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

Trends in US Military Deaths, and More from CRS

Of the 17,645 deaths of U.S. military personnel in all countries since 2006, a full 24% of them were “self-inflicted,” according to updated data from the Department of Defense as reported by the Congressional Research Service. “Self-inflicted” here means suicide as well as death due to alcohol or substance abuse. Read More

Crisis of Credibility in Secrecy Policy

Obsolete secrecy procedures and growing political abuse have left the national security classification system in a state of disarray and dysfunction. Most government agencies “still rely on antiquated information security management practices,” according to a new annual report from the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO). “These practices… Read More

Temporary Work Visa Holders in the United States, By the Numbers

The Trump administration is expected to unveil an executive action in the near future that would significantly restrict temporary (“nonimmigrant”) work visa categories.  While there are multiple public data sets available from the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State relevant to these visa categories, they are unfortunately… Read More

PIDB Urges Modernization of Classification System

How can the national security classification and declassification system be fixed? That depends on how one defines the problem that needs fixing. To the authors of a new report from the Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB), the outstanding problem is the difficulty of managing… Read More

Pentagon Seeks Authority to Recall More Retirees to Duty

The Department of Defense is asking Congress to expand its authority to recall retired members of the military to active duty in the event of a war or national emergency. The DoD proposal predates the turmoil that followed the killing of George Floyd by a police… Read More

Air Force Calls for Expansion of Nevada Test Range

The US Air Force wants to renew and expand the withdrawal of public land for the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR), where it conducts flight testing, classified research and development projects, and weapons tests. A Defense Department proposal to Congress would increase the amount of… Read More

Protecting Privacy in the 2020 Census

In 2018 the Census Bureau discovered that results of the 2010 census could be processed and matched with external sources in such a way as to reveal confidential personal information, in violation of the law. “This had not been thought to be feasible owing to the large amount of… Read More