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Obama Orders Review of Government Secrecy

U.S. President Barack Obama has ordered his administration to review how the government determines how and why certain documents are classified secret, as part of his drive for a more open government.

Mr. Obama instructed national security advisor James Jones to consult with the heads of various agencies and come up with recommendations on better sharing of classified documents. The president instructed Jones to study a proposal to create a National Declassification Center to help streamline the process of releasing classified information.

Mr. Obama also ordered a government-wide task force to create a uniform process of distributing so-called "sensitive but unclassified" information between federal agencies, and between the federal government and state and local agencies.

The task force will ensure the procedures "strike the proper balance" between the interests of law enforcement and civil liberties.

The panel, headed by Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, will have 90 days to complete its report.