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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Obama Issues New Executive Order for Classified Documents

President Obama's recent executive order and accompanying presidential memorandum declares that "no information may remain classified indefinitely." The executive order is part of an overhaul of the executive branch's system for protecting classified national security information.

The executive order requires agency heads to conduct a periodic review of the agency's classification guidelines to ensure that classified information that no longer requires protection can be declassified.

Obama also eliminated a 2003 rule by the Bush administration that allowed the leader of the intelligence community to veto decisions by an interagency panel to declassify information. Under the Obama rule, spy agencies who object to a decision will have to appeal to the president.

Obama also established a new National Declassification Center at the National Archives to streamline the process of declassifying historical documents and set a four-year deadline for processing a 400-million page backlog of such records, including archives relating to military operations during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

For more information, see the New York Times article here.

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