Information and Control: Making Secrets and Keeping them Safe

The amount of classified information has increased to an astonishing point in recent years—having more than tripled during the Obama Administration alone. Concerns about overclassification are not new, but they are especially troubling given the amount of information now being classified and the number of persons being prosecuted for leaking classified information. As it stands, the executive branch retains power to determine what information should be classified and who should be prosecuted for leaking classified information. In essence, the Executive holds both pen and sword and it may wield both in its full discretion. This Note addresses: how the current classification system came about and how it currently stands; the tools available to prosecute leaks; and possible solutions to the problems of overclassification and overprosecution.