Sunday , September 24 2023

Leakages of ‘secret’ docus

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Among the manifestations of the dissatisfaction of nations with their governments is seeking to slander them with jokes, spreading true and false news and rumor mongering, leaking confidential documents, exposing their illegal activities, and performing other negative acts.

In recent years, these phenomena increased with the increase in popular dissatisfaction with our government, including leaking confidential correspondence especially that marked ‘secret contents’ or ‘Top Secret’ and here the issue of ‘leakage’ becomes more attractive.

A colleague and friend Sami Al-Nisf says a committee was formed in the 1960s in the US Congress, headed by Senator Patrick Moynihan, to look into top secret and classified documents and found out, as stated in a television interview, that 90% of correspondence and documents of the US government that carry such classification did not deserve secrecy, so they were removed from that classification.

Nowadays, with the camera in the pocket of every employee, porter, cleaner and messenger, marking any document ‘secret’ is nothing but an invitation to photograph and distribute it, so there are no secrets that can be protected once the letter is printed on paper and given a number and distributed.

A few days ago, a circular issued by the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers and marked “top secret” addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and perhaps to the rest of the ministers has gone viral including a request for the need to obtain written permission and the prior approval of the Amiri Diwan before placing any pictures, models or murals in public places of senior leaders. The top secret classified letter included a request to present the matter to the Council of Ministers to circulate it to all concerned parties and to adhere to its content.

First: As long as the letter of the General Secretariat was described by its author as a circular, this cancels the secrecy classification.

Second: This order was issued so that all members of the nation, citizens and residents would know about it. It is directed to them so that none of them would put pictures in the future without taking written permission from the Amiri Diwan, so how is it top secret?

Third: a “very secret” or top secret classification on some government correspondence is a legacy of the Arab dictatorial administrative systems, and is not consistent with the requirements and conditions of the present times. Therefore, the matter requires the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers to instruct the various government agencies to reduce as much as possible the use of such classifications.

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By Ahmad alsarraf