Making Sunshine: The Work of the Public Interest Declassification Board

The PIDB continues its role advising the President, Executive Branch officials, and Congress on ways to bring sunshine to the security classification system in the interest of our national security.  During Sunshine Week, we want to share our plans for a new report and series of recommendations we believe will transform the security classification system from its antiquated, overburdened state to a modernized system capable of functioning in the digital age.

The PIDB, forming a Declassification Technology Working Group in 2015, began conversations with government technology and information officers and experts to hear of concerns and needs in the classification and declassification frontlines. Through these exchanges and findings, we reiterate our long-held recommendation that modernization of the classification system is a critical imperative.  Earnest and real attempts must be made to ensure a transparent and credible security classification system by reducing over-classification and improving declassification to sustain our democratic values and citizenry from an antiquated, overburdened system.

We know the new era must be met with a bold vision, a vision that clearly and systematically surveys the future of classification and declassification for the twenty-first century. In the next few weeks we will engage with our public and government stakeholders to share a draft report titled:  A Vision for the Digital Age: Modernization of the U.S. National Security Classification and Declassification System.  We will seek comments and feedback on the draft Report from our stakeholders before finalizing the recommendations and presenting to the President.

The vision we provide is for a uniform, integrated and modernized security classification system sustainable in the digital environment that appropriately protects national security interests and instills confidence in the American people. The declassification business model for the future centers on (1) organizing for success via a more unified and federated enterprise-level system-of-systems approach to records declassification and (2) the acquisition and adoption of technologies and processes that leverage information age IT and telecommunications innovation and systems development.

Our draft Report will be open to thoughtful appraisal from our stakeholders. Please remain engaged with the PIDB blog to hear more about the PIDB’s newest recommendations and to participate in the finalization of our next Report to the President.

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