Government Secrecy

The Project on Government Secrecy works to reduce the scope of government secrecy and promote public access to certain types of government information by seeking reform of national security classification and declassification policies. The Project seeks  to foster government accountability and contribute to ensuring an informed electorate. 

The Project aims not only to challenge improper classification of government information but also to publish informative and policy-relevant records that the press and the public can use. The Project publishes previously undisclosed or hard-to-find government documents of public policy interest, as well as resources on intelligence policy through the Secrecy News Blog, as well as multiple portals which can be found below. 

The Project is directed by Steven Aftergood, who works with a diverse collection of like-minded groups and individuals to help advance government accountability.

Government Secrecy Links

Government Secrecy

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

Quest for Truth: JASON on Detecting Deception (2008)

Is it possible to reliably detect persons with malicious intent by remotely measuring their physiological state or studying their involuntary verbal or behavioral signs? That is a problem that is far from having a technological solution, the JASON science advisory panel told the Department of Defense in a 2008 report that… Read More

National Security and LGBTQI+ Rights

On February 4, President Biden issued a memorandum to agency heads on “advancing the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex persons around the world.” He directed that “it shall be the policy of the United States to pursue an end to violence and discrimination on… Read More

Keeping an Eye on “National Emergencies”

Last month, in the final days of his Administration, President Trump moved to renew the “national emergency” along the US-Mexico border that he had declared in 2019. “The ongoing border security and humanitarian crisis at the southern border of the United States continues to threaten our national security, including by… Read More

Domestic Use of DoD Drones

The Department of Defense is authorized to use unmanned aircraft systems within U.S. airspace for more than a dozen different types of operations, from search and rescue to counterintelligence. These domestic missions, and the official guidance or legal authority behind each of them, were tabulated in a newly updated manual… Read More

Transforming Security Clearance Policy

The traditional system for granting or denying security clearances for access to classified information is undergoing a significant overhaul as it transitions into what is called Trusted Workforce 2.0. Among other changes, Trusted Workforce 2.0 will ultimately phase out the painstaking periodic reinvestigations of cleared personnel in favor of… Read More

Biden Aims for “Highest Standards of Transparency”

“In a democracy, the public deserves as much transparency as possible regarding the work of our national security institutions, consistent with legitimate needs to protect sources and methods and sensitive foreign relationships,” according to a memorandum issued by President Biden on February 4. “The revitalization of… Read More