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Public Interest Declassification Board's Report on "Transforming the Security Classification System", December 2012

Published December 6, 2012

The Public Interest Declassification Board, established by Congress, released this report on "Transforming the Security Classification System" on December 6, 2012.

The introduction states, "The report sets forth and explains key recommendations that flowed from the study we undertook in cooperation with the National Security Advisor to design a fundamental transformation of the security classification system.

...The Government's management of classified information must match the realities and demands in the 21st century. We hope our recommendations serve as a guide to lead the proposed committee in developing a comprehensive new policy and implementation plan.

The classification system exists to protect national security, but its outdated design and implementation often hinders that mission. The system is compromised by over-classification and, not coincidentally, by increasing instances of unauthorized disclosures. This undermines the credibility of the classification system, blurs the focus on what truly requires protection, and fails to serve the public interest. Notwithstanding the best efforts of information security professionals, the current system is outmoded and unsustainable; transformation is not simply advisable but imperative."

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