How Much is Too Much?

US Government Secrecy and the New Half-Life of Secrets

Governments are finding it harder and harder to keep secrets. In a new paper, New America Cybersecurity Fellow and ex-OMB privacy chief, Peter Swire argues that the “half-life of secrets” is declining and that government agencies, especially those engaged in intelligence and national security, need to do a better job of adapting. But how best to do that? And what should Wikileaks and the Snowden revelations tell us about how the US Government is doing as it grapples with this in the real world? A government, like any organization, needs some secrets to operate. But where should they draw the line and how should that line by drawn?

Professor Swire will be joined by John Rizzo and Siobhan Gorman for a conversation moderated by the Co-Director of New America’s Cybersecurity Initiative, Ian Wallace.

Follow the discussion online using #NewAmCyber and following @NewAmCyber.


Peter Swire
Cybersecurity Fellow, New America
Nancy J. and Lawrence P. Huang Professor of Law and Ethics, Georgia Tech's Scheller College of Business
Senior Counsel, Alston & Bird LLP. 

Siobhan Gorman
Director, Brunswick Group, Washington DC
Former Intelligence Correspondent, Wall Street Journal

John Rizzo 
Senior Counsel, Steptoe and Johnson LLP
Former Office of the General Counsel, Central Intelligence Agency 


Ian Wallace
Senior Fellow, International Security Program
Co-Director of the Cybersecurity Initiative, New America