[October 1, 2013] “release of the 2013 Secrecy Report, the 9th annual review and analysis of indicators of secrecy in the federal government by OpenTheGovernment.org, comes amid shocking revelations that cast doubt on the accuracy and the meaningfulness of the government’s statistics about surveillance. As is highlighted in the introduction to this report and in comments provided to OpenTheGovernment.org by former-Representative Mickey Edwards (R-OK), the government’s insistence on keeping interpretations of the law secret and a lack of oversight by Congress and the Judicial Branch helped set the stage for a surveillance program that is much broader than previously believed.
According to Patrice McDermott, Executive Director of OpenTheGovernment.org, “Measuring secrecy, as we do in the Secrecy Report, is a critical exercise because it allows us to both sound the alarm when the government is not being open and accountable to the public and call attention to areas where positive changes are occurring.”
The results of this year’s assessment show that while there have been some reductions in secrecy during the Obama Administration’s tenure, the change is slow. And, particularly in areas related to national security, the extent of secrecy remains unchanged, or continues to grow. Overall, the rate of change is well below what it would take to make the government open and accountable.”