President Obama Issues Order Regarding Classification Practices

President Obama has issued a new executive order regarding Classified National Security Information. President Obama's classified information order establishes a National Declassification Center to streamline the declassification process and sets timetables for declassification. The order states that "No information may remain classified indefinitely." The order also reverses an order by President George W. Bush that had allowed the intelligence community to block the release of a specific document, even if an interagency panel decided the information wouldn't harm national security. The new order prohibits agencies from classifying documents after the fact and also prohibits the withholding of documents that were created by one agency but are being held by another, which should assist EPIC's pending Freedom of Information Act request to the National Security Agency regarding NSPD 54, a classified Directive that describes a NSA program to monitor American computer networks. EPIC's request was previously denied by the NSA because NSPD 54 “did not originate with” the NSA. For more information see EPIC: Open Government.


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