News and Notices
- On September 17, 2013, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell appointed Kenneth L. Wainstein to serve a three-year term as a member of the Public Interest Declassification Board.
- On 08/01/13, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Jim Risch (R-ID) introduced the "Preserving American Access to Information Act". The Bill is designed to promote transparency and efficiency by reducing unnecessary classification and addressing the growing backlog of records awaiting declassification.
- PIDB Chair Nancy Soderberg participated in a panel on Secrecy and Security on March 14, 2013 sponsored by the Brennan Center for Justice. For more information and to see a video of the panel discussion, visit the PIDB Blog.
Declassify or not . . .that’s our question.
The Public Interest Declassification Board continues to advocate for transforming the security classification system. We now ask YOU to join the discussion about what the government should prioritize for declassification. Make sure the PIDB hears your voice by commenting on our blog, Transforming Classification, now through mid-January 2014.
In the coming weeks, the Board will post this Prioritization List for public comment on its blog. The topics on the list fall into one of five categories: Topics 25 Years Old and Older, Topics 25 Years Old and Younger, Topics Related to Formerly Restricted Data (FRD) Information, General Topics of Interest, and Topics Specifically Gathered from Presidential Libraries. We ask for your comments on the topics, as well as any additional topics you believe warrant inclusion on the List. We will post a new category with topics for discussion on the following Mondays: November 25, December 2, December 9 and December 16.
We hope the List will serve as a guide to aid agencies in reviewing the information the public wants to see. This is your opportunity to spark a much-needed conversation about the sustainability of the current declassification system and what our priorities collectively should be to make the most impact.
Please visit our blog and join the conversation to make the Prioritization List a reflection of all our needs.
The Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) is an advisory committee established by Congress in 2000, in order to promote the fullest possible public access to a thorough, accurate, and reliable documentary record of significant U.S. national security decisions and activities. The President appointed Nancy Soderberg as chair of the Board and Martin C. Faga, William H. Leary, and Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker as members. The Minority Leader of the House appointed David Skaggs and the Speaker of the House appointed William O. Studeman. The Majority Leader of the Senate appointed Sanford Ungar and the Minority Leader of the Senate appointed Kenneth L. Wainstein.
The Director of the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), serves as the PIDB Executive Secretary, and the ISOO staff provides staff support on a reimbursable basis.
Section 2 of the Public Interest Declassification Board Reauthorization Act of 2012, Section 602 of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, and Section 1102 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 extended and modified the PIDB as established by the Public Interest Declassification Act of 2000 [PDF](P.L. 106-567, title VII, Dec. 27, 2000, 114 Stat. 2856).
- Advises and provides recommendations to the President and other executive branch officials on the systematic, thorough, coordinated, and comprehensive identification, collection, review for declassification, and release of declassified records and materials of archival value, including records and materials of extraordinary public interest.
- Promotes the fullest possible public access to a thorough, accurate, and reliable documentary record of significant U.S. national security decisions and activities in order to: support the oversight and legislative functions of Congress; support the policymaking role of the executive branch; respond to the public interest on national security matters; and promote reliable historical analysis and new avenues of historical study in national security matters.
- Advises the President and other executive branch officials on policies deriving from Executive Orders regarding the classification and declassification of national security information.
- Reviews and makes recommendations to the President with respect to any Congressional request, made by the committee of jurisdiction, to declassify certain records or to reconsider a rejection to declassify specific records.