How much do government secrets cost? Try $10 billion.
In its first full year in office (FY 2010), the Obama administration generated a record-breaking 224,724 “new secrets” — a 22.6 percent increase over the year before, according to the Information Security Oversight Office and first reported by Secrecy News. Transparency expert Steven Aftergood also reports that as the volume of secrets goes up, so does the price tag for taxpayers to keep information hidden.
According to Secrecy News:
The estimated costs of the national security classification system grew by 15% last year to reach $10.17 billion, according to the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO). It was the first time that annual secrecy costs in government were reported to exceed $10 billion.
This does not include the costs for the intelligence agencies like the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. Their spending on information secrecy is itself considered a secret.