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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Jul > Jul 17

Secrecy News -- 07/16/07

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2007 14:00:01 -0400
Archived: Tue, 17 Jul 2007 09:09:39 -0400
Subject: Secrecy News -- 07/16/07


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 72
July 16, 2007

Secrecy News Blog:  http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

Support Secrecy News:
http://www.fas.org/static/contrib_sec.jsp


**	FEWER NEW SECRETS, BUT MORE CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS IN 2006
**	VARIOUS RESOURCES


FEWER NEW SECRETS, BUT MORE CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS IN 2006

For the second year in a row, the number of new national
security secrets created by government officials declined,
according to a new report to the President from the Information
Security Oversight Office (ISOO).

At the same time, however, the number of new classified records
incorporating previously classified information increased
sharply, ISOO found.

While "original classifications" declined by 10%, "derivative
classifications" increased by 45%.  As a result, total
classification activity grew from 14.2 million classification
actions in 2005 to 20.5 million classification actions in 2006.

Meanwhile, the financial costs of protecting classified
information in government and industry grew to a new record high
of $9.5 billion in 2006.

Significantly, ISOO reviewers reported a "high error rate" in
the documents that they examined for compliance with
classification procedures.

The finding underscores the need for additional oversight.

"ISOO found a high percentage of documents with an unknown basis
for classification, as these documents failed to indicate the
authority or basis for classification, thereby calling into
question the propriety of their classification."

More positively, ISOO found that declassification activity
increased to meet the December 31, 2006 deadline for automatic
declassification of most 25 year old classified documents.

"While a detailed analysis of the final results is still
underway, it appears that all Executive branch agencies have
succeeded in meeting their obligations toward automatic
declassification," ISOO director J. William Leonard wrote to
President Bush in his transmittal letter.

More than 1.33 billion pages of classified historical records
have been declassified since 1995 (including 37 million pages in
2006, a one year increase of 27 percent).  Of these, only around
460 million pages are publicly available at the National
Archives.  Another 400 million pages await processing at the
Archives prior to public release, while the remainder are still
in agency custody.

"A task that at times appeared to be unattainable has been
brought to a satisfactory culmination," Mr. Leonard wrote.

But the task is not over, he noted, since each year millions
more additional records become 25 years old and subject to
automatic declassification.

A copy of the 2006 Information Security Oversight Office Report
to the President is here:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/isoo/2006rpt.pdf

Once again, the Office of the Vice President declined to
cooperate with ISOO last year and to provide data on its
classification and declassification activity.  It last reported
to ISOO in 2002.


VARIOUS RESOURCES

An exceptionally interesting July 12 House Intelligence
Subcommittee hearing on national security classification policy,
featuring William Leonard of the Information Security Oversight
Office, Meredith Fuchs of the National Security Archive, and
myself, was recorded by C-SPAN and may be viewed online, at
least temporarily, here:

http://www.c-span.org/rss/video.asp?MediaID=31644

In accordance with new legislative transparency provisions, the
Senate Intelligence Committee identified three funding
"earmarks" in the pending intelligence authorization bill for FY
2008. See these July 9 remarks of Committee Chairman Sen. Jay
Rockefeller:

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2007_cr/sen-earmark.html

The record of a January 2007 hearing on presidential signing
statements that was held by the House Judiciary Committee has
now been published:

http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2007_hr/signing.html

A 1942 U.S. military intelligence document describes "German
tactical doctrine," based on the accounts of four American
officers who were allowed to study at the German General Staff
School from 1935-1939. "From their illuminating reports it is
possible to learn the trend of German methods and teachings up
to Hitler's attack on Poland," according to the 1942 Foreword.
 Originally published in 1989, the document was recently made
available online.

http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/navy/german.pdf



_______________________________________________
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the
Federation of American Scientists.

The Secrecy News Blog is at:
http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

To SUBSCRIBE to Secrecy News, go to:
http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/subscribe.html

OR email your request to saftergood.nul

Secrecy News is archived at:
http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/index.html

SUPPORT Secrecy News with a donation here:
http://www.fas.org/static/contrib_sec.jsp


_______________________
Steven Aftergood
Project on Government Secrecy
Federation of American Scientists
web:www.fas.org/sgp/index.html
email:  saftergood.nul
voice:  (202) 454-4691



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