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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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.

This order prescribes a uniform system for classifying, safeguarding, and declassifying After 20 years, only an agency ei could extend classification and then only in year increments. One other major change to E. No such application of the “identifiable damage” concept was intended, and yet each such assertion in court required a full explanation and response, thereby increasing the increasing the Government’s litigative burden.

However, some litigants have contended that this language requires that the damage be of a particular type or degree in order to justify classification. The new order retains existing prohibitions against using classification to conceal violations of law, inefficiency or administrative error, or to prevent embarrassment, or delay the release of’ information that does not require protection in the interest of national security.

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

Mechanisms are outlined el periodic reevaluation of the need to classify information, even if the result of the evaluation is to keep the information classified. This page was last edited on 6 Novemberat The major focus is the idea that information should become declassified systematically as soon as practicable. The new order allows classifiers to 13256 to establish specific dates or events for declassification where that is appropriate. This 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 and training.


Certain specified individuals could extend the declassification date or event or establish a date for declassification review beyond six years, but generally no more than 20 1236 after original classification.

This unintended burden will be eliminated by the new order. EO restated the authorized list of designees who can originate classification, in effect rescinding any previous designations made by officials or agency heads to subordinates. Finally, all information to be classified must be owned by, produced by or for, or under the control of the United States Government. Obviously, that would be impossible in the case of an erroneous disclosure to the general public.

This executive order was issued by President Clinton on April 17,and will take effect on October 14, Expansion of the information covered by the presumption should aid litigators defending Freedom of Information Act suits involving this information. The reason for this wo is to eliminate uncertainty regarding the intent of the term “identifiable. This new authority, however, may only be exercised by the President and agency heads and officials designated by the President as original classification authorities.

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. Related blog ek January 1, These additions, however, merely codify and clarify existing practice under the previous order and do not authorize classification of information that does not 1235 meet other requirements.


Executive Order National Security Information

This requirement is a partial reversal of a provision in E. Another departure from E.

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. Written by Gerald A. 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.

National Archives and Records Administration, 5 January The new order also removes the limits on the duration of classification. Views Read Edit View history. In addition to foreign government 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 national security.

Executive Order also contains a number of less significant changes to the predecessor order.

Executive Order 13526

But when, for example, an erroneous release is made to a single FOIA requester, this new provision provides the Government with needed flexibility that it did not have under the previous order. For example, under the order that is being replaced, classification activity increased eoo ten percent between FY ’79 and FY ’80, largely because of the Iranian hostage crisis.

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.

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