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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

Information Security Oversight Office’s Report for Fiscal Year 2014

“The Information Security Oversight Office’s (ISOO) Report for Fiscal Year 2014, as required by Executive Order 13526, “Classified National Security Information” (the Order). This report provides statistics and analysis of the system of classification and declassification based on ISOO’s review of Departments’ and Agencies’ programs. It also contains the status of agency self-assessment reporting, theContinue Reading

Canarywatch.org Reaches 50 Canaries

EFF – “We’re excited to announce that Canarywatch has added its 50th canary: First Look Media, the parent company for The Intercept—the news site created by journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Jeremy Scahill.EFF-  “Warrant canary” is a colloquial term for a regularly published statement that an internet service provider (ISP) has not received legalContinue Reading

Overview of Constitutional Challenges to NSA Collection Activities

CRS – Overview of Constitutional Challenges to NSA Collection Activities, Edward C. Liu, Legislative Attorney; Andrew Nolan, Legislative Attorney, Richard M. Thompson II, Legislative Attorney. May 21, 2015. “Beginning in summer 2013, media reports of foreign intelligence activities conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA) have been widely published. The reports have focused on twoContinue Reading

FAS – New Intelligence Budget Data Disclosed

Steven Aftergood – Secrecy News: “U.S. intelligence spending remains at the frontier of national security classification and declassification policy, as some new scraps of intelligence budget information are divulged, most other information is withheld, and a simmering demand for greater disclosure persists in Congress and elsewhere. Last month the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) released heavilyContinue Reading

Open Government Guide

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press – “The Open Government Guide is a complete compendium of information on every state’s open records and open meetings laws. Each state’s section is arranged according to a standard outline, making it easy to compare laws in various states. If you’re a new user of this guide, beContinue Reading

The Weakness of the Case for Cameras in the United States Supreme Court

Bruno, Jonathan, The Weakness of the Case for Cameras in the United States Supreme Court (January 5, 2015). Creighton Law Review, Vol. 48, No. 2, 2015. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2610831 “Many people regard it as obvious that Supreme Court proceedings should be open to video cameras, and should be broadcast live on televisionContinue Reading

Federal Judge Blocks Release of CIA Torture Report to ACLU

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. AMERICAN  CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION, et al., Plaintiffs, v. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, et al. , Defendants. Civil Action No. 13 – 1870 (JEB) – May 20, 2015 MEMORANDUM OPINION [snipped]: “A lightning rod for controversy, the Central Intelligence Agency’s former detention and interrogation program has spawned aContinue Reading

US DOJ IG Report – Review of the FBI’s Use of Section 215 Orders

FBI’s Use of Section 215 Orders: Assessment of Progress in Implementing Recommendations and Examination of Use in 2007 through 2009, Oversight and Review Division Report 15-05. May 2015. Redacted. “The Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) announced today the release of a public version of its most recent report examining theContinue Reading

Investigating With Databases: Verifying Data Quality

“The Verification Handbook for Investigative Reporting is a new guide to online search and research techniques to using user-generated content and open source information in investigations. Published by the European Journalism Centre, a GIJN member based in the Netherlands, the manual consists of ten chapters and is available for free download. We’re pleased to reprint below chapter 5,Continue Reading

Landmark Open Data Legislation to be Introduced

Data Transparency Coalition – “Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and a bipartisan group of cosponsors will introduce the Financial Transparency Act of 2015 at a press conference tomorrow at 2 pm in room 2226 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Supporters of open data and the public are welcome to attend. Issa’s office issued a media advisory late Monday evening confirming heContinue Reading

Inspector General Warns: Significant Oversight of Section 215 Required

EPIC – “The DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General released a report this month detailing the FBI’s use of Section 215 and warning that “significant oversight” is required. The Inspector General describes the FBI’s expanding use of 215 to collect electronic information in bulk and criticized the agency for taking seven years to develop minimizationContinue Reading

Reddit Now Sharing Notices with Chilling Effects

Chilling Effects Team on May 13, 2015 [Chilling Effects is a project of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.] “We at Chilling Effects are thrilled to share Reddit’s announcement that the site has begun sharing takedown notices with us! Following on the heels of the release of its first transparency report earlier this year,Continue Reading