House Passes “Reducing Overclassification Act”

02.04.09 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The House of Representatives yesterday passed the Reducing Overclassification Act, a bill that would require the Department of Homeland Security to prepare unclassified versions of intelligence reports that are likely to be of use to first responders and other non-federal officials.  The legislation, introduced by Rep. Jane Harman, would also mandate improved oversight and training in order to combat overclassification at DHS.

“Though hard to believe, sheriffs and police chiefs cannot readily access the information they need to prevent or disrupt a potential terrorist [incident] because those at the Federal level resist sharing information,” Rep. Harman said. “Over-classification and pseudo-classification, which is stamping with any number of sensitive-but-unclassified markings, remain rampant.”