FirstGov Features “Secrecy News”

Kudos to one of my favorite online publications, Secrecy News, for earning an interesting place in the US federal government’s web portal, FirstGov.

Unlike the preponderance of FirstGov resources, Secrecy News is not a US government publication. It’s published by the Federation of American Scientists, and it covers new developments in secrecy, security, and intelligence policies.

So why, when you search FirstGov for the term “secrecy,” do Secrecy News articles appear in the results?…

Today, editor Steven Aftergood pointed out this excerpt from FirstGov’s site policy statement:

“In rare instances, FirstGov.gov links to websites that are not government-owned or government-sponsored if these websites provide government information and/or services in a way that is not available on an official government website.”

To which Aftergood quipped, “Which is precisely the point.”

Exactly! Personally, I’m tickled beyond belief that while Aftergood works hard to keep tabs on what the US government isn’t revealing, the government then goes to the trouble of making sure Aftergood’s work is available through its own portal.

While I’m on the subject of excessive government secrecy, I’d like to note this testimony that Aftergood gave on Aug. 24 to the House Subcomittee on National Security: Too Many Secrets: Overclassification as a Barrier to Critical Information Sharing Interesting reading – and of course I love the title’s homage to a classic line from one of my favorite films, Sneakers.

Keep up the good work, Steven! Where too much information is missing, deception, ignorance, and fear can prevail.