Travis Sanford reports:
In a sweeping change to current practice, President Obama has ordered that all federal agencies presume that documents and records they produce will not be considered “classified” unless disclosure reasonably could be expected to compromise national security. Obama also ordered that almost all classified material will be declassified after 25 years.
In two Executive Orders dated Dec. 29, the president further limited the authority of employees of federal agencies to categorize material based on the level of classification, allowing, for instance, only the president, vice president and agency heads and officials designated by the president to declare information “Top Secret”.
The orders eliminate the practice of indefinitely classifying information as restricted from the public, and require that each agency develop a time table for declassification of material with a default of 10 years unless it is highly sensitive, in which case it my remain classified for 25 years.
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Related: Executive Order.