Secrecy News

CIA on Prepublication Review

“The CIA requires all current and former Agency employees and contractors, and others who are obligated by CIA secrecy agreement, to submit for prepublication review to the CIA’s Publications Review Board (PRB) all intelligence-related materials intended for publication or public dissemination,” according to a 2007 regulation (pdf) on the subject.

The scope of the requirement, according to CIA, is expansive. It “includes, but is not limited to, works of fiction; books; newspaper columns; academic journal articles; magazine articles;… letters to the editor;… scripts; screenplays; internet blogs, emails, or other writings;” and so forth.

A redacted version of the latest version of the CIA regulation was released in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the James Madison Project, a non-profit advocacy organization. The Project’s director, attorney Mark S. Zaid, frequently litigates pre-publication review disputes against the CIA.

The text of the regulation, “Agency Prepublication Review of Certain Material Prepared for Public Dissemination,” 30 May 2007, is here.

Related background on CIA prepublication review policy, including a (redacted) handbook for agency reviewers (pdf), can be found on this page.

0 thoughts on “CIA on Prepublication Review

  1. My first reaction was like: well doesn’t this come as a pleasant surprise, that a government agency so crippled by the past and hubris, not to mention the always fatal problem of the inability to appreciate the need to look at itself with at least some self-deprecating humor, would provide such an open warning as to the sorts of restrictions budding autobiographers should be aware of.

    But then they went and redacted anything truly important, so – maybe I was wrong on the humor issue.

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