Department of Defense updates declassification protocol

Administrators within the Department of Defense are joining their public sector colleagues in shifting focus to an era or greater transparency and efficiency within records management. The agency recently released an updated version of its declassification guidelines to help departments determine which information can be released into the public domain and which collections must remain under wraps.

According to Federal News Radio, the National Declassification Center within the National Archives and Records Administration is facing a backlog of approximately 400 million pages set for declassification processing.

"We can't afford unnecessary secrecy, but we have to have at least some of it," Ed Kaufhold, chief information security officer for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, told the news source. "That's our challenge in a nutshell."

The updated guidelines make amendments to several provisions detailing how information is categorized, protected and disseminated in addition to assigning specific responsibilities to organizational stakeholders. Some of the most debated and discussed passages are sure to be found in the section on mandatory declassification review, a procedure similar in nature to an automated Freedom of Information Act request.

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