FILE - In this March 3, 2005, file photo, a workman dusts the floor at the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Va. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit challenging a pre-publication review required for people who have had access to government secrets. The CIA says the pre-publication review is necessary to protect national security and protect former employees from legal liability. Timothy Barrett, a CIA spokesman, said the agency “does not comment on pending litigation." (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

ACLU sues over review process for government secrets

April 02, 2019 - 1:46 pm
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit challenging a pre-publication review required for people who have had access to government secrets.

Former intelligence agency employees are bound by a lifelong obligation to keep national security secrets as long as the government deems the information classified. Because of that responsibility, they must submit manuscripts and drafts for government review before publication.

The ACLU argues the requirements are too broad, often implemented arbitrarily and ultimately suppress free speech.

The Central Intelligence Agency says pre-publication review is necessary to protect national security and shield former employees from legal liability.

The ACLU and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University are filing the suit jointly against the CIA, National Security Agency, Office of the Director of National Intelligence and Defense Department.

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