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FYI - Public Input Sought on Classification Reform


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PUBLIC INPUT SOUGHT ON CLASSIFICATION REFORM

At the request of the National Security Advisor, a public meeting has been scheduled for July 8 to solicit public comments and recommendations concerning proposed revisions to executive branch classification and declassification policies. The meeting was announced in a June 23 Federal Register notice.

The Public Interest Declassification Board, which is hosting the July 8 meeting, will also launch a new blog next week to solicit public recommendations online. The blog will sequentially consider four areas: declassification policy, creation of a National Declassification Center, classification policy, and technology challenges and opportunities. Discussion of each topic will continue for three days, before moving to the next topic.

Meanwhile, an experimental and somewhat erratic White House process for gathering public input on transparency and openness has entered its third phase, intended to draft "constructive proposals" for advancing open government.

From the Fed Reg.

[Federal Register: June 23, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 119)]

[Notices]

[Page 29729-29730]

=======================================================================

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION

Information Security Oversight Office

Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB); Meeting

AGENCY: National Archives and Records Administration.

ACTION: Notice of meeting.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Pursuant to Section 1102 of the Intelligence Reform and

Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, which extended and modified the

Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) as established by the

Public Interest

[[Page 29730]]

Declassification Act of 2000 (Pub. L. 106-567, title VII, December 27,

2000, 114 Stat. 2856), announcement is made for the following committee

meeting:

DATES: July 8, 2009.

Time: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

ADDRESSES: National Archives and Records Administration, 700

Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Room 105, Washington, DC 20408.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Julie A. Agurkis, PIDB Staff,

Information Security Oversight Office, National Archives Building, 700

Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20408, telephone number (202)

357-5308.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: To solicit public input concerning

recommendations and proposed revisions to the classification and

declassification policies found in Executive Order 12958, as amended,

``Classified National Security Information'' (the Order). This action

is being taken at the request of the National Security Advisor and in

support of the ongoing review of the Order directed by the President on

May 27, 2009.

This meeting will be open to the public. To ensure that the Board

may hear from all interested parties, individuals interested in

addressing the Board may be limited to 10 minutes. Due to space

limitations and access procedures, the name and telephone number of

individuals planning to attend must be submitted to the Information

Security Oversight Office (ISOO) via e-mail, PIDB@nara.gov, no later

than July 2, 2009. ISOO will provide additional instructions for

gaining access to the location of the meeting.

Dated: June 11, 2009.

Mary Ann Hadyka,

Committee Management Officer.

[FR Doc. E9-14691 Filed 6-22-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7515-01-P

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A PRIMARY issue that (IMO) needs to be addressed is oversight of the declassification by the declassifiers. ( Perhaps an independent public authority like an Ombudsman*? )

There are various loopholes that keep documents in stasis, for example when a case is considered ''open'' documents can be said to be in use and therefore exempt from FOI and even said to not exist. In many cases, such as the assassination of JFK which by Texan Law is classified as ''open'', being a murder case, this type of thing needs to be dealt with as well.

Authority is supposed to reside in the people in a democracy. This authority is co-opted by the governement for the government, of the government, by the government. This silences the already disempowered. This is not a democracy.

* http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ombudsman

"Etymology: Swedish, literally, representative, from Old Norse umbothsmathr, from umboth commission + mathr man

Date: 1959

1 : a government official (as in Sweden or New Zealand) appointed to receive and investigate complaints made by individuals against abuses or capricious acts of public officials

2 : one that investigates reported complaints (as from students or consumers), reports findings, and helps to achieve equitable settlements"

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  • 2 weeks later...

http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2009/06...ion-reform.html

POST HEARING UPDATE:

PIDB Public Hearing of July 8, 2009

Transparency and Open Government Initiative

http://www.whitehouse.gov/open/

Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB)

About the Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB)

Overview: The Public Interest Declassification Board is an advisory committee established by Congress in order to promote the fullest possible public access to a thorough, accurate, and reliable documentary record of significant U.S. national security decisions and activities. The President appointed Martin Faga (Chair), Herbert O. Briick, Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker, Ronald Radosh, and Jennifer Sims. The Minority Leader of the House appointed David Skaggs and the Majority Leader of the Senate appointed Sanford Ungar, and the Speaker of the House appointed William Studeman. Appointment is pending from the Minority Leader of the Senate.

