Monday, November 01, 2004

US FOIA : Groups raise concerns about increased classification of documents

"But some observers believe that the issues surrounding the classification of documents, Freedom of Information requests, and access to basic, everyday information will, in the long run, turn out to be more significant.

Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, describes it this way: "What I'm most concerned about are not the front-page news scandals. It's the routine, mundane stuff that is increasingly inaccessible." For example, Aftergood says, "Ten years ago, I used to go to the Government Printing Office bookstore and purchase the Pentagon phone book.... My understanding is that that phone book is now for official use only, and cannot be purchased. In a way, it's a small thing. But in another way, it's a wall that has been erected between the public and the government."

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