These Principles were developed in order to provide guidance to those engaged in drafting,
revising, or implementing laws or provisions relating to the state’s authority to withhold
information on national security grounds or to punish the disclosure of such information.
They are based on international (including regional) and national law, standards, good
practices, and the writings of experts.
They address national security—rather than all grounds for withholding information. All
other public grounds for restricting access should at least meet these standards.

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