By Ramsey Cox
Shaheen called on the administration to take the recommendations of the Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) and establish a White House-led steering committee to begin addressing the issue.
Shaheen said the current system is outdated and results in the over-classification of government documents at the expense of transparency and taxpayer dollars.
Shaheen said a single intelligence agency classifies a petabyte of information every 18 month — equivalent to approximately 20 million filing cabinets filled with text, or about 13.3 years of high-definition video. She said the cost of storing these files has doubled over 10 years from $4.7 billion in 2001 to $11.36 billion in 2011.
"The American public has a right to access official records in order to provide appropriate oversight of their elected officials," Shaheen wrote. "I hope you will consider establishing a White House steering committee on security classification reform and continue to address the problem of over-classification in our government."
This article was updated on May 31.