Obama Signs Bill To End Excessive Classification

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U.S. President Barack Obama on Oct. 7 signed into law the Reducing Over-Classification Act of 2010, which the bill’s sponsor said is intended to give first responders better access to threat and intelligence information.

The law, written by U.S. Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), will end the practice of classifying intelligence information as “secret” for the wrong reasons, including protecting turf and avoiding embarrassment, according to an Oct. 7 press release from Harman’s office.

“Over-classification prevents the sharing of accurate, actionable and timely information horizontally across the government and vertically with state and local law enforcement,” Harman said. “This problem permeates the Intelligence Community and was identified by the 9/11 Commission as a major obstacle in preventing future terror attacks,” Harman said.

Obama on Oct. 7 also signed into law the U.S. Intelligence Authorization Act of 2011, the first intelligence authorization bill to become law since 2004.