TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Report Says US Data Secrecy Expanding and Getting Costlier

Report Says US Data Secrecy Expanding and Getting Costlier

Monty Solomon (
Mon, 5 Sep 2005 00:19:49 -0400

Expenses rose to $7.2b in 2004

By Michael J. Sniffen, Associated Press | September 4, 2005

WASHINGTON -- The government is withholding more data than ever from
the public and expanding ways of shrouding information. Last year,
federal agencies spent a record $148 creating and storing new secrets
for each $1 spent declassifying old secrets, a coalition of watchdog
groups reported yesterday.

That's a $28 jump from 2003, when $120 was spent to keep secrets for
every $1 spent revealing them. In the late 1990s, the ratio was
$15-$17 a year to $1, according to the secrecy report card by

Overall, the government spent $7.2 billion in 2004 stamping 15.6
million documents 'top secret,' 'secret,' or 'confidential.' That
almost doubled the 8.6 million new documents classified as recently as

Last year, the number of pages declassified declined for the fourth
straight year to 28.4 million. In 2001, 100 million pages were
declassified; the record was 204 million pages in 1997.

These figures cover 41 federal agencies, excluding the CIA, whose
classification totals are secret.

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