FOI Fail of the Week: Pentagon works to extend information safeguards, not rein them in

Although President Obama issued an executive order in November 2010 calling for agencies to narrow their use of labels like “Controlled Unclassified Information” and “for official use only,” the Defense Department is trying to impose even more restrictions.

The Pentagon proposed a rule in June that would permit new safeguard requirements for designations such as “Sensitive But Unclassified” that protect unclassified information from disclosure, according to Secrecy News.

The rule also requires protection of any unclassified information that hasn’t been specifically authorized for public disclosure.

This action, if implemented, would permit the further use of safeguarding labels. As a result, much unclassified information would continue to be kept from the public despite the Obama administration’s stated goal of putting more data into citizens’ hands.

– Morgan Watkins

Morgan Watkins is SPJ’s summer Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information intern and a University of Florida student. Reach her by email ( or connect with her on Twitter (@morganwatkins26).

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