Washington, US: US President Barack Obama’s first year in office witnessed a sharp increase in the financial costs of the classification system, according to a recent report to the President by Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), US.
However, ISOO did not disclose security cost estimates for the large intelligence agencies — the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the National Reconnaissance Office — because those costs are considered classified.
According to the ISOO, the estimated costs of the national security classification system grew by 15% last year to reach USD 10.17 billion. It was the first time that annual secrecy costs in government were reported to exceed USD 10 billion.
An additional USD 1.25 billion was incurred within industry to protect classified information, for a grand total of USD 11.42 billion in classification-related costs, also a new record high.
The cost estimates, based on the classification-related activities of 41 executive branch agencies, were reported to the President by ISOO on April 29. They include the estimated costs of personnel security (clearances), physical security, information systems security, as well as classification management and training — all of which increased last year.