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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

CRS – National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations

National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations: A Glimpse at the Legal Background, Charles Doyle, Senior Specialist in American Public Law. July 31, 2015.
“Five federal statutes authorize intelligence officials to request certain business record information in connection with national security investigations. The authority to issue these national security letters (NSLs) is comparable to the authority to issue administrative subpoenas. The USA PATRIOT Act (P.L. 107-56) expanded the authority under the original four NSL statutes and created a fifth. Thereafter, the authority was reported to have been widely used. Then, a report by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General (IG) found that in its use of expanded USA PATRIOT Act authority the FBI had “used NSLs in violation of applicable NSL statutes, Attorney General Guidelines, and internal FBI policies,” although it concluded that no criminal laws had been broken. A year later, a second IG report confirmed the findings of the first, and noted the corrective measures taken in response. A third IG report, critical of the FBI’s use of exigent letters and informal NSL alternatives, noted that the practice had been stopped and related problems addressed.”

Paper – Is Biblioleaks Inevitable?

Dunn AG, Coiera E, Mandl KD. Is Biblioleaks Inevitable? J Med Internet Res 2014;16(4):e112 “In 2014, the vast majority of published biomedical research is still hidden behind paywalls rather than open access. For more than a decade, similar restrictions over other digitally available content have engendered illegal activity. Music file sharing became rampant in theContinue Reading

US Database of the Deceased

As cybercrime has had a significant impact on tens of millions of our lives, whether we are: in the federal work force and all (yes all) of our personal (the definition of the word ‘personal’ needs to be modified soon) data was compromised (or more accurately, it was stolen, siphoned off, hacked…over days, weeks, months,Continue Reading

ViewPoint – Great New Possibilities for the Library of Congress

Colleagues – we have worked for many years, often many decades, as members of a profession to which we have a deep and abiding commitment and through which we have, under often the most challenging of circumstances, helped to usher in the future without forsaking the past. So this snippet (the rest is behind aContinue Reading

CIA Releases Declassified Documents Related to 9/11 Attacks

LANGLEY, VA — [June 12, 2015] “The CIA has released to the public declassified versions of five internal documents related to the Agency’s performance in the lead-up to the attacks of September 11, 2001. The documents can be found at CIA’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) online reading room at http://www.foia.cia.gov/collection/declassified-documents-related-911-attacks. The first of theseContinue Reading

Americans’ Attitudes About Privacy, Security and Surveillance

Pew – Americans’ Views About Data Collection and Security By Mary Madden and Lee Rainie: “Contrary to assertions that people “don’t care” about privacy in the digital age, this survey suggests that Americans hold a range of strong views about the importance of control over their personal information and freedom from surveillance in daily life.Continue Reading

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,Continue Reading

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