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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

NSA Civil Liberties and Privacy Office Report to Congress

NSA – Transparency Report – The USA FREEDOM Act Business Records and FISA Implementation – January 16, 2016 “The National Security Agency’s Civil Liberties and Privacy Office (CLPO) conducted a civil liberties and privacy impact assessment examining how the National Security Agency (NSA) is implementing the changes effected by the USA FREEDOM Act to theContinue Reading

The Freedom of Information Act is Broken: A Report from House Oversight Cmte.

U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Jason Chaffetz (UT-3), Chairman – FOIA Is Broken: A Report Staff Report, 114th Congress, January 2016. “The Freedom of Information Act established a right for the public to access federal agency records. The statute simply requires requesters to reasonably describe the records they wish toContinue Reading

Fixing Pre-Publication Review: What Should Be Done?

Fixing Pre-Publication Review: What Should Be Done? by Steven Aftergood, January 15, 2016. “Jack Goldsmith and Oona Hathaway called attention in several recent columns to the pre-publication review process (here, here, here, and here) that many current and former national security officials and other government employees must submit to before their work can be published.Continue Reading

No Longer a Neutral Magistrate: The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in the Wake of the War on Terror

Mondale, Walter F. and Stein, Robert A. and Fisher, Caitlinrose, No Longer a Neutral Magistrate: The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in the Wake of the War on Terror (January 1, 2016). Minnesota Law Review, Forthcoming. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2712892 Since the founding of our nation, the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of governmentContinue Reading

Baltimore City Paper team details 344 murder victims in 2015

The Year in Homidices – Written and compiled by Edward Ericson Jr., Kenneth Stone Breckenridge,  Rebekah Kirkman, and Brandon Soderberg – The following was written by Karen Houppert, City Paper editor:  “People are killing people in the streets of Baltimore, nearly every day. In 2015, there were 344 homicides—most of them young black men. IfContinue Reading

FOIA Lawsuits Reach Record High

“Freedom of Information complaints filed against the government — 498 in FY 2015 — are higher than they have ever been, according to a new analysis of fifteen years of court data by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). The data further show that in the two-year period of FY 2014 – 2015 under PresidentContinue Reading

Poynter – 50 states, 50 public records stories

Kelly Hinchcliffe – “Each month in this column, I try to feature journalists who are telling important stories using public records. For my final column of 2015, I wanted to do something big and decided to find public records stories from all 50 states (plus, a bonus: Washington, D.C.). This is not meant to beContinue Reading

Report documents taxpayer cost for extracting natural resources

Via POGO – “For the first time, U.S. residents will have access to data that documents how much individual companies are paying for the extraction of natural resources from public lands, as well as a more accurate picture of job creation and economic impact in the 18 states with the most drilling and mining activityContinue Reading

EPIC Urges OMB to Update Open Government Plan

“EPIC and a coalition of transparency advocates urged the Office of Management and Budget to comply with President Obama’s plan to promote open government. The OMB is expected to produce an open government plan, “describ[ing] how it will improve transparency.” However, OMB Has failed to act even as the Administration has urged other governments toContinue Reading

Intercept – A secret catalogue of government gear for spying on your cellphone

“The Intercept has obtained a secret, internal U.S. government catalogue of dozens of cellphone surveillance devices used by the military and by intelligence agencies. The document, thick with previously undisclosed information, also offers rare insight into the spying capabilities of federal law enforcement and local police inside the United States. The catalogue includes details on the Stingray,Continue Reading

A Victory for Privacy and Transparency: HRW v. DEA

EFF – “A Victory for Privacy and Transparency: HRW v. DEA – In a victory for millions of people in the U.S. who have placed telephone calls to locations overseas, EFF and Human Rights Watch have confirmed that the Drug Enforcement Administration’s practice of collecting those records in bulk has stopped and that the onlyContinue Reading

Details of NSA use of NSL to obtain ISP data released

ArsTechnica – “For the first time, as part of a First Amendment lawsuit, a federal judge ordered the release of what the FBI was seeking from a small ISP as part of an NSL. Among other things, the FBI was demanding a target’s complete Web browsing history, IP addresses of everyone a person has correspondedContinue Reading