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Aftergood,  Steven 

Full Name:  Aftergood,  Steven 
Program Name: Government Secrecy
Title: Director
Phone Number: 202-454-4691


Steven Aftergood directs the FAS Project on Government Secrecy.  The Project works to reduce the scope of national security secrecy and to promote public access to government information.

He writes Secrecy News, which reports on new developments in secrecy policy for readers in media, government and among the general public.

In 1997, Mr. Aftergood was the plaintiff in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency which led to the declassification and publication of the total intelligence budget for the first time in fifty years ($26.6 billion in FY 1997). In 2006, he won a FOIA lawsuit against the National Reconnaissance Office for release of unclassified budget records.

Mr. Aftergood is an electrical engineer by training (B.Sc., UCLA, 1977). His work on challenging government secrecy has been recognized with the Pioneer Award from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (2010), the James Madison Award from the American Library Association (2006), the Public Access to Government Information Award from the American Association of Law Libraries (2006), and the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award from the Playboy Foundation (2004).


Selected Publications:

An Inquiry into the Dynamics of Government Secrecy, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, Volume 48, No. 2, Summer 2013

What Should Be Classified? Some Guiding Principles, prepared for the Open Society Justice Initiative, May 2011

National Security Secrecy: How the Limits Change, Social Research, Volume 77, No. 3, Fall 2010

Telling Secrets, Foreign Policy, October 18, 2010

Reducing Government Secrecy: Finding What Works, Yale Law & Policy Review, Volume 27, No. 2, Spring 2009

The U.S. Highly Enriched Uranium Declaration: Transparency Deferred but Not Denied by Steven Aftergood and Frank von Hippel, Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 14, No. 1, March 2007

Polygraph Testing and the DOE National Laboratories, Science, Volume 290, No. 5493, 3 November 2000

Government Secrecy and Knowledge Production: A Survey of Some General Issues, Cornell University Peace Studies Program Occasional Paper #23, October 1999

Selected Congressional Testimony:

Secret Law and the Threat to Democratic Government, testimony before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate, April 30, 2008

On strengthening the role of the Government Accountability Office in Intelligence Oversight, testimony before a subcommittee of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, U.S. Senate, February 29, 2008