The Director of the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), William J. Bosanko serves as the PIDB Executive Secretary and the ISOO staff provides staff support on a reimbursable basis.

Background :

Section 1102 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 extended and modified the Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) as established by the Public Interest Declassification Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-567, title VII, Dec. 27, 2000, 114 Stat. 2856).

Functions:

Advises the President and other executive branch officials on the systematic, thorough, coordinated, and comprehensive identification, collection, review for declassification, and release of declassified records and materials that are of archival value, including records and materials of extraordinary public interest.

Promotes the fullest possible public access to a thorough, accurate, and reliable documentary record of significant U.S. national security decisions and significant U.S. national security activities in order to: support the oversight and legislative functions of Congress; support the policymaking role of the executive branch; respond to the interest of the public in national security matters; and promote reliable historical analysis and new avenues of historical study in national security matters.

Provides recommendations to the President for the identification, collection, and review for declassification of information of extraordinary public interest that does not undermine the national security of the U.S.Advises the President and other executive branch officials on policies deriving from the issuance by the President of Executive orders regarding the classification and declassification of national security information. Reviews and makes recommendations to the President with respect to any congressional request, made by the committee of jurisdiction, to declassify certain records or to reconsider a declination to declassify specific records.

In addition to this meeting, the PIDB will be soliciting your recommendations via the Declassification Policy Forum, at www.whitehouse.gov/open.

There will be four topics of discussion:

1)Declassification Policy,

2)Creation of a National Declassification Center,

3)Classification Policy,

4)Technology Challenges and Opportunities.

Public Input:

http://www.archives.gov/isoo/policy-docume...-amendment.html

Ex. Order 12958:

http://www.archives.gov/isoo/policy-docume...-amendment.html

Blog:

http://blog.ostp.gov/

Your Recommendations for Classification Policy

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009 at 4:30 pm by Public Interest Declassification Forum

Today, the Public Interest Declassification Board held a public meeting to hear your recommendations for revisions of Executive Order 12958, as amended. This was a very productive meeting framed by the conversations occurring here on this Forum. We thank those of you who participated today at the meeting, and encourage you to continue your participation on the blog. We will accept your comments on all four topics until July 19, 2009.

The public meeting today concentrated particularly on issues of classification, including ways to address over classification. On the Declassification Policy Forum we have seen over 20 thoughtful comments on classification policy. Here are the few of your recommendations:

There should be an independent review of agency classification guides currently in use with the goal of reducing classification controls. These reviews should be made independent of original classifiers and eliminate obsolete classification categories.

Once documents are declassified, they should not be eligible for reclassification except under extreme circumstances.

There should be an initiative that would reward agency members for limiting the number of classifications made.

If the source document is declassified, any dependent information should likewise be declassified.

Because local law enforcement are able to provide for the public safety when they have access to information about potential threats, classification should be limited to allow for the sharing of information.

The process of challenging the classification assigned to a document should be encouraged and streamlined.

Executive agencies should be held more accountable for administering classification systems. At present there is no oversight authority that can meaningfully compel agencies to abide by classification standards.

Agency heads should have the latitude to authorize experimental projects and initiatives that could make security policy more efficient or more transparent.

Classification levels pertaining to the seriousness of the threat to national security should be made more precise.

Under the guidance of the Information Security Oversight Office, agency inspector generals should receive the authority to audit classification and declassification decisions, and the results of these audits should be made public.

Whenever possible, classifiers should use the lowest appropriate classification level and duration.

Confusion over the distinction between intelligence sources, methods, and activities invariably leads to the over classification of information. The scope of these terms should be more clearly defined.

