WikiLeaks and the Culture of Classification

November 2nd, 2010  

Topic: WikiLeaks and the Culture of Classification

Here are two articles which I think you will find interest in

culture of classification that is so pervasive inside the U.S. government
November 2nd, 2010  
Very interesting find, thanks for sharing.

I believe that the mentioned overclassification (and I find it normal somehow that in case of doubt INTEL people always chose the highest classification category possible) and combined with not setting a declassification or downclassification date (which, as can be seen by the examples, would make a lot of sense and in theory is obligatory) really disrupts the *necessary* information flow to the people or agencies that have to know.

It would probably good money spent to review every classified (at this stage, secret and below) document lets say every 5 years and declass where no further risk can be perceived (which obviously seems to be the case in the majority of documents published by WikiLeaks ion OCT 22).

Not only would this facilitate information flow to where needed, also the transparency and hence the credibility of the administration would receive a boost and the temptation to "leak" would drastically diminish.

November 2nd, 2010  
Agree with the first article. Having used both the Secret and Non Secret networks I understand why things are over classified.
1. The SIPRNet (Secret Network) and NIPRNet (Unclassified) are independant of each other and the military has always stressed over caution when classifying documents. Add to the fact that senior leaders all too often sent out unclassified information over the SIPRNet because of convenience. All too often I heard my boss rip into another officer for sending information out on the wrong network.

2. Declassification of sensitive documents should be mandatory when setting a classification higher than FOUO (For Official Use Only). In many cases the information is time sensitive (movement schedules for General Officers for example). As soon as the time period has elapsed the information is no longer sensitive and should have the classification reduced.

Bottom line is that the military will ALWAYS err on the side of caution. Once information is on the SIPRNet that is where it stays only because there is no efficient way to move it over to the NIPRNet.

Rattler: Someone would have to make the determination for declassification and as long as that individual was protected then I agree. I think that it is certainly worth investigating.

The U.S. Military has made great strides in embracing the internet, they are still learning and hopefully they will learn from issues like those raised by Wikileaks.
November 4th, 2010  
Err on the side of caution.
Sometimes actual lives are at stake.

One thing this fool did was reveal names of living and active informants-what would one suppose happened to them?

The Walkers of the VN era were responsible for disclosing technical data that resulted in breaking some of our frontline secure commo gear.

Lives were lost over this.

Loose lips sink ships.