Technology Challenges and Opportunities
on July 09, 2009 at 10:49 AM EDT
The review of classification policy has never before undergone such significant participation from the public. This is in part because of the format (online blog) we chose to solicit your input. It is an important step for the members of the Public Interest Declassification Board, because we are hearing directly from the people we strive to represent. Thank you for contributing and participating in this unprecedented conversation. Yesterday the support staff for the Public Interest Declassification Board summarized your comments on Classification Policy. Today, we hope the topic of discussion will attract the attention of those with knowledge and expertise in information technology and electronic communications.
The President has asked that the review, of Executive Order 12958, as amended, include consideration for the appropriate classification, safeguarding, accessibility, and declassification of information in the electronic environment, as recommended by the Commission on Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction. As you consider your recommendations for revisions to the Order, please think about how the Government can strike a balance between encouraging and allowing creative uses of new technologies in Government, promoting public access, and ensuring that these technologies are implemented so that information crucial to our national security is protected. We have developed the following questions as a starting point for our conversation.
- How can technology provide greater access to Government information?
- How should Government classification policy address information in the electronic environment?
- How can we be sure to create and preserve an accessible record of decisions made and actions taken in a technology-assisted environment that is not always forward-looking?
- How can the Government review electronic records effectively for public access?
- How can technology be used to improve classification and declassification?
- How can classification and declassification decisions be captured at the creation of the electronic record?
- How can records management of classified records be improved through technology?
- Should records management play a role in how electronic records are declassified?
- What standards should be employed when classifying electronic information?
- Should there be standards and integration for classified systems?
- How can technology help remove impediments to the sharing of classified information?
Sanford J. Ungar, Public Interest Declassification Board Member