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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

The Data Transparency Coalition

“The Data Transparency Coalition advocates on behalf of the private sector and the public interest for the publication of government information as standardized, machine-readable data. We believe governments should adopt non-proprietary data standards for the information they generate or collect, and publish such information as machine-readable data, especially with regard to their spending, regulatory, legislative, and judicial activity. The transformation of public information generated and received by governments from disconnected documents into interoperable open data will:

  • Strengthen democratic accountability by making public data more accessible for citizens and watchdogs;
  • Enhance government management by improving data sharing and analytics capabilities;
  • Reduce compliance costs by automating reporting processes.

Data transparency also stimulates tech-sector innovation and creates jobs. The Data Transparency Coalition, on behalf of both the private sector and the public interest:

  • Advocates legislative and regulatory mandates for data standardization and publication;
  • Educates government leaders, private-sector innovators, and the public on the benefits of data transparency; and
  • Convenes stakeholders to collaboratively design policies and build technology solutions that will drive the data transparency transformation.”

Immigration Detention Risk Assessment

“Noferi, Mark L. and Koulish, Robert, The Immigration Detention Risk Assessment (July 1, 2015). 29 Georgetown Immigration Law Journal 45 (2015). Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2635247 “In early 2013, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) deployed nationwide a new automated risk assessment tool to help determine whether to detain or release noncitizens pending theirContinue Reading

Summary of Agency Chief FOIA Officer Reports for 2015

Summary of Agency Chief FOIA Officer Reports for 2015 and Assessment of Agency Progress in Implementing the President’s FOIA Memorandum and Attorney General Holder’s FOIA Guidelines With OIP Guidance for Further Improvement “The 2015 Chief FOIA Officer Reports address efforts in improving FOIA administrations in five key areas tied to Attorney General Holder’s 2009 FOIAContinue Reading

Digital help filing your FOIA request

Storybench: “A recent Gallup poll reaffirmed what we already know-the public’s trust in the media keeps sinking. So what’s a committed reporter to do? One answer is to take advantage of the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, to request public records to bolster one’s story. Agencies at the local, state and federal level produce thousands of records every day, mostContinue Reading

New Rosenberg Grand Jury Testimony Released

“Washington, D.C., July 15, 2015 – “The newly released grand jury testimony by Ethel Rosenberg’s brother David Greenglass suggests he committed perjury on the witness stand in the Rosenberg spy trial, according to experts who analyzed the documents released today and posted by the National Security Archive. The grand jury testimony from August 1950 showsContinue Reading

Support continues for public release of CRS reports paid for by taxpayers

Roll Call – “The walls between members of the public and Capitol Hill’s exclusive division of policy and legal analysts are too tall, according to transparency advocates both inside and outside of Congress. Such sentiment is prompting their calls to lawmakers with jurisdiction over the Library of Congress and the House clerk’s office to examine making publicContinue Reading

Cities leverage open data to share wealth of info with citizens

Bianca Spinosa, July 10, 2015: “Government agencies have no shortage of shareable data. Data.gov, the open-data clearinghouse that launched in May 2009, had more than 147,331 datasets as of mid-July, and state and local governments are joining federal agencies in releasing ever-broader arrays of information. The challenge, however, remains making all that data usable. ObamaContinue Reading

Filmmaker Laura Poitras suing to shine light on travel detainment

Via The Intercept: “Over six years, filmmaker Laura Poitras was searched, interrogated and detained more than 50 times at U.S. and foreign airports. When she asked why, U.S. agencies wouldn’t say. Now, after receiving no response to her Freedom of Information Act requests for documents pertaining to her systemic targeting, Poitras is suing the U.S.Continue Reading

History of the internet – 40 maps and key resources

For all those who do not recollect or may not know how the internet evolved from ARPANET in 1969 to the web of 2015 with its data analytics, e-commerce profiling and of course, global surveillance, I recommend 40 maps that explain the internet by Timothy B. Lee via Vox, posted on June 2, 2014: “TheContinue Reading

Federal agencies test new “release for one, release to all” FOIA policy

Reporters Committee on Freedom of the Press – Adam Marshall, July 9, 2015: “With little public fanfare, seven federal agencies have announced a controversial trial program of publishing documents responsive to most Freedom of Information Act requests online. Under the program, known as a “Release-to-One is Release-to-All” policy, any member of the public will presumablyContinue Reading

US chicken and seafood processed in China – returned for sale stateside

Food Safety News – “Thanks to our Change.org petition (307,000-plus signatures and rising), millions of Americans have learned that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is about to allow U.S chickens to be sent to China for processing and then shipped back to the U.S. for human consumption. This arrangement is particularly alarming given China’s appallingContinue Reading

Report – Psychologists Shielded U.S. Torture Program

New York Times, James Risen – The Central Intelligence Agency’s health professionals repeatedly criticized the agency’s post-Sept. 11 interrogation program, but their protests were rebuffed by prominent outside psychologists who lent credibility to the program, according to a sweeping new report. The 542-page report, which examines the involvement of the nation’s psychologists and their largestContinue Reading