Opening Statements

A Peek Inside Government Secrecy

Illustration by Serge Bloch

It comes as no surprise to most that secrecy in government has been on the rise in recent years, but the amount of that secrecy may still stun you.

Consider that in 2007 the federal government:

Received 21,758,628 Freedom of Information Act requests, up 2 percent from 2006, when 21,412,736 requests were received.

Imposed secrecy orders on 128 new patents, increasing the number of total secrecy orders on patents to 5,002.

Requested 2,371 FISA applications, up nearly 9 percent from 2006.

Source:’s 2008 Secrecy Report Card.

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