Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Category Archives: Freedom of Information

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

The USA Freedom Act: A Partial Response to European Concerns about NSA Surveillance

Swire, Peter. The USA Freedom Act: A Partial Response to European Concerns about NSA Surveillance. Working Paper GTJMCE 2015-1. Sam Nunn School of International Affairs  – Georgia Institute of Technology. “In June 2015, the Congress adopted and President Obama signed the USA Freedom Act, the biggest pro-privacy change to U.S. intelligence law in nearly 40Continue Reading

Report – Who Has Your Digital Back?

Who Has Your Back? 2015: Protecting Your Data From Government Requests. July 2, 2015 | By Parker Higgins: “We live digital lives—from the videos shared on social networks, to location-aware apps on mobile phones, to log-in data for connecting to our email, to our stored documents, to our search history. The personal, the profound, andContinue Reading

Washington Post database collecting data on citizen killings by police

“The Washington Post is compiling a database of every fatal shooting in the United States by a police officer in the line of duty in 2015. The Post is tracking more than a dozen details about each killing — including the race of the deceased, the circumstances of the shooting, and whether the person wasContinue Reading

Intelligence Cmte’s investigation of interrogation techniques

The New Yorker – To expose torture, Dianne Feinstein fought the C.I.A. -and the White House, June 22, 2015. “Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic senator from California, is making a late career of not quite pleasing anyone. After five decades in politics, Feinstein, at eighty-one, is the oldest sitting member of the Senate, where a lateContinue Reading

EPIC Joins Open Government Groups in Support of FOIA Reform

“EPIC and a coalition of open government advocates has urged Congress to pass FOIA reform legislation. In response to a request from the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the coalition expressed support for the FOIA Act of 2015, specifically praising a provision limiting the use of Exemption 5, which has enabledContinue Reading