EO 12356 PDF

This explanation of the development of E.O. originally appeared as an appendix to Annual Report to the President FY (Washington, D.C., ) by . The new National Security Information Executive Order issued by President Reagan on April 2, E.O. , includes a number of changes to Executive Order . Shortly after President Ronald Reagan issued E.O. on April 2, , general and of E.O. in particular with a view to reform

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One other major change to E. Both 13256 new order and the President’s statement that accompanied it recognize that it is essential for American citizens to be informed about their Government’s activities.

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Of the systemic variables that do affect the number of classification decisions, the most relevant are the number of persons authorized to classify information and the quality of program oversight. As noted earlier, all of these changes are designed to better enable the Government to protect truly sensitive national security information–in court and otherwise–and to reduce unnecessary administrative burdens without permitting excessive classification.

Mechanisms are outlined for periodic reevaluation of the need to classify information, even if the result of the evaluation is to keep the information classified. Steven Garfinkel, director of the General Services Administration’s Information Security Oversight Office and the person responsible for monitoring compliance with the new order, says that the new order “keeps the lid on” the most important factors influencing the extent of classification:.

First, the threshold standard for classification of information as “confidential” has been modified from “identifiable damage” to “damage. Barack Obama on December 29, Specific time limits are mentioned for different kinds of information, but there is also the provision that information that still needs to be classified can stay classified. This order prescribes a uniform system for classifying, safeguarding, and declassifying However, some litigants have contended that this language requires that the damage be of a particular type or degree in order to justify classification.

Finally, all information to be classified must be owned by, produced by or for, or under the control of the United States Government. These changes are designed to enhance the executive branch’s ability to protect national security information from unauthorized or premature disclosure without increasing the quantity of classified information.


One factor was the large backlog of documents scheduled to be automatically declassified on December 31, and how to deal with that reality. First, the individual classifying the document must be authorized to do so.

Steven Garfinkel, director of the General Services Administration’s E Security Oversight Office and the person responsible for monitoring compliance with the new order, says that the new order “keeps the lid on” the most important factors influencing the extent of classification: Due to the lapse in appropriations, Department of Justice websites will not be regularly updated.

It supersedes E Order No.

FOIA Update: Guest Article: An Overview of Executive Order | OIP | Department of Justice

This system 1235 prior systems linking classification to arbitrary in time frames did not significantly accelerate the declassification process but did increase the risk of premature disclosure of information that merited continued protection. Another change made by the new order is the addition of a requirement that, in cases of doubt as to classifiability or the proper level of classification, the information be considered classified or classified at the higher level pending a final determination 1235 30 days by an original classification authority.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. They also recognize, however, the nation’s critical need to protect certain sensitive information when disclosure would harm the security of all Americans.

Many executive branch agencies receive FOIA requests for information which may be classified according to the guidelines established by current Executive Second, the information must fall within one or more specified categories of information.

It is also noteworthy that the term “confidential source” is now defined in the executive order, thus making clear that the identities of human sources who provide national security information to agencies outside the intelligence community should be protected through classification. Views Read Edit View history.

Do order keeps the number of classifiers at its present total of approximately 7, persons worldwide, down percent from just a decade ago, and retains the requirements for effective internal and external monitorship 1235 training. Of course, declassification reviews will continue to be required whenever information is requested by any citizen under the mandatory review provisions of the order or the Freedom of Information Act and, generally, will also occur through a systematic review after 30 years.


FOIA Update: Guest Article: An Overview of Executive Order 12356

Another departure from E. National Archives and Records Administration, 5 January As a component of the Obama Administration’s initiative to improve transparency and open-access to the Federal Government and the information it produces formally introduced upon taking office in late January [2] and as a result of an agency-wide review and recommendation process ordered in May of that same year, [3] the issuance of EO was ultimately prompted by several factors.

The major focus is the idea that information should become declassified systematically as soon as practicable.

This requirement is a partial reversal of a provision in E. This unintended burden will be eliminated by the new order. 123556 conclusion, nothing in the new order is intended to permit the classification of additional material beyond that which was subject to classification under E.

Wikisource has original text related to this article: Related blog posts January 1, The second change to the requirements for classification is the addition of several subject matter categories of information e. In addition to foreign 12365 information and the identity of a confidential foreign source, unauthorized disclosure of intelligence sources and methods is also now presumed to cause damage to the 123566 security.

Such determinations must also be reported to the Information Security Oversight Office, which continues to have Government-wide oversight of the information security program under the new order.

The new order allows classifiers to 1236 to establish specific dates or events for declassification where that is appropriate. Sniffen May 28, For example, under the order that is being replaced, classification activity increased approximately ten percent between FY ’79 and FY ’80, largely because of the Iranian hostage crisis.

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Obviously, that would 1256 impossible in the case of an erroneous disclosure to the general public. The new order also removes the limits on the duration of classification. The reason for this change is to eliminate uncertainty regarding the intent of the term “identifiable.