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 and to promote public access to government information.
His blog Secrecy News reports on current developments in secrecy policy and provides direct public access to valuable government records that are otherwise hard to find.
In 1997, Mr. Aftergood was the plaintiff in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency which led to the declassification and publication of the total intelligence budget ($26.6 billion in 1997) for the first time in fifty years. In 2006, he won a FOIA lawsuit against the National Reconnaissance Office for release of unclassified budget records.
Mr. Aftergood is an electrical engineer by training (B.Sc., UCLA, 1977). His work on challenging government secrecy has been recognized with the Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award (2010), the James Madison Award from the American Library Association (2006), the Public Access to Government Information Award from the American Association of Law Libraries (2006), and the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award from the Playboy Foundation (2004).
Making Up My Mind, and Then Changing It, Essay Series on Learning the Scholar's Craft: Reflections of Historians and International Relations Scholars, H-DIPLO, July 13, 2021
An Inquiry into the Dynamics of Government Secrecy, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, Vol. 48, No. 2, Summer 2013
What Should Be Classified? Some Guiding Principles, prepared for the Open Society Justice Initiative, May 2011
National Security Secrecy: How the Limits Change, Social Research, Volume 77, No. 3, Fall 2010
Telling Secrets, Foreign Policy, October 18, 2010
Reducing Government Secrecy: Finding What Works, Yale Law & Policy Review, Volume 27, No. 2, Spring 2009
The U.S. Highly Enriched Uranium Declaration: Transparency Deferred but Not Denied by Steven Aftergood and Frank von Hippel, Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 14, No. 1, March 2007
Polygraph Testing and the DOE National Laboratories, Science, Volume 290, No. 5493, 3 November 2000
Government Secrecy and Knowledge Production: A Survey of Some General Issues, Cornell University Peace Studies Program Occasional Paper #23, October 1999
Selected Congressional Testimony
Secret Law and the Threat to Democratic Government, testimony before the the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate, April 30, 2008
On strengthening the role of the Government Accountability Office in Intelligence Oversight, testimony before a subcommittee of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, U.S. Senate, February 29, 2008