Public Interest Declassification Board Support Staff

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http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2009/06...ion-reform.html

POST HEARING UPDATE:

PIDB Public Hearing of July 8, 2009

Transparency and Open Government Initiative

http://www.whitehouse.gov/open/

Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB)

About the Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB)

Overview: The Public Interest Declassification Board is an advisory committee established by Congress in order to promote the fullest possible public access to a thorough, accurate, and reliable documentary record of significant U.S. national security decisions and activities. The President appointed Martin Faga (Chair), Herbert O. Briick, Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker, Ronald Radosh, and Jennifer Sims. The Minority Leader of the House appointed David Skaggs and the Majority Leader of the Senate appointed Sanford Ungar, and the Speaker of the House appointed William Studeman. Appointment is pending from the Minority Leader of the Senate.

The Director of the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), William J. Bosanko serves as the PIDB Executive Secretary and the ISOO staff provides staff support on a reimbursable basis.

Background :

Section 1102 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 extended and modified the Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) as established by the Public Interest Declassification Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-567, title VII, Dec. 27, 2000, 114 Stat. 2856).

Functions:

Advises the President and other executive branch officials on the systematic, thorough, coordinated, and comprehensive identification, collection, review for declassification, and release of declassified records and materials that are of archival value, including records and materials of extraordinary public interest.

Promotes the fullest possible public access to a thorough, accurate, and reliable documentary record of significant U.S. national security decisions and significant U.S. national security activities in order to: support the oversight and legislative functions of Congress; support the policymaking role of the executive branch; respond to the interest of the public in national security matters; and promote reliable historical analysis and new avenues of historical study in national security matters.

Provides recommendations to the President for the identification, collection, and review for declassification of information of extraordinary public interest that does not undermine the national security of the U.S.Advises the President and other executive branch officials on policies deriving from the issuance by the President of Executive orders regarding the classification and declassification of national security information. Reviews and makes recommendations to the President with respect to any congressional request, made by the committee of jurisdiction, to declassify certain records or to reconsider a declination to declassify specific records.

In addition to this meeting, the PIDB will be soliciting your recommendations via the Declassification Policy Forum, at www.whitehouse.gov/open.

There will be four topics of discussion:

1)Declassification Policy,

2)Creation of a National Declassification Center,

3)Classification Policy,

4)Technology Challenges and Opportunities.

Public Input:

http://www.archives.gov/isoo/policy-docume...-amendment.html

Ex. Order 12958:

http://www.archives.gov/isoo/policy-docume...-amendment.html

Blog:

http://blog.ostp.gov/

Your Recommendations for Classification Policy

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009 at 4:30 pm by Public Interest Declassification Forum

Today, the Public Interest Declassification Board held a public meeting to hear your recommendations for revisions of Executive Order 12958, as amended. This was a very productive meeting framed by the conversations occurring here on this Forum. We thank those of you who participated today at the meeting, and encourage you to continue your participation on the blog. We will accept your comments on all four topics until July 19, 2009.

The public meeting today concentrated particularly on issues of classification, including ways to address over classification. On the Declassification Policy Forum we have seen over 20 thoughtful comments on classification policy. Here are the few of your recommendations:

There should be an independent review of agency classification guides currently in use with the goal of reducing classification controls. These reviews should be made independent of original classifiers and eliminate obsolete classification categories.

Once documents are declassified, they should not be eligible for reclassification except under extreme circumstances.

There should be an initiative that would reward agency members for limiting the number of classifications made.

If the source document is declassified, any dependent information should likewise be declassified.

Because local law enforcement are able to provide for the public safety when they have access to information about potential threats, classification should be limited to allow for the sharing of information.

The process of challenging the classification assigned to a document should be encouraged and streamlined.

Executive agencies should be held more accountable for administering classification systems. At present there is no oversight authority that can meaningfully compel agencies to abide by classification standards.

Agency heads should have the latitude to authorize experimental projects and initiatives that could make security policy more efficient or more transparent.

Classification levels pertaining to the seriousness of the threat to national security should be made more precise.

Under the guidance of the Information Security Oversight Office, agency inspector generals should receive the authority to audit classification and declassification decisions, and the results of these audits should be made public.

Whenever possible, classifiers should use the lowest appropriate classification level and duration.

Confusion over the distinction between intelligence sources, methods, and activities invariably leads to the over classification of information. The scope of these terms should be more clearly defined.

