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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

Americans Feel Better Informed Thanks to the Internet

“Rather than crushing them with too much information and making it hard to find useful material, most Americans say the internet and cell phones have brought benefits in learning, sharing and diversifying the flow of information into their lives. A new survey by the Pew Research Center finds that the vast majority of Americans believe their use of the web helps them learn new things, stay better informed on topics that matter to them, and increases their capacity to share ideas and creations with others. These generally positive attitudes are buttressed by the view that people like having so much information at their fingertips, rather than feeling information overload. Moreover, this positive judgment extends to the broader culture. Most believe that average Americans and U.S. students are better informed than in the past. The survey of 1,066 internet users shows that  87% of online adults say the internet and cell phones have improved their ability to learn new things, including 53% who say it has improved this “a lot.” Internet users under age 50, those in higher income households, and those with higher educational attainment are especially likely to say the internet and cell phones help them “a lot” when it comes to learning new things. Asked if they enjoy having so much information at their fingertips or if they feel overloaded, 72% of internet users report they like having so much information, while just 26% say they feel overloaded.”

Implementing a Body-Worn Camera Program: Recommendations and Lessons Learned

Report by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) with support from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing (COPS Office), October 2014. “The recent emergence of body-worn cameras has already had an impact on policing, and this impact will only increase as more agencies adopt this technology. The decision to implement body-worn cameras shouldContinue Reading

Investigative Report Claims NSA Hacking of Cellphone Networks Is Global

Ryan Gallagher – The Intercept: “The AURORAGOLD operation is carried out by specialist NSA surveillance units whose existence has not been publicly disclosed: the Wireless Portfolio Management Office, which defines and carries out the NSA’s strategy for exploiting wireless communications, and the Target Technology Trends Center, which monitors the development of new communication technology to ensureContinue Reading

Semi-annual report prepared by Intelligence Community Inspector General

Steven Aftergood, Secrecy News: “The Intelligence Community Inspector General (IC IG) received a tip last year that the Intelligence Community might have assembled a database containing US person data in violation of law and policy. “A civilian employee with the Army Intelligence and Security Command made an IC IG Hotline complaint alleging an interagency data repository,Continue Reading

EPIC Uncovers DOD Student Recruiting Database Privacy Protections

“The Department of Defense has released to EPIC documents on the “Joint Advertising and Market Research Studies” Recruiting Database. The database includes sensitive student information, including home address and grade point average. DOD obtains this information from high schools offering military aptitude tests, state DMVs, and commercial data brokers. The documents sought by EPIC shedContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Consumer Product Safety, Defense Contractors, FOIA, IRAs, Intellectual Property, VA Benefits

CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY OVERSIGHT: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen Coordination and Increase Efficiencies and Effectiveness, GAO-15-52: Published: Nov 19, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 19, 2014. DEFENSE CONTRACTORS: Additional Actions Needed to Facilitate the Use of DOD’s Inventory of Contracted Services, GAO-15-88: Published: Nov 19, 2014. Publicly Released: Nov 19, 2014. FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT: DHS Should Take Steps to Improve Cost Reporting andContinue Reading

Symantec – Government agencies and private sector businesses are drowning in information

Navigating Information Governance – “In addition to managing the growing variety, velocity, and volume of data, they must: Meet information transparency objectives Respond quickly to eDiscovery requirements Manage Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and internal investigations Comply with records management regulations With data requirements skyrocketing, how can organizations leverage information governance to meet thisContinue Reading

Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens

Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens. Perspectives on Politics / Volume 12 / Issue 03 / September 2014, pp 564-581 “Each of four theoretical traditions in the study of American politics—which can be characterized as theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic-Elite Domination, and two types of interest-group pluralism, Majoritarian Pluralism andContinue Reading

FOIA request reveals extensive government monitoring of US mail

New York Times: “In a rare public accounting of its mass surveillance program, the United States Postal Service reported that it approved nearly 50,000 requests last year from law enforcement agencies and its own internal inspection unit to secretly monitor the mail of Americans for use in criminal and national security investigations. The number of requests, containedContinue Reading

Open Access Issues and Potential Solutions Workshop

Open Access Issues and Potential Solutions Workshop – McCutcheon, V., Kerridge, S., Meyering, M. A., Walker, K., Tripp, L., Khokhar, M., Nixon, W., Cheesman, P., Pike, D., and Caplehorne, J.(2014) Open Access Issues and Potential Solutions Workshop. Project Report. University of Glasgow, Glasgow. (Unpublished) “This report provides a summary of the discussion and findings of theContinue Reading

USA v. Jeffrey Alexander Sterling: Selected Case Files

Via FAS, there are several dozen documents in this compendium including: On January 6, 2011, the Department of Justice announced the indictment of former CIA officer Jeffrey A. Sterling on charges of unauthorized disclosure of national defense information. A trial date has been set for January 14, 2015 (jury selection on January 8, 2015). Selected CaseContinue Reading

EPIC Obtains New Documents About Lack of Student Privacy Enforcement

“EPIC has obtained new documents from the Department of Education detailing parent and student complaints about the misuse of education records. The Department released the documents in response to an EPIC Freedom of Information Act request. EPIC is expecting to receive more documents about the agency’s enforcement of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.Continue Reading