Classification: Over-classified

A colleague recently drew my attention to an interesting article on the Foreign Policy Magazine site. The article discusses the problem of over-classification across the US government, and the newly signed Reducing Over-Classification Act.

The article is a great read while we all await more direction on Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), but I’ll excerpt some of my favorite lines here:

This problem has serious ramifications throughout the vast national security bureaucracy. It impedes the flow of information across agency boundaries, obstructs the feedback mechanisms that keep policies and programs on track, conceals error and incompetence, undermines oversight and accountability, and fosters public ignorance on vital matters of national security and foreign policy.

There is a real need for training in the proper exercise of classification authority, as the law requires, because tens of thousands of people currently implement classification procedures with minimal supervision.

Most people assume training means a formal session where policies are solemnly read out and explained, but we like to emphasize that training can also occur on the job, in context. Our various help and tooltips features provide a powerful mechanism to accomplish this by providing a way to show users classification and policy background information at exactly the moment they need it.

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