Public Interest Declassification Board Support Staff

NOTE THAT ONLY DAVID SCAGGS AND SANFORD UNGER HAVE NO BACKGROUND IN INTELLIGENCE. UNGER MAY HAVE BEEN THE PROFESSOR WHO PUT ON THE POLITICS IN CINEMA SYMPOSIUM AT AU IN 1993 - BK

Members Biographies

Martin Faga

Martin Faga was appointed to the PIDB for a 4-year term by the President in October 2004. In January 2009, Mr. Faga was reappointed for a 3-year term. In 2005, he was appointed to the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. He was president and chief executive officer of the MITRE Corporation from 2000 to 2006 and is currently a member of its board of trustees. Before joining MITRE, Mr. Faga served from 1989 until 1993 as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space with primary emphasis on policy, strategy, and planning. At the same time, he served as Director of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Mr. Faga’s career included service as a staff member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where he headed the program and budget staff; as an engineer at the Central Intelligence Agency; and as a research and development officer in the Air Force. Mr. Faga received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Lehigh University in 1963 and 1964.

Herbert O. Briick

Herbert Briick was appointed to the PIDB for a 3-year term by the President in October 2008. He is currently a senior analyst at CENTRA Technology, Inc. Mr. Briick retired from the Central Intelligence Agency in January 2008, following a 33-year career which included service in every directorate of the Agency. For the last five years of his career he was responsible for the management of the CIA declassification program. In that capacity he took part in a wide variety of declassification issues involving the National Security Council, the National Archives and Records Administration, the Presidential Libraries, the Office of the Historian in the Department of State, other members of the Intelligence Community, the Congress, and non-governmental organizations. He promoted a number of successful initiatives to release previously classified National Intelligence Estimates and other CIA records of historic significance. Mr. Briick was awarded the Career Intelligence Medal in recognition of his service to the CIA. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1973 with a B.A. in History. In 1975 he received his Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy in the field of International Security Studies from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker

Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker was appointed to the PIDB for a 3-year term by the President in October 2004 and reappointed for 3 years on October 23, 2008. She joined Pacific McGeorge University as its eighth dean in 2002 from her position as general counsel for the University of Wisconsin system. Previously, she served as general counsel for the CIA; Principal Deputy Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State; general counsel, National Security Agency; and as Acting Assistant Director (Mergers and Acquisitions) at the Federal Trade Commission. In addition to her experience managing government legal offices, Ms. Parker also served as the director of the New Haven Legal Assistance Association, Inc. Early in her career, she gained significant personal experience with a wide variety of complex Federal litigation, raising discrimination and civil liberties issues at all levels of the Federal court system, including two successful arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court and numerous arguments before various Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal. She received her law degree from the University of Michigan in 1968. She is a 1965 cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan.

Ronald Radosh

Ronald Radosh was appointed to the PIDB for a 3-year term by the President in April 2007. He is an adjunct senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC. Mr. Radosh is the author, coauthor, or editor of 14 books, including Commies: A Journey Through the Old Left, the New Left, and the Leftover Left (Encounter Books, 2001); Spain Betrayed: The Soviet Union in the Spanish Civil War (with Mary Habeck) (Yale University Press, 2001); The Rosenberg File (with Joyce Milton) (Yale University Press, 1997); Divided They Fell: The Demise of the Democratic Party, 1964–1996 (The Free Press, 1996.); and The Amerasia Spy Case: Prelude to McCarthyism (with Harvey Klehr) (University of North Carolina Press, 1996). His articles have appeared in such publications as Partisan Review, The New Republic, The New Criterion, The New York Times, Times Literary Supplement, The Journal of American History, The Wall Street Journal, and The Weekly Standard. Mr. Radosh has served as a senior research associate for the Center for Communitarian Studies at George Washington University; professor of history in the Graduate Faculty, City University of New York; research director for the United States Information Agency; and associate director of the Office of the President, American Federation of Teachers.

