Secrecy rises: Washington gives public less and less

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Back in 1989, as a young graduate student at the University of Southern California researching a masters thesis, William Aceves asked the government for information about its"freedom of navigation" program involving international waters and air space.

The seemingly benign request, made under a 1966 law designed to let people find out what their government is doing, languished for years.

Just last month, Aceves, now a full professor at California Western School of Law in San Diego, got another batch of partially blacked-out papers, a staggering 18 years after his first request.

Aceves is among dozens of people whose requests for information have lingered in limbo at various agencies for more than a decade, according to a new audit by the National Security Archive, a public watchdog group. Thousands of requests take years. Many more take months.

The law says they are supposed to be processed within 20 days...

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