It is a Friday afternoon as I write this, and about an hour ago, the Director of National Intelligence published a report to its Tumblr page evaluating the over-classification of government documents. The intelligence community has a habit of dropping recently declassified documents on Friday afternoons, the motive for which we will leave as an exercise for the reader.

The Tumblr was introduced in the wake of the leaks from Edward Snowden as part of the DNI/National Security Agency's efforts to bolster its public relations. We went back and checked the dates and types of releases that have appeared on the site since October 2013 to see how those releases worked. We sorted them into two categories: innocuous public relations fluff and interviews, and the release of documents or notifications of the reauthorization of its surveillance authority.

One-third of the time, posts in the latter — more serious — category were released on Friday afternoon or evening (nine out of 27). And four of those nine document release posts fell after 5 p.m. on Friday.


The moral of the story? If you want to know what the intelligence community is up to, don't make plans on Friday nights.