18 February 1999

DoD News Briefing
Thursday, February 18, 1999 - 1:45 p.m.
Captain Mike Doubleday, DASD PA


Q:  Could you explain why Secretary Cohen is going to speak 
at Microsoft today when it's in the middle of these antitrust 
suits that the U.S. Government...  (Laughter)  Why do that?

A:  Well, Secretary Cohen is embarked on a program to talk 
to people throughout the United States that the Department 
of Defense may not previously have talked to.  He, as you 
may be aware, talked to the Illinois Statehouse.  He is 
today talking to Microsoft. He is delivering a message that 
talks about the Department of Defense.  It's an important 
message that we feel that all corners of the country should 
hear.  He is going to be traveling to other parts of the 
country in coming months, and I think you'll see other venues 
that are probably non-traditional for a Secretary of Defense 
to speak in. But I think it's an interesting way to carry 
the message and one that is welcomed.

Q:  Could you say whether consideration was given to the 
fact that Microsoft is engaged, unlike the Illinois chamber, 
in a massive suit with the government?

A:  That certainly was not a major consideration.  I think 
the major consideration is the fact that Microsoft is a 
high tech company.  The U.S. armed forces of today are 
high-tech operations.  They utilize a lot of software from 
a variety of companies that are on the leading edge of 
technology.  And these are people who are looking to the 
future and being very innovative, and certainly people that 
we want to deal with and talk to on a continuing basis.

Q:  Can you say, or if you can't say, can you take the 
question of whether this was cleared with the White House, 
and whether Justice Department's views were sought.

A:  I will see what I can do for you on that one.

18 February 1999

Questions to Secretary Cohen are not intended to be about the classified and/or "means and methods of intelligence" -- about which DoD has a policy to never comment on -- of the Echelon signals interception program (active since at least the mid-1970s official USG documents show) but about what impact on US international defense policy the Echelon furor has had and what the USG intends to do in response to assure its global partners that the US is trustworthy. It is this global building of trust that Cohen's September 1998 talk at the Council on Foreign Relations addressed.

Date:         Wed, 17 Feb 1999 17:05:02 -0500

    No. 026-P
PRESS ADVISORY  February 17, 1999
Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen will not hold a media 
availability following his remarks to Microsoft employees in Seattle 
Thursday. The cancellation of the media availability previously 
announced in Memorandum for Correspondents No. 014-M was necessitated 
by a scheduling change to the Secretary's itinerary.

16 February 1999

From a DoD press briefing 16 February 1999:

  Secretary Cohen is leaving tomorrow for Seattle.  Thursday 
  he will meet with and address the employees of Microsoft 
  to discuss national defense, national security issues with them.  

If any MS-employee plans to attend this, I wonder if you would be willing to
ask questions of Secretary Cohen on my behalf or yours.

Since last September I have had a request pending at DoD
for an interview with Cohen on Echelon and DoD information 
security policy (copy of messages below). Today I was told
by Susan Hansen, DoD Public Affairs, with whom I had previously
spoken and exchanged e-mail (see below), that she had 
been unable to find anyone in DoD who would talk about Echelon 
because "it is just a term some journalist used but does not refer 
to any official US program or policy." (See first public report on
Echelon: http://jya.com/echelon-dc.htm.)

I reminded Ms. Hansen that my original request concerned Secretary
Cohen's September speech in which he talked about the goal
of building better relations with other nations, and that my request
for an interview was for him to comment on how the furor over 
Echelon affected this goal. She said, and here is the controversial 
part: "Political appointees such as the Secretary are not informed 
enough to discuss such matters, and that I should take this up with 
the National Security Agency." Implying that only military people 
are informed, and not the civilans who supposedly outrank them.

I have left a message of inquiry with the NSA today (for Ms. Emmel,
301-688-6524, as suggested by Ms. Hansen).

So the questions for Secretary Cohen are those contained in the first
message below to Mr. Kenneth Bacon. And, then, a question on whether 
what Ms. Hansen said today is accurate: that political appointees
such as the Secretary are not informed enough to comment on such 
programs as Echelon (which corresponds with what Mr. Bacon told me 
after the CFR talk in September).

