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Congress Asks Archive General Counsel
to Testify on Reducing Pseudo-Secrets

For more information contact:
Meredith Fuchs - 202/994-7000

Testimony of Meredith Fuchs, before the House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment, "Over-classification and Pseudo-classification: The Impact on Information Sharing"

Witness testimony and video from the hearing

National Security Archive FOIA page

 

Washington DC, March 22, 2007 - At a hearing of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment on "Over-classification and Pseudo-classification: The Impact on Information Sharing," Archive General Counsel Meredith Fuchs testified Thursday that serious overuse of pseudo-classification markings persists.

"We are long overdue for solving the challenges of information sharing and overcoming the strain on government accountability brought about by excessive secrecy," she said.

Following findings by the National Security Archive in its 2006 audit about the problem of pseudo-classification, Congress mandated the creation of an Information Sharing Environment (ISE) and the President ordered federal agencies to form a working group, overseen by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), to standardize procedures for managing Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) information.

While recognizing the important first step of appointing Ambassador Thomas McNamara as Program Manager for the ISE and McNamara's efforts to hold meetings and gather input from the public, Ms. Fuchs noted that little progress has been made and the executive branch still appears reluctant to move toward genuine reform in information sharing policies.

Other witnesses included: J. William Leonard, Director of the Information Security Oversight Office; Scott Armstrong, former Archive Executive Director and Founder of the Information Trust; Chief Cathy L. Lanier of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department; and Michael P. Downing of the Counter-Terrorism/Criminal Intelligence Bureau, Los Angeles Police Department.

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