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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

Appropriations for LC and CRS – no public access to CRS reports

LEGISLATIVE BRANCH APPROPRIATIONS BILL, 2016 – spotlight on LIBRARY OF CONGRESS [via FAS]: “The Committee recommends $591,431,000 for the operations of  the Library of Congress. This is $33,071,000 below the budget  request and is $510,000 above the current level. In addition to  the appropriation, the Committee recommends offsetting  collections of $42,127,000. Established by Congress inContinue Reading

EFF Case Analysis: Appeals Court Rules NSA Phone Records Dragnet is Illegal

Andrew Crocker – “We now have the first decision from a court of appeals on the NSA’s mass surveillance program involving bulk collection of telephone records under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, and it’s a doozy. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued an opinion in ACLU v. Clapper holding thatContinue Reading

Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Launches FOIA Complaint Site

Tell Us Your Experience with FOIA – Tell us about issues that you have had with Freedom of Information Act requests.  What Happened? Excessive or inappropriate redactions Lengthy delays Administrative closures Requests to narrow or limit the scope Delayed appeals or refusals to mediate Unreasonable denial of fee waivers Other…

When Is a Justice Department Rule Not a Rule? Report From Twitter’s Transparency Fight

EFF – Karen Gullo – “When is a government rule not a rule? Making that question difficult, when it should be simple, seems to be the government’s leading strategy in a hearing this week in Twitter Inc.’s lawsuit challenging the government’s squelching of its transparency report. Twitter wants to provide a closer look at howContinue Reading

Librarians Versus the NSA

Via The Nation – Librarians Versus the NSA – Your local library is on the front lines against government surveillance, Zoë Carpenter “Alison Macrina had bad news for the 30 or so librarians in the darkened auditorium on a recent Friday. “Your password is bad,” she informed them. “I’m really sorry. Everything you’ve learned aboutContinue Reading

DOJ Summary of Annual FOIA Reports – 2014

DOJ Summary of Annual FOIA Reports For Fiscal Year 2014 – “In FY 2014, the federal government overall received 714,231 FOIA requests, continuing a four year trend of surpassing the record high number of requests received during a fiscal year. The additional 9,837 requests received is a 1.4% increase from the previous record high numberContinue Reading

White House documents found to be altered

Via FGI – Free Government Information, by James R. Jacobs – “Researchers at the University of Illinois say they have found evidence on the Whitehouse Web site that suggests “a pattern of revision and removal from the public record that spans several years, from 2003 through at least 2005. Instead of issuing a series ofContinue Reading

ARL Joins Hague Declaration for Changes to Intellectual Property Law, Equal Access to Knowledge

ARL – “More than 50 organizations around the world—including ARL—have signed the Hague Declaration on Knowledge Discovery in the Digital Age, which calls for immediate changes to intellectual property (IP) law and the removal of other barriers preventing widened and more equal access to data. Improved treatments for diseases, answers to global issues such asContinue Reading

State of the News Media 2015

“Call it a mobile majority. At the start of 2015, 39 of the top 50 digital news websites have more traffic to their sites and associated applications coming from mobile devices than from desktop computers, according to Pew Research Center’s analysis of comScore data. At the same time, though, desktop visitors to these sites tendContinue Reading

DHS Defends Government Secrecy in “Internet Kill Switch” Case

EPIC – “The Department of Homeland Security has filed a brief in response to EPIC’s petition for rehearing in the “Internet Kill Switch” case. EPIC is seeking the release of the public policy that allows the government to suspend cell phone service. The D.C. Circuit previously ruled that DHS may withhold the policy. EPIC pursuedContinue Reading

2014 Report on Security Clearance Determinations April 2015

FAS – “The number of persons holding security clearances for access to classified information decreased by more than 635,000 (or 12.3 percent) last year, according to a new report to Congress from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.  It was the first reported drop in the total security-cleared population since the government beganContinue Reading

The Chernobyl Story – 29th Anniversary

Andrew Leatherbarrow: “At precisely 01:23:40 on the morning of April 26th, 1986, a control room operator named Alexander Akimov made his fateful decision to press the Emergency Shutdown button at Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear power station. The reactor exploded, annihilating its containment building and sending a lethal cloud of radioactive particles across Europe. This unprecedented accidentContinue Reading