Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version



Kostal, Cassandra. Implications of Information: An Analysis of How State Secrecy Prevails Over The Rights of Free People. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 2021.


Copyright Cassandra Kostal 2021.


This thesis is an analysis of the withholding of information at the hands of the federal government and the subsequent creation of a culture of secrecy that threatens the freedom of information. The primary research question was: How does the government keep information classified in the age of information and how does this penchant for secrecy and nondisclosure undermine the public’s faith in their leadership? Research into this question was conducted through two means: printed and online publications. The printed publications were books recommended to me by Dr. John Bender and the online publications were sources found through searches using Google Scholar and databases from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln libraries.

My research found the culture of secrecy in the United States existed long before modern technology increased the speed of information sharing. When the system of classification created to protect the government’s secrets went beyond the public’s interests, measures were taken to preserve public access. Meanwhile, unauthorized leaks served to undermine the strained relationship between those with information and those who wanted it. The press became entwined in the world of secrecy early on and fought to maintain a balance between the government it watches over and the people it serves. These struggles have not been contained in the United States, but have impacted nations such as Great Britain. The power of information has strong implications that are revealed through this thesis as it breaks down the culture of secrecy.