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Category Archives: Freedom of Information


“The 2018 Edelman TRUST BAROMETER [Download the Global Results] reveals a world of seemingly stagnant distrust. People’s trust in business, government, NGOs and media remained largely unchanged from 2017 — 20 of 28 markets surveyed now lie in distruster territory, up one from last year. Yet dramatic shifts are taking place at the market level and within the institution of media.” Note – ‘distruster’ is new to me, but it sure works – especially in light of the following postings – Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, the 2016 Election, and a colossal misappropriation of social media data and Implications of Cambridge Analytica scandal widen in scope as do responses and associated revelations that keep on growing in magnitude.]

Combating Government Secrecy through Freedom of Information

New Sunshine Week report shares best practices to maximize the power of FOIA – “In response to a growing culture of government secrecy, people are seeking new ways to defend their right to information and combat intensifying threats to transparency and accountability. Openness advocates, journalists, litigators and grassroots organizations working on a range of policy… Continue Reading

EFF – Recognizing the Year’s Worst in Government Transparency

“Government transparency laws like the Freedom of Information Act exist to enforce the public’s right to inspect records so we can all figure out what the heck is being done in our name and with our tax dollars.  But when a public agency ignores, breaks or twists the law, your recourse varies by jurisdiction. In… Continue Reading

Secret Service and White House Win Rosemary Award for Worst in Open Government in 2017

National Security Archive: “The Secret Service and the White House have emerged as the dubious winners from the hard-fought competition for the National Security Archive’s infamous Rosemary Award for worst open government performance of 2017. The award, which the Archive began bestowing in 2005, is named after President Nixon’s secretary, Rose Mary Woods, who testified… Continue Reading

Agencies Struggling to Respond to FOIA Requests for Email

National Security Archive audit results: One in Three Agencies Have Yet to Acknowledge 11-Month-Old FOIA Request; Three Years After Clinton Case Brought Government Email to National Attention, Agencies Still Behind the Curve; FOIA Offices Demand Unnecessary Information to Conduct Simple Email Searches without Consulting IT Departments. “Two out of five federal agencies claimed that they… Continue Reading

Emails – Oil Was Central in Decision to Shrink Bears Ears Monument

The New York Times: “Even before President Trump officially opened his high-profile review last spring of federal lands protected as national monuments, the Department of Interior was focused on the potential for oil and gas exploration at a protected Utah site, internal agency documents show. The debate started as early as March 2017, when an… Continue Reading

Classified Presidential Library Records to be Moved to DC

Steve Aftergood – Secrecy News From the FAS Project on Government Secrecy, Volume 2018, Issue No. 15, March 5, 2018 “The National Archives said last week that it will gather tens of millions of pages of classified historical records from Presidential Libraries around the country and will bring them to Washington, DC for declassification review.… Continue Reading

New EU Portal – Making Public Procurement Contracts More Transparent

Opentender – “This platform allows you to search and analyse tender data from 33 jurisdictions (28 EU member states, Norway, the EU Institutions, Iceland, Switzerland, Georgia). You can view the data on individual national portals by selecting a country below or explore all available data…” Continue Reading

H.R. 4631, Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act

CBO: “H.R. 4631 would require the Government Publishing Office (GPO) to establish and maintain a website that would allow the public to obtain electronic copies of all Congressionally mandated reports. Under H.R. 4631, all executive, legislative, and judicial branch agencies would be required to provide GPO with reports required by law each year. The Library… Continue Reading

BUNET: Screenshots of the FBI’s Internal Website

AltGov2: “BUNET is the FBI’s internal, employees-only website (a/k/a intranet). As far as I can tell, it’s never been seen by the public until now. In August 2017, I [Russ Kick] filed a FOIA request for color screenshots of the homepage and of each page linked from the homepage. I received the PDF above. It… Continue Reading

MuckRock Release Notes: Filter your FOIAs more easily than ever

What’s new on MuckRock – Save your searches and filters – “MuckRock has a variety of advanced ways to filter and sort your requests. You can always bookmark a URL if you have a favorite search that you want to refer back to, but now we’ve made it easier to save your search and filter options… Continue Reading

Web Integrity Project tracks changes to federal websites

“The Sunlight Foundation launched a new Web Integrity Project to track changes to federal websites. The first focus is on health and healthcare websites, and first findings are to be released next week…” See also – In its first year, the Trump administration has reduced public information online. Continue Reading