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Executive Order on “Controlled Unclassified Information”


By jimstaro - Posted on 05 November 2010

New Obama Order Standardizes and Limits Pseudo-Secrets, Follows Recommendations from Open Government Advocates and the 2006 Archive FOI Audit

Instead of New Tier of Secrecy in Previous Bush Order,
Obama Policy Restricts "Controlled Unclassified Information"

Markings Must Be Based on Statute, Regulation or Government-wide Policy,
With Public Input on Implementation

Washington D.C., November 4, 2010 – President Obama’s new Executive Order on “Controlled Unclassified Information” {four page pdf} issued today builds on recommendations from open government groups and the findings of the National Security Archive’s 2006 audit of “Pseudo-Secrets” that uncovered 28 different and uncoordinated policies on marking and restricting official unclassified information.

“Over the years, government officials came up with more than 100 creative acronyms like LOU or UCNI or SHSI or SBU to stamp as secret those records that did not qualify for the normal national security classification system,” remarked Tom Blanton, director of the Archive. “The new Order will bring some much-needed standards and restrictions to this out-of-control bureaucratic process – and help fulfill President Obama’s pledges for a more open government.”

Patrice McDermott, director of the OpenTheGovernment.org coalition, commented that “The [previous] Bush policy and earlier drafts could have created a fourth level of classification. Instead, this Order is a victory for openness, for both our community and the Administration. We applaud the Administration for the time, effort, and thoughtful consideration of input from inside and outside government it took to make this the outcome.” {read rest}

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