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Report of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy

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Citation Edit

Report of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy (1997) (also referred to as The Moynihan Commission Report) (full-text).

Overview Edit

This report, by the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy, was intended as a reexamination the long-standing tension between government secrecy and openness. It sought to develop a new way of thinking about government secrecy as the United States move into the next century. The report contained a series of recommendations for legislation:

We therefore propose the following as the framework for a statute that establishes the principles on which classification and declassification should be based:
  • Sec. 2. The President shall, as needed, establish procedures and structures for classification of information. Procedures and structures shall be established and resources allocated for declassification as a parallel program to classification. Details of these programs and any revisions to them shall be published in the Federal Register and subject to notice and comment procedures.
  • Sec. 3. In establishing the standards and categories to apply in determining whether information should be or remain classified, such standards and categories shall include consideration of the benefit from public disclosure of the information and weigh it against the need for initial or continued protection under the classification system. If there is significant doubt whether information requires protection, it shall not be classified.

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