Join Us at the “Free Speech Legacies: The Pentagon Papers Revisited” Symposium February 16-17, 2017

Please join PIDB member Sanford Ungar at the "Free Speech Legacies: The Pentagon Papers Revisited" symposium on February 16-17, 2017 at Georgetown University.   The event is free and you can register at tinyurl.com/freespeechlegacies. Mr. Ungar orchestrated the symposium, which will feature a variety of distinguished panelists, including Floyd Abrams, Martin Baron, David Cole, David Sanger, … Continue reading Join Us at the “Free Speech Legacies: The Pentagon Papers Revisited” Symposium February 16-17, 2017

What We Heard and Learned at the Public Meeting

On December 8, 2016, the PIDB held a public meeting to hear and discuss recommendations for improved transparency and open government for the new Presidential Administration. The meeting was an opportunity to also solicit ideas for revising Executive Order 13526, “Classified National Security Information” from our internal and external government stakeholders, including leaders of civil society.  … Continue reading What We Heard and Learned at the Public Meeting

Prioritization of Presidential Library Records: The Argentina Declassification Project Releases Records Online

Yesterday, the White House announced the declassification and release of records related to human rights abuses committed under Argentina’s 1976-1983 dictatorship.  The President committed to prioritizing the declassification of these records in March 2016, including the release for the first time of records from U.S. intelligence, law enforcement, and defense agencies.  You can view the … Continue reading Prioritization of Presidential Library Records: The Argentina Declassification Project Releases Records Online

12/8 Public Meeting Preview: Comments from Civil Society Participants

In anticipation of our public meeting this Thursday, December 8, 2016, we have asked our Civil Society participants to share comments and recommendations in the form of white papers.  You will find white paper submissions from Patrice McDermott at OpenTheGovernment.org, Nate Jones from the National Security Archive, Elizabeth Goitein from The Brennan Center for Justice, … Continue reading 12/8 Public Meeting Preview: Comments from Civil Society Participants

“There’s classified, and then there’s classified:” Tangible Steps to Fix the Classification and Declassification System by Nate Jones, National Security Archive

For the Public Interest Declassification Board: The former head of the Information Security Oversight Office, responsible for oversight of the US classification system, has acknowledged that classification officials joke that “you could easily classify the ham sandwich.”[1]  Barack Obama has summarized the tension between the public’s right to know and the necessity for the government … Continue reading “There’s classified, and then there’s classified:” Tangible Steps to Fix the Classification and Declassification System by Nate Jones, National Security Archive

Clarify and Delimit Scope of Classified “Methods,” by Patrice McDermott, OpentheGovernment.org

A White Paper Submission to the PIDB: Section 102(d)(3) of the National Security Act of 1947 (1) makes the Director of National Intelligence responsible for protecting intelligence sources and methods from unauthorized disclosure. The director has "very broad authority to protect all sources of intelligence information from disclosure."(2) As has been regularly noted, though, almost … Continue reading Clarify and Delimit Scope of Classified “Methods,” by Patrice McDermott, OpentheGovernment.org

Eight Steps to Reduce Overclassification and Rescue Declassification by Elizabeth Goitein, The Brennan Center for Justice

A White Paper Submission to the PIDB: In a political climate where consensus is rare, there is remarkably little dispute about the need for classification reform. Officials from Democratic and Republican administrations agree that far too much information is unnecessarily classified and that the current declassification process is wholly inadequate to handle the oncoming wave … Continue reading Eight Steps to Reduce Overclassification and Rescue Declassification by Elizabeth Goitein, The Brennan Center for Justice

Modernizing the National Security Classification and Declassification Systems Through the Next Administration’s Executive Order, by Steven Aftergood, Federation of American Scientists

A White Paper Submission to the PIDB: Thank you to Chairman Morrison and to the Board for getting this conversation started. Assuming that the next Administration will in fact prepare a new executive order on classification policy, I would like to propose two specific steps for consideration: (1) a new procedure for considering declassification of … Continue reading Modernizing the National Security Classification and Declassification Systems Through the Next Administration’s Executive Order, by Steven Aftergood, Federation of American Scientists

Mark A. Bradley Appointed Director of the Information Security Oversight Office

We are pleased to forward the news that Mark A. Bradley was named as the new Director of ISOO, and therefore is the new Executive Secretary of the PIDB.  His new role will become effective December 25, 2016. Mr. Bradley is currently the Director of FOIA (Freedom of Information Act), Declassification, and Pre-publication Review, National … Continue reading Mark A. Bradley Appointed Director of the Information Security Oversight Office