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Quote: U.S. government secrecy reaches historic high
WASHINGTON ? Government secrecy has reached a historic high by several measures, with federal departments classifying documents at the rate of 125 a minute as they create categories of semisecrets bearing vague labels such as "sensitive security information."
A record 15.6 million documents were classified last year, nearly double the number in 2001, according to the federal Information Security Oversight Office. Meanwhile, declassification, which made millions of historical documents available annually in the 1990s, has slowed to a relative crawl, from a high of 204 million pages in 1997 to 28 million pages last year.
The increasing secrecy and its rising cost to taxpayers, estimated by the office at $7.2 billion last year, are drawing protests from a growing array of politicians and activists, including Republican members of Congress, leaders of the independent commission that studied the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the top federal official who oversees classification.
Quote: "You'd just be amazed at the kind of information that's classified; everyday information, things we all know from the newspaper," Kean said. "The best ally we have in protecting ourselves against terrorism is an informed public."
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