On behalf of the other PIDB members, I want to thank you, the public, for participating in our virtual public meeting on Friday, June 5, 2020 via teleconference. Members would have preferred to host an in-person meeting that was more amenable for a conversation. However, we felt this was the best way to allow public participation while keeping us all safe. We had over 100 people register and dial in. An important part of our mission is outreach to all who have interest in improving the national security classification and declassification system.
Our report to President, A Vision for the Digital Age: Modernization of the U.S. National Security Classification and Declassification System, is meant to serve as a blueprint on how to modernize the system. This virtual meeting was an opportunity for us to highlight the report’s recommendations to the President and to offer the public the opportunity to comment or ask questions. I want to thank Steve Aftergood, the Director of the Project on Government Secrecy for the Federation of American Scientists and author of the blog, Secrecy News, for providing commentary on our report and recommendations.
We hope to continue this discussion online on our blog. Time ran out in the virtual meeting and there were still seven questions and comments in the queue. We will post all the questions and comments on this blog, beginning next week. To the degree we are able, we will also post responses.
If you were unable to submit a question or comment, or were unable to attend the virtual meeting, we invite you to continue submitting them by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. As was the case during the public meeting, all questions and comments will be posted anonymously.
Finally, I want to thank Judge James Baker and Trevor Morrison, the outgoing Board members who both served the Board as Chairperson, for their extraordinary service to the Board. Two former members, Adm. William Studeman and Laura DeBonis were also instrumental in drafting this report and co-led a technology working group that informed our recommendations. All four remain committed to transforming the classification and declassification system. They recognize its importance in aiding our national security and our democratic principles. We will continue to be inspired by their thoughtful insights, dedication to government service, and their collegiality.