National Security and Open Government
Georgetown Public Policy Review, Vol. 9.2, pp. 69-85, Spring 2004
18 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2009
Date Written: July 1, 2004
There are circumstances in which governments can legitimately restrict openness in the name of national security. However, we can identify three common problems that arise when governments invoke national security concerns to restrict transparency. The first is the tendency to regard national security as an absolute trump over the right to information. The second is the failure to recognize how often security can actually be improved through openness. The third is the tendency to undercut transparency during states of emergency, at precisely the moment when it serves its most important role as a safeguard of basic rights.
Keywords: transparency, right to information, freedom of information, openness, national security
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation