ERIC Number: ED310448
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Tilting the Balance toward Secrecy: "Mosaic" Theory and Release of Information under the Freedom of Information Act.
Warden, Michael L.
Two recent judicial and governmental developments appear to tip the scales in favor of the confidentiality of intelligence sources and methods at the expense of any "right of access" to government information. The implementation of the Reagan Administration's Executive Order governing the classification of national security information and the Supreme Court's decision in "CIA vs. Sims" are likely to have a significant impact on the amount of information that can be made available to the public under the Freedom of Information Act. The trend toward more secrecy represents the evolution of a nondisclosure philosophy within the Executive branch--a philosophy now sanctioned by the Supreme Court--that contravenes the prodisclosure intent of the Freedom of Information Act. This philosophy has been advanced through application by both the Executive and the Judiciary of a "mosaic" theory of confidentiality (in which individually insignificant pieces of information can be fitted together into a "mosaic" warranting confidentiality) as justification for withholding information. (One hundred and two footnotes are included.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Freedom of Information Act