A Proposal to Reduce Government Overclassification of Information Related to National Security

Lin explores the phenomenon of overclassification in American society and proposes a classification cost metric in order to create serious economic incentives to reduce classification. The metric would provide decision makers with a way to judge the relative importance of different classified documents and allow officials to classify documents on a more objective scale. The author relates a number of questions and answers relating to the underlying approach, the mechanics, budget and finance, and law and policy, thereby parsing out the strengths and weaknesses of his proposal.

Lead Author

Herbert S. Lin
Dr. Herbert Lin is chief scientist at the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, National Research Council of the National Academies, where he has been study director of major projects on public policy and information technology.
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