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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

Office of Government Ethics – status of presidential transition

“The plan the [president-elect] has announced doesn’t meet the standards that the best of his nominees are meeting and that every president in the last four decades have met.We can’t risk the perception that government leaders would use their official positions for professional profit. Stepping back from running his business is meaningless from a conflict… Continue Reading

How Classified Presidential Library Records are Released to the Public

Nate Jones Via Redacted – This a version of this article originally appeared in The Federalist, Newsletter of the Society for History in the Federal Government “The Presidential Records Act of 1978 (PRA) established that the papers of U.S. Presidents legally belong to the American people. According to the law, the Archivist of the United States… Continue Reading

News Reporters Drive Growth in Media FOIA Litigation

“The number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) cases brought by reporters and news organization has substantially increased during the last four years. Media-filed lawsuits which represented 3.5 percent of total federal filings during earlier years jumped to comprise more than one out of every ten FOIA suits (10.8%) at their peak in FY 2015.… Continue Reading

Office of Government Ethics “has lost contact with Pence-Trump transition”

NBC News: “The office tasked with overseeing ethics and conflicts in the federal government struggled to gain access to leaders of the Trump transition team, and warned Trump aides about making decisions on nominees or blind trusts without ethics guidance, according to new emails obtained by MSNBC. Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub emailed… Continue Reading

Mobile carriers boost internet for U.S. inauguration events and demonstrations

Via AccessNow: “The largest mobile carriers in the U.S. have responded to a joint letter from Access Now and WITNESS asking them to provide adequate internet connectivity during the weekend of the presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C. The responses — from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and U.S. Cellular — indicate that the companies will boost capacity… Continue Reading

White House – New Lenses on the First Social Media Presidency

Joshua Miller via White House – “At the end of October, we shared our plans for preserving and passing on the digital history of the Obama administration, and invited the American people to “come up with creative ways to archive this content and make it both useful and available for years to come.” From the… Continue Reading

The Transparency Reporting Toolkit: Guide & Template

“The Transparency Reporting Toolkit is a joint project by New America’s Open Technology Institute and Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. The purpose of the Toolkit is to make it easier for companies to create better transparency reports about government requests for user data. Similarly, by providing a template and best practices,… Continue Reading

Intel agencies sued for records on Russian election interference

Follow-up to previous posting – Unreleased CIA assessment concludes Russia aided Trump – via The Hill – Lydia Wheeler, December 27, 2016: “A lawsuit has been filed against the CIA, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence seeking records pertaining to Russia’s interference in the presidential… Continue Reading

Locate public records in Arizona

“Government officials increasingly are conducting the public’s business in the shadows. Journalists and citizens are routinely denied even the most basic public records: city budgets and bids, law enforcement reports, court records. Many times, officials and citizens don’t understand or know the law around public records. Other times, officials know the law but create artificial… Continue Reading

PersonalData.IO helps you get access to your personal data

“PersonalData.IO is a free and open platform for citizens to track their personal data and understand how it is used by companies. It is part of the MyData movement, promoting a human-centric approach to personal data management. A lot of readers of this blog will be familiar with Freedom of Information laws, a legal mechanism… Continue Reading

Tech Giants Partner in Effort to Fight Online Terror Content

News release: “Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube are coming together to help curb the spread of terrorist content online. There is no place for content that promotes terrorism on our hosted consumer services. When alerted, we take swift action against this kind of content in accordance with our respective policies. Starting today, we commit to… Continue Reading

The Leaky Leviathan: Why the Government Condemns and Condones Unlawful Disclosures of Information

The Leaky Leviathan: Why the Government Condemns and Condones Unlawful Disclosures of Information. David E. Pozen. Dec 20, 2013. 127 Harv. L. Rev. 512. “The United States government leaks like a sieve. Presidents denounce the constant flow of classified information to the media from unauthorized, anonymous sources. National security professionals decry the consequences. And yet… Continue Reading