Secrecy Report Card 2006

09.05.06 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

By most available measures, official secrecy continued to expand last year, according to a new “Secrecy Report Card” issued by the coalition OpenTheGovernment.org.

“Every administration wants to control information about its policies and practices,” observed coalition director Patrice McDermott, “but the current administration has restricted access to information about our government and its policies at unprecedented levels.”

See “Secrecy Report Card 2006: Indicators of Secrecy in the Federal Government” (pdf), a report by OpenTheGovernment.org, September 2006.

Perhaps as significant as any of the report’s findings is the existence of the OpenTheGovernment.org coalition itself.

“Notwithstanding you,” former Information Security Oversight Office director Steven Garfinkel told me in a 1993 interview, “very few people give a tinker’s damn about the security classification system.”

That is manifestly not the case today. In addition to OpenTheGovernment.org, which is a broad coalition of politically diverse organizations including FAS and other veteran advocates of greater transparency, there are several other new efforts to confront official secrecy, including the Coalition of Journalists for Open Government, the Sunshine in Government Initiative, and Sunshine Week.