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1956 Report on Classified Information (Coolidge Committee)

The Memory Hole has put online the full text of the 1956 Coolidge Committee report on classified information, an early governmental report on overclassification and leaks. I especially appreciate the deeper context provided by author Susan Maret, an adjunct professor of library science at the University of Denver (who created the On Their Own Terms: A Lexicon with an Emphasis on Information-Related Terms Produced by the U.S. Federal Government mentioned a while back on Secrecy News).

“…as government secrecy expands, more public officials become privy to classified information and are faced with the choice of whether or not to leak … growing secrecy likewise causes reporters to press harder from the outside to uncover what is hidden. And then in a vicious circle, the increased revelations give government leaders further reasons to press for still more secrecy.
–Sissela Bok, Secrets. New York: Vintage Books, 1989, p. 184 and 248.

On a side note, the memory hole has been frequently mentioned in the docs community as a potential partner. If librarians are really serious about this potential, I would strongly suggest that you donate to the memory hole.

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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