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Under Executive Order 12958, as amended, any member of the public may request that a classified document (that can reasonably be identified), regardless of its age, be reviewed for declassification. Mandatory Declassification Review (MDRs) is the review for declassification of classified information in response to a request for declassification that meets the requirements under section 3.5 of Executive Order 12958, as amended.

All classified information, with some exceptions (such as the records of an incumbent President), is subject to a review for declassification by the originating agency if requested. An administrative appeal of an agency decision may be ultimately appealed to the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP), rather than the courts.