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What We Heard and Learned during Sunshine Week

The members and staff of the Public Interest Declassification Board attended and participated in many events last week to commemorate Sunshine Week.  We would like to thank the representatives from agencies, civil society and open government advocacy groups, the Congress, the public and all the attendees who participated in these panels and events.  The Board […]

Public Interest Declassification Board Commemorates James Madison’s Birthday and Sunshine Week

Sunshine Week is an annual initiative, which coincides with national Freedom of Information Day and James Madison’s birthday (March 16), designed to raise awareness of the importance of citizen access to Government records. As we commemorate Sunshine Week, we reaffirm the principle of an Open Government.  The Public Interest Declassification Board believes that our democratic […]

PIDB Chair to Discuss Transforming the Security Classification System at Secrecy Event Hosted by the Brennan Center for Justice

Please join the chair of the PIDB, Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, for a discussion about Secrecy and Security: The Future of Classification Reform.  Ambassador Soderberg will discuss the PIDB report and the Board’s future work at a forum hosted by the Brennan Center for Justice on Thursday, March 14, 2013 from 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. […]

Thank you!

  Photographs courtesy of the National Archives   On behalf of the Board, I want to thank all those who came to our public meeting yesterday at the National Archives.  We delivered our Report to the President on Transforming the Security Classification System last week and released it on our website yesterday.  I also wish […]

NEW ANNOUNCEMENT: The Public Interest Declassification Board Publicly Releases its Report to the President on Transforming the Security Classification System

    Photo courtesy of the National Archives   Today, the Public Interest Declassification Board released online its recommendations to the President on Transforming the Security Classification System.  It recommends fundamental changes that ensure the classification system will function fully to protect our nation’s security and to allow for democratic discourse in the 21st century.  […]

Recommendation 14: Using Technology to Modernize Classification and Declassification

Photographs courtesy of the National Archives   The classification system was created seventy years ago in an era of paper and later copier paper.  Secret information was meant to be shared sparingly and disseminated to only those few Federal Government officials with a “need to know.”  With the end of the Cold War, the classification […]

Recommendation 7: Implementing a Process for the Systematic Declassification Review of Formerly Restricted Data (FRD) Information

  Documents courtesy of the National Archives  and the photograph is courtesy of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.   It is time to allow certain types of historical nuclear information to be reviewed for declassification and public access.  In the aftermath of World War II, the Government recognized the need to keep nuclear weapons information […]

Recommendation 8: Strengthening the Authorities of the National Declassification Center (NDC)

  Photo courtesy of the National Reconnaissance Office   Executive Order 13526, “Classified National Security Information” and its two predecessors established specific, time-based declassification requirements for all national security agencies.   Despite these identical mandates, a Government-wide approach to declassification remains elusive.  Separate agency declassification programs evolved into a segmented declassification system where each agency reviewed […]

Recommendations 2 and 3: A Two-tiered Classification System and the Use of Identifiable Levels of Protection to Define Classification Level

“It is time to reexamine the long-standing tension between secrecy and openness, and develop a new way of thinking about government secrecy as we move into the next century.” -Report of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy, 1997, Senate Document 105-2, Public Law 236.   Document Courtesy of the National Security Agency   […]

NEW ANNOUNCEMENT: The Public Interest Declassification Board Announces its December 6, 2012 Meeting

The Public Interest Declassification Board will host an open meeting on Thursday, December 6, 2012 to discuss its recommendations to the President on Transforming the Security Classification System.  The full Report to the President will be published online on December 6th at http://www.archives.gov/declassification/pidb.  The meeting will focus on the Board’s fourteen recommendations for transformation.  The […]

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