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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

The data casualties of the federal government shutdown

Pew: “The ongoing shutdown of large parts of the federal government – now at 18 days and counting – has left hundreds of thousands of federal workers either furloughed or working without pay indefinitely, reduced staffing at national parks to skeleton levels, and closed down popular museums. It’s also squeezed the daily flood of data from federal agencies down to a trickle, affecting everyone from investors and farmers to researchers and journalists.

Figuring out which of the government’s data streams will continue to flow and which have been stoppered is complicated, not least because some agencies were fully funded before last month’s budget negotiations reached a stalemate, and thus have been able to keep operating. Here’s a look at what data are and are not available during the shutdown, from what we’ve been able to find out via agency release schedules and planning documents, third-party calendars, and our own reporting. Bear in mind that, based on past experience, scheduled data releases may be delayed because of information-gathering backlogs even after the budget impasse is resolved and agencies fully reopen…”

Trump’s Russia Cover-Up By the Numbers – 101 contacts with Russia-linked operatives

The Moscow Project – “…an initiative of the Center for American Progress Action Fund dedicated to analyzing the facts behind Trump’s collusion with Russia and communicating the findings to the public…” Last Updated January 9, 2018 On January 6, 2017, the U.S. intelligence community issued a report that showed there were two campaigns to elect… Continue Reading

The Special Counsel Investigation After the Attorney General’s Resignation

Via FAS: The Special Counsel Investigation After the Attorney General’s Resignation, CRS Legal Sidebar, January 2, 2019 : “Recent Department of Justice (DOJ) leadership changes have raised questions about their impact on the special counsel investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election and related matters. Who will oversee the investigation? How do personnel… Continue Reading

National parks report on climate change finally released, uncensored

Reveal – Elizabeth Shogren: “Backing away from attempts at censorship, the National Park Service today released a report charting the risks to national parks from sea level rise and storms. Drafts of the report obtained earlier this year by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting showed park service officials had deleted every mention of… Continue Reading

What the President Could Do If He Declares a State of Emergency

The Atlantic – From seizing control of the internet to declaring martial law, President Trump may legally do all kinds of extraordinary things: “…It would be nice to think that America is protected from the worst excesses of Trump’s impulses by its democratic laws and institutions. After all, Trump can do only so much without… Continue Reading

“Choice” Magazine Names “Digital National Security Archive” an Outstanding Academic Title for 2018

“Washington, D.C., January 7, 2019 – Choice Magazine, the publishing arm of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), has named the Digital National Security Archive an “Outstanding Academic Title” for 2018.  The annual award goes to publications deemed especially worthy of attention from academic librarians seeking to build research collections. The Digital National Security Archive… Continue Reading

Preserving Online News In An Ephemeral Web

Forbes – A Look At Four Months Of Global Digital Journalism – “From the dawn of modern print journalism through the beginning of the web era, newspapers represented an archival medium. Once rendered into print, a news article was immutable and could safely be referenced for perpetuity without fear that a few days later it would… Continue Reading

Censoring China’s Internet, for Stability and Profit

The New York Times – Thousands of low-wage workers in “censorship factories” trawl the online world for forbidden content, where even a photo of an empty chair could cause big trouble. “…China has built the world’s most extensive and sophisticated online censorship system. It grew even stronger under President Xi Jinping, who wants the internet… Continue Reading

A Lot of Government Information Is Freely Available

GAO Watchblog: “From health and education statistics to budget and spending information, the federal government produces a lot of information, or data. Agencies are making more and more of this data open for everyone to use. Our recent report identified 5 key practices that can help the government’s open data reach a wide range of… Continue Reading

An Interview with UN Special Rapporteur David Kaye

Digital Rights Monitor: “The latest 2018 Freedom House report presents a dismal picture of internet freedom. Out of 65 countries studied for the report, internet freedom deteriorated in 26 countries including United States of America. The study also noted that more than a dozen countries were putting in place restrictive measures in the name of… Continue Reading

The Fresno Bee and the War on Local News

GQ: “Local newspapers like The Fresno Bee have long been an endangered institution in America, and that was before California Rep. Devin Nunes began waging a public campaign against his hometown paper. Zach Baron spent time with the reporters fighting to keep news alive in an age when the forces they cover are working equally… Continue Reading

Researchers try to cope without HHS public medical guideline database five months after its takedown

Sunlight Foundation: “When the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHRQ) shut down its National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) in July, medical professionals who relied on the database, hosted at guideline.gov, reacted with alarm. For nearly 20 years, AHRQ’s repository of medical guidelines had served as the gold standard for clinicians, helping guide day to day… Continue Reading