Government Secrecy

The FAS Project on Government Secrecy works to reduce the scope of official secrecy and to promote public access to national security information by seeking reform of national security classification and declassification policies.

The Project also publishes previously undisclosed or hard-to-find government documents of public policy interest, as well as resources on intelligence policy. The Project is directed by Steven Aftergood.

Government Secrecy Links

Government Secrecy

A Self-Correcting Classification System?

Those persons who have authorized access to classified information that they believe is improperly classified are “encouraged and expected” to challenge the classification of that information (Executive Order 13526, section 1.8). Sometimes they do. And every once in a while, their challenges lead to declassification… Read More

A Resurgence of Democracy in 2040?

The world will be “increasingly out of balance and contested at every level” over the next twenty years due to the pressures of demographic, environmental, economic and technological change, a new forecast from the National Intelligence Council called Global Trends 2040 said last week. But among… Read More

Army Program Seeks to Heighten Soldiers’ Cognition

A properly trained soldier can distinguish a vegetarian from a meat-eater based on their smell, a new Army publication says, since “different diets produce different human odors.” He or she can to determine the age, gender and even the mental state of a target by studying their… Read More

A New Policy on Setting Intelligence Priorities

Shortly before the end of the Trump Administration in January 2021, then-Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe issued a directive that altered the process for preparing the National Intelligence Priorities Framework, or NIPF, stripping out limitations on signals intelligence collection from the previous policy. The NIPF is perhaps… Read More

FAS Presses for Release of Nuclear Stockpile Data

For the past three years, the Trump Administration refused to provide an annual tally of the number of nuclear weapons in the U.S. nuclear stockpile or the number of weapons that had been dismantled each year, though that had been the practice under the Obama Administration… Read More

Aging Electronics May Limit Nuke Reliability

The use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) electronic parts in nuclear weapons systems may reduce the reliability of the US nuclear arsenal over time as the electronics age in ways that are hard to predict, according to a newly disclosed report from the JASON science advisory panel. “Most… Read More

Science in the Public Interest: Devising a New Strategy

What actions should the federal government take “to ensure that our nation can continue to harness the full power of science and technology on behalf of the American people”? President Biden posed that question and five more specific ones to his Science Advisor Dr. Eric S. Lander. Read More