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The High Cost of Secrecy to American Taxpayers

The federal government is becoming increasingly secretive, every year classifying more and more information as out of bounds for ordinary American citizens, yet charging us billions to keep its secrets from us. According to the recently released 2011 Cost Report by the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), which is part of the National Archives and Records Administration, government secrecy efforts cost $11.4 billion in 2011 alone, up $1.2 billion (12%) from 2010, and nearly two-and-a-half times more than ten years before, when the government spent $4.7 billion.

Another $1.2 billion was spent protecting information held by private contractors. And the total does not include the figures for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office and the National Security Agency (NSA) because their budgets are…classified.


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