President Obama has pledged to increase government openness by declassifying records more efficiently. His efforts have been given mixed reviews by secrecy experts. But a plan to declassify hundreds of millions of pages of government records before 2014 is underway.
The Secrecy News blog, a project of the Federation of American Scientists, pointed out some flaws in the draft government declassification plan:
"The review of the backlog will be conducted on a Pass/Fail basis...That means that if a document contains any classified information at all, even a single word or number, the entire document will be withheld from release...Second, the documents that do pass the review and are declassified will be subjected to two quality control audits to ensure that no classified information has inadvertently passed through. One audit will be performed by the Archives and a second audit will be done by the Department of Energy. On the other hand, however, there will be no audit of withheld records to ensure that no unclassified record has been unnecessarily kept secret. In effect, the process is tilted towards minimizing disclosures of classified information rather than maximizing disclosures of unclassified information."