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Tighten Use of SSI, Congress Tells Homeland Security

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  1. Freedom of Information
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Congress has directed the Department of Homeland Security to both clarify and narrow its use of the designation “Sensitive Security Information” in safeguarding unclassified records. SSI is used by the Transportation Security Administration to protect information related to all forms of transportation. When so designated, it is exempt from FOIA. Secrecy News called the action “a rare defense of public access to government information” The order, in a conference report accompanying the department’s appropriations bill, said it was prompted by “insufficient management controls.” The provision was initially offered in the House version by Rep. Martin Sabo (D-Minn). (10/3/05)