Jennifer Sims

Jennifer Sims was appointed by the President to the PIDB for a 3-year term in December 2008. Dr. Sims is Visiting Professor in the Security Studies Program and Director of Intelligence Studies at Georgetown University. Prior to this, she taught as a professorial lecturer at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Dr. Sims served as Senior Intelligence Advisor to the Under Secretary for Management at the Department of State from December 1998 to May 2001 and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intelligence Policy and Coordination in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research from 1994 to 1998. From November 1990 to April 1994, she served as a professional staff member on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence of the US Congress and as foreign affairs and defense advisor to Senator John C. Danforth. In 1998, Dr. Sims received the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal for her work on developing intelligence support for diplomatic operations. She has written extensively on nuclear arms control and intelligence, including Icarus Restrained: An Intellectual History of American Arms Control, 1945 - 1960 (New York: Westview Press) 1991 and, most recently, co-edited volumes with Burton Gerber: Transforming US Intelligence (Washington DC: Georgetown University Press) 2005 and Vaults Mirrors and Masks: Problems in US Counterintelligence Policy (Georgetown University Press) 2008. Dr. Sims received her BA from Oberlin College and her MA (1978) and PhD (1985) from Johns Hopkins University SAIS.

David E. Skaggs

David Skaggs was appointed to the PIDB for a 2-year term by the Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives in January 2005, and reappointed for a 3-years term in July 2007. He is the executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. This position follows 8 years as executive director of the Center for Democracy and Citizenship at the Council for Excellence in Government, counsel to a Washington, DC–based law firm, and 3 years as an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado. He served 12 years in Congress (1987–1999) as the Representative from the 2nd Congressional District in Colorado, including 8 years on the House Appropriations Committee and 6 years on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where he devoted particular attention to classification and information security issues. Mr. Skaggs was a Colorado State Representative (1981–1987), including two terms as Minority Leader, and was chief of staff for Congressman Timothy E. Wirth of Colorado from 1974 to 1977. Before serving in elected office, Mr. Skaggs practiced law in Boulder, CO; as a judge advocate in the United States Marine Corps; and briefly in New York City. He has a B.A. in philosophy from Wesleyan University (1964) and an LL.B from Yale Law School (1967).

Admiral William O. Studeman, USN (Ret.)

Bill Studeman was appointed to the PIDB for a 3-year term by the Speaker of the House in June 2006. He recently retired from Northrop Grumman Corporation as vice president and deputy general manager of Mission Systems. He holds a B.A. in history from the University of the South in Sewanee, TN; an M.A. in public and international affairs from George Washington University; and several honorary doctorates. He is a distinguished graduate of both the Naval and National War Colleges. As a restricted line naval intelligence officer, Admiral Studeman’s flag tours included OPNAV Director of Long Range Navy Planning; Director of Naval Intelligence; Director, National Security Agency; and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence (DDCI) with two extended periods as Acting Director of Central Intelligence (DCI). As DDCI, he served in both the George H. W. Bush and Clinton administrations under DCIs Bob Gates, Jim Woolsey, and John Deutch. Admiral Studeman retired from the Navy in 1995 after almost 35 years of service. He was recently a commissioner on the Presidential Commission on Weapons of Mass Destruction, and is currently serving on the National Advisory Board on Bio-Security. He is a member of the Defense Science Board, as well as DIA JMIC, NRO, national labs, and other advisory boards.

Sanford J. Ungar

Sanford J. Ungar was appointed to the PIDB for a 3-year term by the Majority Leader of the Senate in March 2008. He is the tenth President of Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Ungar obtained his B.A. in Government from Harvard College and a Master's degree in International History from the London School of Economics and Political Science. In May 1999 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by Wilkes University in his hometown of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Prior to assuming his position at Goucher, Mr. Ungar was Director of the Voice of America, the U.S. government's principal international broadcasting agency, for two years. From 1986 until 1999, he was Dean of the School of Communication at American University in Washington, DC. The author of many magazine and newspaper articles on topics of political and international interest, Mr. Ungar has spoken frequently around the United States and in other countries on issues of American foreign policy and domestic politics, free expression, human rights, and immigration. Sanford Ungar has been Washington editor of The Atlantic, managing editor of Foreign Policy magazine, and a staff writer for The Washington Post. He was a correspondent for United Press International in Paris and for Newsweek in Nairobi, and for many years contributed to The Economist, as well as The New York Times Magazine.

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