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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

House Intelligence Committee Publishes Recently Declassified Redacted Version of “28 Pages”

News release: “Today, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), under the direction of Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA), approved publication of a newly declassified section of the 2002 Joint Congressional Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.   Following a declassification review, the Obama Administration decided to declassify the Joint Inquiry’s only wholly classified section, commonly referred to as the “28 pages.” The Administration then sent this document, with redactions to protect sources and methods, to congressional leadership. HPSCI has posted the document on its website.

Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said, “I support the Administration’s decision to declassify this section of the post-9/11 Joint Inquiry. Because the information can be released without jeopardizing national security, the American people should be able to access it. However, it’s important to note that this section does not put forward vetted conclusions, but rather unverified leads that were later fully investigated by the Intelligence Community. Many of the Intelligence Community’s findings were included in the 9/11 Commission report as well as in a newly declassified executive summary of a CIA-FBI joint assessment that will soon be released by the Director of National Intelligence.”

Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Schiff said, “I applaud the Administration’s decision to declassify the so-called 28 pages, a step I have been urging for several years.  The American people have the right to know the full scope of the matters examined by the Joint  Inquiry, and I have every confidence the public can assess the allegations raised in the 28 pages and the 9/11 Commission’s conclusions on those matters. I hope that the release of these pages, with appropriate redactions necessary to protect our nation’s intelligence sources and methods, will diminish speculation that they contain proof of official Saudi Government or senior Saudi official involvement in the 9/11 attacks. The Intelligence Community and the 9/11 Commission, which followed the Joint Inquiry that produced these so-called 28 pages, investigated the questions they raised and was never able to find sufficient evidence to support them.  I know that the release of these pages will not end debate over the issue, but it will quiet rumors over their contents – as is often the case, the reality is less damaging than the uncertainty.”

MuckRock launching a national database of FOIA exemptions

Michael Morisy – We’re building an open guide to every state’s public records law – Help track down and fight every public records exemption across the country. “With agencies increasingly using an array of exemptions to deny access to information, we want to help requesters fight back. We’re launching a project to track every public… Continue Reading

House-Senate Opioid Conference Report Finalized

News release – Upton, Grassley, Goodlatte, Alexander, and Hatch Hail Agreement to Combat Opioid Epidemic: “After this morning’s meeting of House and Senate opioid conferees, bicameral leaders announced that a conference report has been filed. The conference report will be considered by the House Rules Committee tonight, and is expected to be on the House… Continue Reading

National Security Archive – President Obama Signs Freedom of Information Act Improvements Into Law

National Security Archive posting June 30, 2016: “At 4:00 PM today President Barack Obama signed the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 (S. 337) into law. The bipartisan, bicameral bill – introduced by Senators John Cornyn, Chuck Grassley, and Patrick Leahy, and supported by Representatives Jason Chaffetz and Elijah Cummings in the House – will improve… Continue Reading

House Homeland Security Report – Going Dark, Going Forward: A Primer on the Encryption Debate

June 29, 2016: “Terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino have sparked a public debate on the use of encryption in our society because the attackers used encrypted communications to evade detection, a phenomenon known as “going dark.” Today, the Majority Staff of the House Homeland Security Committee released a new report entitled, Going Dark,… Continue Reading

GAO Reports – 2020 Census, Defense Headquarters, Registering Voters, FOIA, ID Fraud

2020 Census: Census Bureau Needs to Improve Its Life-Cycle Cost Estimating Process, GAO-16-628: Published: Jun 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2016. Defense Headquarters: Geographic Combatant Commands Rely on Subordinate Commands for Mission Management and Execution, GAO-16-652R: Published: Jun 30, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2016. Defense Headquarters: Improved Data Needed to Better Identify Streamlining… Continue Reading

MSU McLellan Free Expression Online Library

“MSU Law’s First Amendment Law Clinic is the only clinical program in the country solely dedicated to the protection of student speech and press rights. Now, a $500,000 donation from leading Michigan attorney and MSU Law Trustee Richard D. McLellan will expand the clinic’s impact nationwide by creating a Free Expression Online Library and Resource… Continue Reading

USNews article – Google as global censor across all its brands

Robert Epstein, June 22, 2016: Google, Inc., isn’t just the world’s biggest purveyor of information; it is also the world’s biggest censor. “…But as the golden gateway to all knowledge, Google has rapidly become an essential in people’s lives – nearly as essential as air or water. We don’t let public utilities make arbitrary and… Continue Reading

memhole2 expands resources page

The Memory Hole 2 Resources – “The Memory Hole 2 – run by Russ Kick – saves important documents from oblivion. Its predecessor, The Memory Hole (2002-2009), posted hundreds of documents, many of which will be reposted on the new site.” Continue Reading

Over 5,100 Pages of EPA Docs on Flint Water Crisis

The Memory Hole 2 – EPA: Flint Water Documents Interim Release 5 12 16 [PDF] “Responding to a Freedom of Information Act request about the poisonous nature of Flint, Michigan’s water, the EPA quietly released 5,155 pages of internal documents. They placed the humongous PDF file in a search-only archive with cryptic header info, meaning… Continue Reading

Freedom of Information Improvement Act passed by House and Senate

Secrecy News – “The House of Representatives yesterday approved the Freedom of Information Act Improvement Act, which had previously been adopted by the Senate. If signed by President Obama, as expected, it will strengthen several provisions of the FOIA and should enhance disclosure of government records. The bill “reaffirms the public’s right to know and… Continue Reading

The high cost and complex barriers to open access knowledge

Via ars technica uk this is a long read that documents the long, circuitous, challenging and unfulfilled promise of access to human knowledge provided without impediments specific to economic or social status, country of origin, age, ethnicity, i.e., for everyone – Open access: All human knowledge is there—so why can’t everybody access it? “…imagine, for… Continue Reading