaccines: Good, but We Can Do Better (Fauci) and NIH, Scientists Review Influenza Vaccine Research Progress and Opportunities
UPDATED 01/11/2019 Reuters, Up to 84,000 Americans Hospitalized with Flu in Past Three Months: CDC and CDC, National Press Conference Kicks Off 2018-2019 Flu Vaccination Campaign and NFID, Flu and Chronic Health Conditions and LiveScience, Here's How Many People Have Caught the Flu So Far This Season (Hint: It's a Lot)

"...more than 900,000 people were hospitalized and more than 80,000 people died from flu last season..."   ..."...during the 2018-2019 season between about 6 and 7 million people have been sick with flu..."

UPDATED 08/31/2018 NYT China Has Withheld Samples of a Dangerous Flu Virus [H7N9 Avian Flu] nation benefits by failing to take part in the global frameworks intended to understand and prevent global is grossly irresponsible and unacceptable for any nation to withhold samples of pathogens or vectors...(e.g. SciBulletin, Severe Human Infection With A Novel Avian-Origin Influenza A(H7N4) Virus and CDC, Introduction of Eurasian-Origin Influenza A(H8N4) Virus into North America by Migratory Birds)

UPDATED 05/29/2018 AP, Ebola Vaccinations Underway In Areas Of Congo

UPDATED 02/17/2018 CIDRAP, US Study Finds 36% Flu Vaccine Protection, 25% Against H3N2
UPDATED 02/12/2018 NYTOpEd, We’re Not Ready for a Flu Pandemic (CDC, Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report, As of February 03, 2018) and CDC, Use of Influenza Risk Assessment Tool for Prepandemic Preparedness

Our public health system and providers are struggling to respond to a mildly "elevated" flu season. Responding to an exceptionally virulent flu pandemic using current vaccines (~<20% interim evaluation of effective ; Vox, This Year’s Record-breaking Flu Season, Explained) and existing antiviral drugs will amplify the struggle.

UPDATED 02/02/2018 WP, CDC To Cut by 80 Percent Efforts to Prevent Global Disease Outbreak

...another unwise decision by our unstable, unfit, unwell, and unbalanced "new" alt-white-house et al...

UPDATED 12/19/2017 STAT, U.S. Lifts Moratorium on Funding Controversial, High-risk Virus Research and NSABB, Risk and Benefit Analysis of Gain of Function Research, Final Report, April 2016 

UPDATED 10/23/2017 CDC, Mammalian Pathogenesis and Transmission of Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Viruses, Tennessee, USA, 2017 UPDATED 08/19/2017 NewsHour, We’re not close to being prepared for the next pandemic, says this doctor

UPDATED 07/15/2017 ScienceMag, Can we beat influenza?
UPDATED  06/17/2017 NewsMed, Mutations Identified That Enable Human Transmission of Avian Flu ( PLOS, Three Mutations Switch H7N9 Influenza to Human-type Receptor Specificity) and Reuters, China to Vaccinate Poultry Against H7N9 Bird Flu Next Month and CHP, Avian Influenza Report 13 Week 23 and WHO, Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – China June 8, 2017
UPDATED 05/08/2017 SA, To Change Politics, Do More Than March for Science
"To fight antiresearch policies, scientists must become activists for the long haul"
UPDATED 04/20/2017 Bloomberg, Bill Gates on Tropical Diseases, Trump and Brexit and NEJM, Scientific Drought, Golden Eggs, and Global Leadership — Why Trump’s NIH Funding Cuts Would Be a Disaster

How can a government effectively separate preparation3 for a global pandemic and its national defense?

On March 16, 2017, our "new" alt-white-house proposed cutting the 2018 National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget by 18.3%, or about $5.8 billion! Global and national leadership should not waste time pretending they can salvage4 our "new" alt-white-house and instead, pending its complete demise focus all efforts on harm mitigation, reduction, and remediation. 

UPDATED 04/13/2017 SA, Is the U.S. Ready for Future Disease Threats?
UPDATED 03/03/2017 WP, Surge in Human Cases of Deadly Bird Flu is Prompting Alarm
UPDATED 01/14/2017 RoyalSociety, Transparency and openness in science
UPDATED 09/30/2016 Bioinformatics, Towards the knowledge-based design of universal influenza epitope ensemble vaccines
"...A ‘universal’ vaccine would ideally induce immunity against all or most influenza A subtypes. However, as influenza continually evolves, formulating a vaccine with such broad protection remains problematic. Current seasonal influenza vaccines lack the ability to induce cellular immunity and instead induce strain specific humoral immunity where novel or differing influenza strains can easily bypass immune recognition..."--Q.M.Sheikh et al.--
UPDATED 05/23/2016 Reuters, U.S. targets spying threat on campus with proposed research clampdown

The burdens of such a program are likely to far outweigh any benefits (mostly imagined). Universities must not be required to apply for a license from an anonymous military officer on the political desk (Bureau of Political-Military Affairs) of our State Department to teach students computational biology or any other subject or conduct laboratory experiments.

