The Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) would like to thank you, the public, for joining our virtual meeting yesterday, Tuesday May 18, 2021. This was our third virtual public meeting, and the first public meeting of 2021. On NARA’s YouTube Channel nearly 3800 people initially viewed the live-stream event, and over 1000 people pre-registered to hear and see it simultaneously on the WebEx platform. The meeting highlighted remarks by the Archivist of the United States David Ferreiro, 9/11 Commission member Jamie Gorelick, 9/11 Commission Executive Director Philip Zelikow, and the PIDB members about the historical importance of records related to the September 11th terrorist attack, as our nation prepares for the 20th Anniversary later this year. The public also heard from each PIDB member about the critical need to modernize the classification and declassification system.
The PIDB also discussed our recent letter to President Biden highlighting some of the most critical issues they see in the area of classification and declassification. The letter will be posted on the PIDB’s website next week. It focused on 3 key points:
- Our secrecy system is outdated and in danger of failing to support our national security professionals, work to protect our democracy, or provide transparency for the American people.
- Last year, we prepared a report to the President that provided recommendations and a road map for the administration to align policies and practices for modern digital government.
- We requested an opportunity to meet with the President or his senior national security advisors to inform them of the challenge and offer our assistance in Government efforts to modernize the current system.
As indicated during the meeting, all questions received online will receive a response on our blog. We will post all questions and responses here on the Transforming Classification blog.
If you were unable to submit a question or comment before or during the meeting, we invite you to submit questions or comments by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you were unable to attend the virtual meeting, you may view a recording of the meeting at the NARA YouTube Channel. As was the case during the public meeting, all questions and comments will be posted anonymously. The Board looks forward to continuing the public discussion on improving the national security classification and declassification system, both here and in forthcoming public meetings.