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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

Declassified Articles from Studies in Intelligence: CIA’s In-House Intelligence Journal

CIA Library: ” This collection of released documents consists of a selection of declassified Studies in Intelligence articles from the 1970s to 2000s. The documents reveal the CIA’s place in conducting U.S. foreign policy. The Agency cannot plan or act today without being influenced in some way by its collective past or the historical experiences that these documents describe. This collection of declassified articles includes studies on the leadership of the individual DCIs and other senior Agency officers; histories of CIA directorates and their activities; tutorials on improving intelligence tradecraft; ever-changing intelligence challenges and national security threats to the U.S.; and specific events in which intelligence played a role in informing policymakers or influencing outcomes. Studies in Intelligence, CIA’s in-house journal for the intelligence professional, is administered by the Agency’s Center for the Study of Intelligence. Its mission is to stimulate within the Intelligence Community the constructive discussion of important issues of the day, to expand knowledge of lessons learned from past experiences, to increase understanding of the history of the profession, and to provide readers with considered reviews of public literature concerning intelligence. Intelligence trailblazer Sherman Kent-the ‘father’ of intelligence analysis in America-created Studies in 1955 as a journal for intelligence professionals. In the first article published in Studies, Kent called for the creation of a literature that would support the development of intelligence as a professional discipline. He said, “As long as this discipline lacks a literature, its method, its vocabulary, its body of doctrine, and even its fundamental theory run the risk of never reaching full maturity.“  Kent believed that the most important service such a literature could perform would be to record and disseminate new ideas and experiences, and build toward a cumulative understanding of the profession.”

Testimony of Nuala O’Connor on Open Internet Rules

“CDT President & CEO testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 17, 2014. The hearing, entitled “Why Net Neutrality Matters: Protecting Consumers and Competition Through Meaningful Open internet Rules,” comes as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) works to restore open Internet protections and has sought public comments on the best path forward.” “We believe thatContinue Reading

EPIC (Finally) Obtains Memos on Warrantless Wiretapping Program

“More than eight years after filing a Freedom of Information Act request for the legal justification behind the “Warrantless Wiretapping” program of President Bush, EPIC has now obtained a mostly unredacted version of two key memos (OLC54)and (OLC85) by former Justice Department official Jack Goldsmith. EPIC requested these memos just four hours after the New York Times broke the story about theContinue Reading

Wikimedia Commons is now 10 years old – huge resource for free educational media

News release: “Wikimedia Commons is turning 10 years old [September 7, 2014] — will you help celebrate? We’re asking everyone to join the Wikimedia community by sharing a freely licensed image with world. Wikimedia Commons is one of the world’s largest resources of freely licensed educational media. It is the central repository of the majority of illustrations forContinue Reading

Foreign Powers Buy Influence At Think Tanks: Financing of Research Often Isn’t Disclosed

Eric Lipton, Brooke Williams and Nicholas Confessore, New York Times: “The arrangements involve Washington’s most influential think tanks, including the Brookings Institution, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Atlantic Council. Each is a major recipient of overseas funds, producing policy papers, hosting forums and organizing private briefings for senior United States governmentContinue Reading

18F launches alpha foia.gov

Via E Pluribus Unum, Alexander B. Howard: “18F, the federal government’s new IT development shop, has launched a new look at the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in the form of a open source application hosted on Github. Today’s announcement is the most substantive evidence yet that the Obama administration will indeed modernize the Freedom of Information Act, as the UnitedContinue Reading

Study: Government Blocks Specific Journalists From Accessing Information

David Sorota: “As states move to hide details of government deals with Wall Street and as politicians come up with new arguments to defend secrecy, it was revealed this week that many government information officers block specific journalists they don’t like from accessing information. The news comes as 47 federal inspectors general sent a letter to lawmakers criticizing “seriousContinue Reading

EPIC FOIA Case – Army Blimps over Washington Loaded with Surveillance Gear, Cost $1.6 Billion

“EPIC has received substantial new information about the surveillance blimps, now deployed over Washington, DC. The documents were released to EPIC in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of the Army. The documents also reveal that the Army paid Raytheon $1.6 billion. EPIC will receive more documents about the controversial program In October. For more information, see EPIC: EPIC v. ArmyContinue Reading

The executive order that led to mass spying, as told by NSA alumni

Cyrus Farivar - Ars Technica: [Executive Order] 12333 is used to target foreigners abroad, and collection happens outside the US,” whistleblower John Tye, a former State Department official, told Ars recently. “My complaint is not that they’re using it to target Americans, my complaint is that the volume of incidental collection on US persons is unconstitutional.” The document, known inContinue Reading

MuckRock 50 States of FOIA Project

“The MuckRock 50 States of FOIA Project aims to shed light on what it’s like to work with public records around the U.S., through the voices of requesters state by state. This time, we focus on the state of Massachusetts. MuckRock spoke with Colman Herman, a freelance investigative reporter whose work can be found in the Globe, the Herald, and CommonwealthContinue Reading

EPIC Sues FBI for Missing Privacy Reports

“EPIC has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to obtain details about the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s surveillance programs. The agency is required to conduct privacy impact assessments when it collects and uses personal data. However, the Bureau has failed to publicly release privacy impact assessments for many of its programs, including facial recognition, drones, and license plateContinue Reading

Surveillance Costs: The NSA’s Impact on the Economy, Internet Freedom & Cybersecurity

New America Foundation – “It has been over a year since The Guardian reported the first story on the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs based on the leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, yet the national conversation remains largely mired in a simplistic debate over the tradeoffs between national security and individual privacy. It is timeContinue Reading