Thanks much.

John Young <jya@pipeline.com>


September 15, 1998

Kenneth H. Bacon
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington D.C. 20301-1400

Dear Mr. Bacon,

Three points of Secretary Cohen's informative talk at the 
Council on Foreign Relations last evening would benefit
by amplification, and I ask your assistance in arranging an
interview with the Secretary to focus on the Department's
policy on information security technology.

1. The first concerns his view on the interdependency of military
and economic affairs for assurance of national security.

1.1 What does he see as the prospect for further declassification 
of restricted defense technology for use by industry for protection 
of information against economic espionage, as exemplified in the 
declassification of the Skipjack encryption algorithm. 

1.2 And what other services and/or technology the defense supply
and intelligence agencies may provide non-governmental customers 
in competition with other nations where closer cooperation between 
such agencies and industry is more common.

2. The second concerns the need for international cooperation
for US defense policy and how that is impacted by publicity and 
criticism of the Echelon electronic intercept program and other
national technical means not customarily discussed in public by 
the Department.

2.1 What are Secretary Cohen's views of programs such as Echelon 
political and international trust issues and what he is his view of European 
calls for investigation of Echelon.

2.2 What are Secretary Cohen's views as a constructive response to 

charges that Echelon and other national technical means are 
offensive military and economic espionage against those from 
whom the US desires defense cooperation.

3. In the Q&A on the topic of terrorism and encryption, Secretary 
Cohen remarked that the American people will have to decide how 
much privacy they are willing to give up in order to be protected from
terrorist threats.

3.1 What are the Secretary's views on how disputes on encryption
policy could be resolved in light of his calls for closer connection
between military and economic interests and for international 
cooperation for defense policy.

Your office has always been exemplary in responding to requests
for information. Thank you very much.


John Young
JYA/Urban Deadline
251 West 89th Street, Suite 6E
New York, NY 10024

E-mail: jya@pipeline.com
Tel: 212-873-8700
Fax: 212-799-4003


January 7, 1999

Kenneth H. Bacon
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington D.C. 20301-1400

Dear Mr. Bacon,

This follows up two telephone conversations in November with 
members of your staff -- the last with Susan Hansen -- on my 
September request to you for an interview (copy below) on the 
the Department's policy on information security technology.

Ms. Hansen said on November 18 that she had passed along
my inquiry and would attempt to get a response from a 
knowledgeable person. Since then nothing has been heard.

Your attention to this request would be very much appreciated.


John Young
JYA/Urban Deadline
251 West 89th Street, Suite 6E
New York, NY 10024
Tel: 212-873-8700


From: "Hansen, Susan, CIV, OASD/PA" <susan.hansen@osd.pentagon.mil>
To: "'jya@pipeline.com'" <jya@pipeline.com>
Subject: Your interest in Echelon and Encryption Policies
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 09:06:07 -0500

Mr. Young,  Assistant Secretary Bacon has forwarded me your recent e-mail,
following up your interest in the Department's views on various encryption
issues.  I apologize that I have not had any information to forward since
many of these matters are still under review.  I have again asked the staff
of the Office of the Secretary of Defense for some comments in response to
your particular concerns.  I hope we can be more timely in any response.
Sincerely, Susan Hansen Defense Public Affairs 703-693-6858


Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 10:20:33 -0500
To: "Hansen, Susan, CIV, OASD/PA" <susan.hansen@osd.pentagon.mil>
From: John Young <jya@pipeline.com>
Subject: Re: Your interest in Echelon and Encryption Policies
Cc: kbacon@pagate.pa.osd.mil

Dear Ms. Hansen,

Could you let me know about progress on my request for
an interview on Echelon and information security policies? 
This repeats a telphone message left for you today.

You will recall my initial request to Mr. Bacon in September 
1998, your and my telephone talk in November 1998, my second 
request to Mr. Bacon on January 7, 1999 and e-mail from him in 
and you later that month. Appended are my two requests to Mr.

Thank you very much.

John Young
JYA/Urban Deadline
251  West 89th Street, Suite 6E
New York, NY 10024

E-mail: jya@pipeline.com
Tel: 212-873-8700
Fax: 212-799-4003