Important update on CIA mandatory declassification review

Unredacted (the aptly-named blog of the national Security Archive) has an important update on the fees being put into place by the CIA. These fees will be charged on FOIA requests, $72/hour and $0.50/page whether any releasable material is found or not. A total of 36 groups had written to the CIA asking that it not do this, but the CIA has punted:

This is the key point:

The CIA is attempting to “price out” requesters because it hopes to prevent requesters from appealing its overzealous classification decisions to the quasi-independent Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP), often referred to as “the secrecy court of last resort.”  ISCAP fully or partially overturns more than 65 percent of classification decisions, government-wide.  Because the President’s Executive Order on Classification requires the CIA to defer to ISCAP’s decisions, the Agency is attempting to make it too expensive for requesters to take their requests there.

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