The Electronic Frontier Foundation rounds up "the year in secrecy," a year's worth of shame and excuses in the realm of official secrecy from "the most transparent administration in history." As catalogs of outrage go, it's a pretty fine example.
* Government report concludes the government classified 77 million documents in 2010, a 40% increase on the year before. The number of people with security clearances exceeded 4.2. million, more people than the city of Los Angeles.
* Government tells Air Force families, including their kids, it’s illegal to read WikiLeaks. The month before, the Air Force barred its service members fighting abroad from reading the New York Times—the country’s Paper of Record.
* Lawyers for Guantanamo detainees were barred from reading the WikiLeaks Guantanamo files, despite their contents being plastered on the front page of the New York Times.
* President Obama refuses to say the words “drone” or “C.I.A” despite the C.I.A. drone program being on the front pages of the nation’s newspapers every day.
* CIA refuses to release even a single passage from its center studying global warming, claiming it would damage national security. As Secrecy News' Steven Aftergood said, “That’s a familiar song, and it became tiresome long ago.”
2011 in Review: The Year Secrecy Jumped the Shark
The Freedom of the Press Foundation’s lawsuit against the DoJ has resulted in the release of documents showing that a bill with that was nearly unanimously supported in Congress and the Senate was killed by behind-the-scene lobbying by the Department of Justice, which feared that they would lose the ability to arbitrarily reject Freedom of […]
In the age of Internet, discussions about the federal government and its functions are informed by and rely on our unprecedented access to federal documents. Anyone can freely view public records online, such as proposed Congressional legislation and presidential executive orders. Accessing public court documents, however, is a bit trickier. As Katherine Mangu-Ward wrote for the Wall Street Journal in 2011, “no aspect of government remains more locked down than the secretive, hierarchical judicial branch.”
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