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Appendix

This appendix concisely summarizes information presented in this paper pertaining to particular Executive Orders. Information listed under each Executive Order appears in the order it appears in the report. It should be noted that each summary does not provide the Executive Order in its entirety.


Executive Order 11652
1972


Section 5 (E). Documents are to be automatically declassified at the end of the "thirtieth calendar year following their creation. Only agency heads may keep information classified for longer periods. All 30-year old or older information should be automatically declassified,

except for such specifically identified information or material which the head of the originating Department personally determines in writing at that time to require continued protection because such continued protection is essential to the national security or disclosure would place a person in immediate jeopardy.
Section 5 (B). An authorized official may grant exemptions to the "Declassification Schedule" for information under his control. The decision to exempt is to be made with the following parameters:

The use of the exemption authority shall be kept at the absolute minimum consistent with national security requirements and shall be restricted to the following categories:

  1. classified information or material furnished by foreign governments or international organizations and held by the United States on the understanding that it be kept in confidence.
  2. classified information or material specifically covered by stature, or pertaining to cryptology, or disclosing intelligence sources or methods.
  3. classified information or material disclosing a system, plan, installation, project, or specific foreign relations matter the continuing protection of which is essential to the national security.
  4. classified information or material the disclose of which would place a person in immediate jeopardy.
As stipulated in Part D, any old material exempted from the General Declassification Schedule under these criteria is subject to review 10 years from its date of origin, if such review is requested by a government agency or city. Such requested information may be kept classified if it continues to meet any of the criteria listed above.

Executive Order 12065
1978


Section (3-401). Section 3-401 establishes a systematic declassification by stating that "classified information . . . shall be reviewed for declassification as it becomes twenty years old." Only agency heads and other officials designated by the President may have the authority to exempt records from declassification if the records meet the orderís classification requirement stated below.

(1-301) Information may not be considered for classification unless it concerns:
 
  1. military plans, weapons, or operations;
  2. foreign government information;
  3. intelligence activities, sources or methods;
  4. foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States;
  5. scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to the national security;
  6. United States Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities; or
  7. other categories of information which are related to national security which require protection against unauthorized disclosure as determined by the President, by a person designated by the President pursuant to Section 1-201, or by an agency head.
(1-302) Even though information is determined to concern one or more of the criteria in section 1-301, it may not be classified unless an original classification authority also determines that its unauthorized disclosure reasonably could be expected to cause at least identifiable damage to national security.
(1-302) Unauthorized disclosure of foreign government information or the identity of a confidential foreign source is presumed to cause at least identifiable damage to the national security.

Section (3-402). Agency heads and officials designated by the President are to prepare "guidelines for systematic review covering twenty-year old classified information under their jurisdiction." (This section attempts to separate types of information that may be declassified "automatically", or by bulk, from information which requires a page-by-page review.) Officials must "state specific, limited categories of information which, because of their national security sensitivity, should not be classified automatically but should be reviewed item-by-item to determine whether continued protection beyond twenty years is needed." All information twenty years or older that does not fall into one of the 'sensitive' categories and does not have its own automatic declassification date is to be declassified.
Section (3-3). If material scheduled for declassification still met the criteria from section 1-3 listed above, "In some cases . . . the need to protect such information may be outweighed by the public interest in disclosure of the information, and in these cases the information should be declassified."


Executive Order 12356
1982


This E.O. currently governs the present declassification policy. There is no provision for automatic declassification of classified historical records.

Part 3. This section covers all types of declassification. It states in part that

 

Information shall be declassified or downgraded as soon as national security considerations permit .... Information that continues to meet the classification requirements prescribed by section 1.3 despite the passage of time will continue to be protected in accordance with this Order.

Section 1.3
  1. Information shall be considered for classification if it concerns:
    1. military plans, weapons, or operations;
    2. the vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, projects, or plans relating to the national security;
    3. foreign government information;
    4. intelligence activities (including special activities), or intelligence sources or methods;
    5. foreign relations or the foreign activities of the United States;
    6. scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to the national security;
    7. United States Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities;
    8. cryptology;
    9. a confidential source; or
    10. other categories of information that are related to the national security and that require protection against unauthorized disclosure as determined by the President or agency heads or other officials who have been delegated original classification authority by the President...

  2. Information that is determined to concern one or more of the categories in section 1.3 (a) shall be classified when an original classification authority also determines that its unauthorized disclosure, either by itself or in the context of other information, reasonably could be expected to cause drainage to the national security.
  3. Unauthorized disclosure of foreign government information, the identity of a confidential foreign source, or intelligence sources or methods is presumed to cause damage to the national security.
Section 3.3 Provisions for both systematic and mandatory declassification review of historical records are contained in section 3.3. It states that the National Archives is to conduct a systematic review of classified documents in its possession. No specific criteria for decisions on declassification or exemption are given except that archivists must adhere to guidelines provided by the heads of the agencies that originally classified the record under review.
Section 3.4 Mandatory review of any classified information must be conducted upon request regardless of the date of origin. This section stipulate that "agencies conducting a mandatory review for declassification shall declassify information no longer requiring protection under this Order."

Draft Clinton Executive Order
1994


Section 3.4 This section establishes a four year grace period after which all classified information more than twenty-five years old will be automatically declassified "whether or not if has been reviewed." All information shall be automatically declassified no longer than twenty-five years from date of its original classification, except as provided in paragraph (b) below.
 
  1. An agency head may exempt from automatic declassification . . .specific information, the release of which should be expected to:

  1. Identify a confidential human intelligence source, or reveal information about the application of an intelligence source or method;
  2. reveal information that would assist in the development or use of weapons of mass destruction.
  3. reveal information that would impair United States cryptologic systems or activities;
  4. reveal information that would impair the application of state of the art technology within the United States weapon system, intelligence gathering system, or counterintelligence system;
  5. reveal actual United States military war plans that remain in effect;
  6. reveal information that would cause exceptionally grave damage to the relations between the United States and a foreign government;
  7. violate a statute, treaty, or international agreement.


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