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

DoD Again Presses for New FOIA Exemption

The Department of Defense is once again asking Congress for an exemption from the Freedom of Information Act for certain unclassified military information including records on critical infrastructure and military tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs). The latest proposal was included in the Pentagon’s draft of legislative language for… Read More

Nuclear Secrecy: In Defense of Reform

One of the stranger features of nuclear weapons secrecy is the government’s ability to reach out and classify nuclear weapons-related information that has been privately generated without government involvement. This happened most recently in 2001. The roots of this constitutionally questionable policy are… Read More

Biden Must Be Clear About What Nuclear Weapons Are For

President Joe Biden has assumed command of the U.S. nuclear arsenal at a particularly turbulent time. The Trump administration, consistent with former President Donald Trump’s own fixation on the destructiveness of nuclear weapons, accelerated programs to develop a new generation of warheads and delivery vehicles, sought a new low-yield warhead… Read More

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