Reducing Secrecy

Reducing Secrecy

Excessive secrecy has long been a problem in the fields of national and homeland security because it limits information sharing and leaves us less safe as a nation. Both the 9/11 Commission and the congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11 recommended reforms to reduce unnecessary secrets. OpenTheGovernment.org works with our partners, the Administration, and Congress to put policies in place that both protect constitutional rights and ensure national security by better protecting real secrets and improving information sharing.

In hearing, Gina Haspel stokes fears about transparency, accountability

In her confirmation hearing today, Gina Haspel fueled fears that as CIA Director she would repeat the mistakes of the past and further undermine congressional oversight, transparency, and the rule of law. During her questioning by members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Haspel confirmed several troubling aspects of her involvement in CIA torture, refused to directly condemn the torture program, and even offered new information that called her judgement into further question.

Combating Government Secrecy through Freedom of Information

In response to a growing culture of government secrecy, people are seeking new ways to defend their right to information and combat intensifying threats to transparency and accountability. Openness advocates, journalists, litigators and grassroots organizations working on a range of policy issues are increasingly looking to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to shine light on government actions carried out in our name, but without our knowledge. Today, Open the Government released a Best Practices Guide to FOIA Collaboration, highlighting cases where FOIA collaboration is successfully being used to fuel advocacy campaigns and advance openness policies. 

To ensure accountability for use of lethal force, advocates look to Congress

So far, the Trump Administration has shown a willingness to accelerate the use of military force overseas, while continuing and sometimes expanding on the excessive secrecy of its predecessors.  As the number of civilian casualties from U.S. strikes grows at a shocking pace, government transparency and Congressional oversight may be the surest way to advance accountability in U.S. use of military force.