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Designating government documents as “pseudo-classified”
US Congressman John L. Mica (R-FL) hears testimony about federal agencies using non-standard sensitivity markings, such as “For Office Use Only” to keep un-classified documents out of the hands of the public and other branches of government.
As an example, the Project on Government Oversight recently reported on a Department of Defense Investigator General report that the Pentagon labeled “For Office Use Only” to either withhold or to make it difficult for requestors to get information that should otherwise be public. An internal office policy, not a law, provides that only the report’s title, or a summary, be posted on its website — even though the document is not classified.
Use of “sensitivity” markings that are not legitimate security clearance categories, such as “secret” or “top secret”, means the requestor must make a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the documents.
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