The federal government set a new record for keeping secrets in 2004, during which government employees chose to classify information in a record 15.6 million times, according to new government figures released by the Information Security Oversight Office, part of the National Archives and Records Administration.
The total number of secrecy decisions made in 2004 is 10 percent higher than the 2003 total. The new data show secrecy continued to grow in 2004. For example:
* When given a choice, government employees last year chose to keep their new secrets longer than in years past. Sixty-six percent of the time, they chose to keep those new secrets for more than a decade.
* At the same time, the flow of old secrets to the public dropped to...