Steven Aftergood is a senior research analyst at the Federation of American Scientists. He directs the FAS Project on Government Secrecy, which works to reduce the scope of government secrecy, to accelerate the declassification of cold war documents, and to promote reform of official secrecy practices.
He writes the Secrecy News blog, which is read by more than 10,000 self-selected subscribers in media, government and among the general public.
In 1997, Mr. Aftergood was the plaintiff in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency which successfully led to the declassification and publication of the total intelligence budget ($26.6 billion in 1997) for the first time in fifty years.
Mr. Aftergood is an electrical engineer by training (B.Sc., UCLA, 1977) and has published research in solid state physics. He joined the FAS staff in 1989.
He has authored or co-authored papers and essays in Scientific American, Science, New Scientist, Journal of Geophysical Research, Journal of the Electrochemical Society, and Issues in Science and Technology, on topics including space nuclear power, atmospheric effects of launch vehicles, and government information policy. From 1992-1998, he served on the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board of the National Research Council.
The Federation of American Scientists, founded in 1945 by Manhattan Project scientists, is a non-profit national organization of scientists and engineers concerned with issues of science and national security policy.
Another front in the battle over intelligence-agency secrecy
COMMENTARY | November 16, 2011
It's not just leaks, writes Steven Aftergood --- the Obama administration is also taking an uncompromising approach to pre-publication review of books by former intelligence agency employees.
Championing access to government information
COMMENTARY | April 18, 2008
Steven Aftergood writes that the direct access to newsworthy documents creates an expectation and a demand for greater availability. Yet most newspapers do not offer such 'tools for citizenship' to the same extent that their business pages offer tools for investing. Why is it that in most papers — and even on their Web sites — it is easier to find the daily batting averages of one's baseball team than the daily voting records of one's congressional delegation?
The next president should open up the Bush Administration's record
ASK THIS | February 07, 2008
By now no one expects the Bush Administration to make itself accountable for its controversial and possibly illegal practices. But the next President will have a unique opportunity to reveal what has been kept hidden for the last seven years. Secrecy watchdog Steven Aftergood suggests a few questions for the presidential candidates about their willingness to disclose just what the current Administration has done.
The WMD Commission and intelligence reform
ASK THIS | March 28, 2005
A new commission report on the failures of U.S. intelligence should raise questions about government accountability and the feasibility of intelligence reform, writes Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists.
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