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Mason Law Security Program Selected to Study Open Government Laws Post-9/11

ARLINGTON, VA — The George Mason University School of Law today announced that its Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Program will participate in a federally funded project to study the post-9/11 changes to state open government laws (e.g. freedom of information laws, open meeting laws, etc.).  The Critical Infrastructure Analysis Project (CIAP) will examine state statutes barring the release of certain types of sensitive information with the goal of aiding state governments in the protection of our critical infrastructures while ensuring compliance with federal laws and maximizing public access to information. 

"CIAP will help improve homeland security and at the same time, reinforce our nation's commitment to an open and transparent government of the people," said John McCarthy, CIP Program director.  "There is no better home for such research than Mason Law as we are uniquely positioned to add value to this important project." 

Since 9/11, numerous non-release provisions have been enacted by state governments in the interest of homeland security.  At the same time, questions about the effectiveness of these statutes and their impact on public access to information have arisen, leading Congress to commission a broad study of the new measures through a grant to the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary's University School of Law under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey Addicott.

The CIP Program, working as a sub-grant partner of the Center for Terrorism Law, will lend private sector and critical infrastructure expertise to CIAP.  It will analyze the new laws with an eye towards determining which most effectively enhance national security and will present its findings at a conference to be held in Washington, D.C. later this year.  Contingent on the findings, the project could result in the creation of model state open government legislation, the adoption of which would increase continuity and ease compliance with open government laws across all states. 

"We are pleased to be collaborating with St. Mary's, another distinguished legal center on homeland security issues," added McCarthy.

Mason Law alumna Maeve Dion will lead the project for the CIP Program.