This is just another dangerous and mischievous form of watch-list metastasis more indicative of fascist and dictatorial forms of governments than an enlightened and modern democracy.

Hey, on the bright side our State Department, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs or clandestine services is not, yet declaring students and professors heretics, shooting them in the head on their way to school, or magnetically attaching shaped charge explosives to their vehicle as they commute to work!

UPDATED 12/07/2014 ReutersTrust, China reports new human case of H7N9 bird flu
UPDATED 11/17/2014 Reuters, Dutch authorities identify highly contagious bird flu strain (H5N8)
UPDATED 05/22/2014 Alantic, Scientists Are Creating New, Incurable Diseases in Labs
UPDATED 03/28/2014 NTI, Netherlands Overhauls Biosecurity Rules as Avian Flu Dispute Simmers

UPDATED 01/17/2014 ThomsonReutersTrust, Increasing H7N9 bird flu toll demands constant vigilance and China reports one more H7N9 bird flu death
UPDATED 01/09/2014 CBC, H5N1: Bird flu questions and answers  An isolated, fatal case of H5N1 or avian influenza has been announced in Alberta.
UPDATED 11/25/2013 UPI, FDA approves avian flu vaccine
UPDATED 01/23/2013 Reuters, Bird flu studies, halted over terrorism fear, to resume and LAT, Controversial bird flu research to resume

Kudos to our scientific research community for transparently pursuing their research—rendering scientific research opaque based on a religious-zealotry-utility-harm-index is equal to or greater than the ignorance of a religious zealot (aka religious whack-job).

UPDATED 09/28/2012 PopSci, New Research Could Identify Nature’s Most Dangerous Viruses--If It’s Public

UPDATED 06/30/2012 Nature, Influenza: Five questions on H5N1 and Do not censor science in the name of biosecurity

UPDATED 05/02/2012 Nature, Mutant-flu paper published

UPDATED 03/31/2012 CBC News, Bird flu study publication cleared by U.S. biosecurity panel

UPDATED 02/18/2012 NYT, Despite Safety Worries, Work on Deadly Flu to Be Released

Fortunately, the scientific process has trumped the national security process whose metastasis threatens more than the information it purports to obscure or render incomprehensible.

UPDATED 02/15/2012 Reuters, Insight - Containing the world's deadliest microbes
UPDATED 01/02/2012 NYT,  How Hard Would It Be for Avian Flu to Spread?
UPDATED 12/22/2011 CTV, Journals asked to censor controversial bird flu studies
Section III-D-7. Experiments Involving Influenza Viruses (NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules May 2011)

..."Experiments with influenza viruses generated by recombinant methods (e.g., generation by reverse genetics of chimeric viruses with reassorted segments, introduction of specific mutations) shall be conducted at the biosafety level containment corresponding to the risk group of the virus that was the source of the majority of segments in the recombinant virus (e.g., experiments with viruses containing a majority of segments from a RG3 virus shall be conducted at BL3). Experiments with influenza viruses containing genes or segments from 1918-1919 H1N1 (1918 H1N1), human H2N2 (1957-1968) and highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 strains within the Goose/Guangdong/96-like H5 lineage (HPAI H5N1) shall be conducted at BL3 enhanced containment (see Appendix G-II-C-5, Biosafety Level 3 Enhanced for Research Involving Risk Group 3 Influenza Viruses) unless indicated below."...
...Section III-D-7a-d
NYT, Seeing Terror Risk, U.S. Asks Journals to Cut Flu Study Facts


1. There is of course a "night-day" difference between impeding the free flow of scientific data which is not in the public interest and impeding the free flow of a virus, which is in the public interest. Stated differently the unimpeded flow of scientific data (not just scientists or those deemed to have a need-to-know) is required to impede the free flow of viruses.

Although peer reviewed journals, research centers and universities are amazing channels of innovation it would be foolish to assume they are the only channels of innovation in our era of ubiquitous knowledge.

Additional information links:

Select Agents and Toxins List
DTRA, Nunn-Lugar Biological Threat Reduction Program
Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) 
UPDATED 12/10/2016 NSABB, BioSecurity and Oversight 

2. Those knowledgeable about our classification system know our government is capable of asserting an infinite number of reasons, real and imagined for imposing or perpetuating a "need-to-know" requirement for the purpose of ensuring data remains opaque.

