July 24, 2013 (Washington D.C.) – Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon) has raised concerns over how federal agencies determine what materials will be classified and who will have access. In a newsletter to constituents, Hunter suggested that “classification inflation” has occurred.
“In the ongoing debate on the activities of the National Security Agency, the abundance of classified documentation is one issue among others that demands further scrutiny,” Hunter’s newsletter states. “An excess of classified information and documents have required that the federal government issue more security clearances, without always taking the depth or context of information into account. In some cases, the classification system is used to withhold information from the public and sometimes even Members of Congress.”
Hunter has requested that the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office audit federal agencies on the process for classifying information and granting access, in addition to existing accountability standards for improper classification or over-classification.
He has indicated that leaks by whistleblower Edward Snowden prompted his concerns over how many people have access to classified information, and whether that material should have been classified to begin with.
The Congressman’s views are discussed in detail in this Washington Times article: http://tinyurl.com/kv7rw2p