The executive branch classified 25 percent more information last year, the Information Security Oversight Office noted in its latest annual report to the president.
Secrecy News reports that there was a marked increase in secrecy for national security reasons last year, as agencies classified a total of more than 14 million new secrets.
Critics argue that significant amounts of information are classified unnecessarily, a practice that they say harms national security. The report supports that argument.
"Allowing information that will not cause damage to national security to remain in the classification system, or to enter the system in the first instance, places all classified information at needless increased risk," the report said.
The Information Security Oversight Office, which is housed in the National Archives, asked agency heads to closely examine their classification systems.