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

Presidential Transition Act, and More from CRS

Noteworthy new publications from the Congressional Research Service include the following. Presidential Transition Act: Provisions and Funding, November 13, 2020 Federal Scientific Integrity Policies: A Primer, November 20, 2020 The Digital… Read More

Personal Debt and National Security

Last June the Department of Defense denied an application for security clearance for access to classified information because the applicant had “delinquent debts totaling about $24,000.” In May, a defense contractor was denied a security clearance based on delinquent debts totaling $87,517. In… Read More

Senator’s Challenge to War Powers Secrecy Blocked

Last January the Trump Administration formally notified Congress under the War Powers Act of a US drone strike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani. But unlike all known prior War Powers Act notifications, the report on the Soleimani killing was… Read More

US Army Views North Korean Military Tactics

North Korea’s military “uses tactics based on former Soviet or current Russian doctrine, Chinese developments, lessons learned, and observation of recent military actions,” according to a new US Army manual on the subject. “While North Korea maintains large amounts of military equipment, much of it is outdated making it… Read More

Navy Lab’s Future Is At Risk, Report Warns

Updated below The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) boasts an amazing record of achievement but its future is in jeopardy, according to a newly disclosed report of the Naval Research Advisory Committee that was suppressed by the Navy. NRL is widely… Read More

Hollywood and the Bomb

Among the lesser known consequences of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 75 years ago was that it triggered a race between Hollywood movie studios MGM and Paramount to bring the story of the atomic bomb — or at least some commercialized version of it — to the… Read More

With Care, Research Labs Can Reopen, JASONs Say

University research laboratories that have been shuttered in response to the COVID-19 pandemic can safely reopen if they adopt measures needed to reduce vulnerability to the disease, according to a new report from the JASON science advisory panel. “A ramp up will take months and requires… Read More

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