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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

9/11 – passage of 15 years brings new insights

There are many articles that continue to provide us with perspective and insight as we respectfully and with continued sadness, mark the 15th anniversary of 9/11. For many years there was an effort to obtain the release of the redacted “28 pages from the House Intelligence Committee’s 2002 report to Congress. As I posted July… Continue Reading

GAO Report on FOIA and Litigation Costs

Freedom of Information Act: Litigation Costs For Justice and Agencies Could Not Be Fully Determined, GAO-16-667: Published: Sep 8, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 2016. “Of the 1,672 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits with a decision rendered between 2009 and 2014, GAO identified 112 lawsuits where the plaintiff substantially prevailed. Litigation-related costs for these… Continue Reading

A high schooler’s guide to FOIA

Via MuckRock – Challenging authority, one public records request at a time by Beryl Lipton: “While teens across the United States prepare to return to their cliques and classes, MuckRock would like to introduce inquisitive minds and aspiring rebels to the paper path toward challenging your school, town, and local government. Encourage increased clarity in… Continue Reading

2016 Online Journalism Awards finalists announced

“Finalists for the 2016 Online Journalism Awards, representing a wide range of nonprofit, public, academic, major media and emerging technology organizations from around the globe, were announced today by the Online News Association. Twelve of the awards now come with $53,500 in prize money, courtesy of Knight Foundation, the Gannett Foundation and the University of… Continue Reading

McKinsey – Policy in the data age

Policy in the data age: Data enablement for the common good By Karim Tadjeddine and Martin Lundqvist “The tremendous impact that digital services have had on governments and society has been the subject of extensive research that has documented the rapid, extensive adoption of public-sector digital services around the globe. We believe that the coming… Continue Reading

Over 1,000 pages of declassified docs on Argentina posted online

Argentina Declassification Project, August 8, 2016. “During his landmark visit to Argentina in March, President Barack Obama announced that the U.S. government would declassify records relating to human rights abuses under Argentina’s 1976-1983 dictatorship. At a ceremony commemorating the victims of these human rights abuses, held on the 40th anniversary of the 1976 coup d’état,… Continue Reading

Declassified document offers view into drone strike approval process

Karen DeYoung – Newly declassified document sheds light on how Obama approves drone strikes – “The guidelines emphasize the importance of “verifying” the identity of high-value targets, even as they outline the criteria and legality of striking unidentified others when “necessary to achieve U.S. policy objectives.” Continue Reading

New Freedom of Information Act Request Documents Released by ODNI

August 3, 2016 – Read the full “Proactive Disclosure” press release at DOJ.gov. “The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is one of seven federal agencies participating in a pilot program to make records requested via the Freedom of Information Act more readily available to the public, as reflected in the recently released Third… Continue Reading

The Federal FOIA Ombudsman

“The National Archives and Records Administration established the Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advisory Committee in 2014 to foster dialog between the Administration and the requester community, solicit public comments, and develop consensus recommendations for improving FOIA administration and proactive disclosures. The Federal FOIA Advisory Committee reports to the Archivist of the United States.… Continue Reading

BBC – Syria’s secret library

Mike Thomson, BBC News: “When a place has been besieged for years and hunger stalks the streets, you might have thought people would have little interest in books. But enthusiasts have stocked an underground library in Syria with volumes rescued from bombed buildings – and users dodge shells and bullets to reach it…As it is,… Continue Reading

Information Security Oversight Office Report for FY 2015

2015 Report to the President, Information Security Oversight Office, transmitted by ISOO Acting Director William A. Cira, July 15, 2016 (via FAS – “53,425 new secrets (“original classification decisions”) created by executive branch agencies in FY 2015) – “This report provides statistics and analysis of the system of classification and declassification based on ISOO’s review of… Continue Reading

Reporters Committee – Pentagon revises war manual to emphasize protections for journalists

Sophie Murguia, July 28, 2016 – “The Pentagon has updated its Law of War manual to clarify that journalists are generally protected as civilians under international law. The changes, announced last week, came after media groups expressed concern that some language in the original version could put reporters at risk of being considered spies or… Continue Reading