Moreover, our classification system has proven impervious to reform, notwithstanding determined efforts by government transparency advocates and experts. So impervious is our classification system that even when data are known to the world our government pretends a "need-to-know" still applies!

Furthermore, when data are pried loose or leaked from our classification system, experts frequently have difficulty intuiting any reason for the data classification—there is no government accountability for any mysterious or incorrect data classification.

3. Evidently, our "new" alt-white-house's idea for preparation involves drafting cannon fodder for its expected conflicts—maybe its supporters will sign-up to follow an unfit commander-in-chief to war (FAS, Principles for Reforming The Military Selective Service Process)?

4. Those with a penchant to continually offer alt-explanations for our "new" alt-white-house's unfitness might enjoy pursing May/June Foreign Affairs, Present at the Destruction? Those in lockstep with our "new" alt-white-house's neocon clowns might find UniDir, Understanding Nuclear Weapon Risks interesting?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

FBI Illegally Uses National Security Letters

Originally Published March 09, 2007; Last Updated March 20, 2013; Last Republished March 16, 2013:

Surprise! The United States Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issues a scathing 199 page report (4M pdf) on the FBI's improper and illegal use of National Security Letters (NSL).

After the OIG report states that the FBI''s use of NSLs has grown dramatically from 8,500, pre-Patriot Act to 143,074 post-Patriot Act1, 2003-2005 it catalogs the problems.

Some of the problems noted in the report belie all control and oversight of the NSL process:

1. No policy for retaining copies of issued NSLs.
2. No uniform system for tracking NSLs and the information obtained under them.
3. Improper and illegal use of NSLs.
4. Improper use of "exigent" NSLs.
5. Inability to connect NSLs with specific and proper National Security Investigations.
6. Failure to adhere to internal FBI internal controls and policies.
7. Not adhering to the least intrusive method for obtaining data, as required.
8. NSL database incomplete and inaccurate.
9. Complete loss of NSL data.
10. Twenty-two percent more NSLs in case files than in NSL database.
11. Under reporting the number of issued NSLs.


UPDATED 03/20/2013 EFF, In Depth: The District Court's Remarkable Order Striking Down the NSL Statute
UPDATED 03/16/2013 WP, Federal judge says FBI’s secret national security letters seeking records are unconstitutional

The District Court's decision has been stayed for 90 days while the DOJ decides whether to appeal to the Ninth Circuit.

The current administration must decline to appeal and cease utilizing our Judiciary to implement a doltish propensity to perpetually subvert our Constitution by coupling legal sophistry with the double subterfuges of "national security" and "state secrecy".

UPDATED 08/27/2008 Reuters, Judges consider whether FBI violated free speech
UPDATED 08/13/2008 UPI, Reporters'' group wants FBI explanation
UPDATED 03/27/07 NY Times, Congress Expands Scope of Inquiries Into Justice Department Practices and Politics

Due Process Is Not The Process You Do

Originally Published March 05, 2012; Last Updated February 17, 2013; Last Updated February 17, 2013:

Due process is not the process you do—nor is a unilateral proclamation of perpetual conflict justification for fashioning and utilizing whatever "tools" are declared or deemed appropriate in pursuit of a perceived enemy.

UPDATED 08/26/2012 The Magna Carta (The Great Charter)
"39. No freemen shall be taken or imprisoned or disseised or exiled or in any way destroyed, nor will we go upon him nor send upon him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land."
Also, Wikipedia, Magna Carta and  UK, Mana Carta Imprisonment, &c. contrary to Law. Administration of Justice 1297

DOJ, Attorney General Eric Holder Speaks at Northwestern University School of Law


UPDATED 02/17/2013 FAS, Army Field Manual, Airspace Control FM-3-52 (pdf)


UPDATED 03/16/2013 Guardian, US drone strikes in Pakistan 'carried out without government's consent'
UPDATED 02/17/2013 ProPublica, Drone Strikes Test Legal Grounds for War on Terror
UPDATED 02/05/2013 NYT, Memo Cites Legal Basis for Killing U.S. Citizens in Al Qaeda

If the leaked unclassified summary white paper accurately represents the classified original from our "Office of Legal Counsel Torture and Killing"  it makes John Yoo's torture until the torturee's organs fail standard seem positively progressive!

UPDATED 09/21/2012 Reuters, Appeals court skeptical of Obama secrecy around drone killings
UPDATED 08/02/2012 NewYorker, Kill or Capture
UPDATED 06/20/2012 ProPublica, Obama Administration’s Drone Death Figures Don’t Add Up
UPDATED 06/19/2012 SPI, Drones at Home Raise Fear of Surveillance Society