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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

Offshore Leaks Database – ICIJ Releases Paradise Papers Data From Appleby

“The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published new data in the Offshore Leaks Database on close to 25,000 entities connected to the Paradise Papers investigation. The new records come from the offshore law firm Appleby and cover a period of more than six decades through to 2014 of entities registered in more than 30 offshore jurisdictions. It includes information from shareholders, directors and other officers connected to offshore companies, foundations and trusts. It also reveals the names of the real owners behind those secret structures, when available. More than 70 percent of the new records belong to entities incorporated in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. Other jurisdictions that also include hundreds of new records are the Isle of Man, Jersey and Mauritius. Most of the online registries from these jurisdictions don’t provide ownership or shareholder information. The Offshore Leaks Database also includes information from close to 500,000 additional offshore entities linked to ICIJ’s 2016 Panama Papers and Bahamas Leaks investigations and its 2013 Offshore Leaks investigation. ICIJ is publishing the information in the public interest. The data released comes from the the Paradise Papers investigation, a global journalistic collaboration that exposed offshore deals of political players and corporate giants. The team of journalists explored a trove of 13.4 million records that come from two offshore firms and 19 secret jurisdictions. The leaks were obtained by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with ICIJ and a network of more than 380 journalists in 67 countries. ICIJ is now making available only the structured portion of the Paradise Papers connected to the offshore law firm Appleby and some politicians featured in the Paradise Papers investigation. ICIJ is not publishing the totality of the leak and is not disclosing raw documents or personal information en masse. The documents revealed offshore interests of the queen of England and more than 120 politicians around the world. It also exposed ties between Russia and U.S. President Donald Trump’s commerce secretary, the secret dealings of chief fundraiser for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and tax engineering of more than 100 multinationals, including Apple, Nike and Uber. The first data release comes almost two weeks after the first series of Paradise Papers publications, which have already captured the attention of the world and produced reactions in several countries…”

Report – Manipulating Social Media to Undermine Democracy

Freedom House – Freedom of the Net 2017: “Governments around the world have dramatically increased their efforts to manipulate information on social media over the past year. The Chinese and Russian regimes pioneered the use of surreptitious methods to distort online discussions and suppress dissent more than a decade ago, but the practice has since… Continue Reading

J.F.K. Assassination Records now fully searchable free

The Black Vault‏ @blackvaultcom – “Just converted 52,000+ ARRB Emails into searchable .pdf files – now indexed on #JFKFiles Search tool at #blackvault. The search engine has 12,742,440 terms – consisting 100% of the recent #JFKFiles release.” Continue Reading

Research – The Slippery Slope of Internet Censorship in Egypt

Berkman Klein Center, Harvard University – “The first Internet Monitor research bulletin summarizes the recent, dramatic increase in Internet censorship in Egypt, examines the Twitter conversation around website blocking in Egypt, and identifies ways that users disseminate banned content.” “Internet filtering in Egypt illustrates how censorship can be a slippery slope. After an extended period… Continue Reading

First FBI Crime Report Issued Under Trump Eliminated Major Data Analytics

The First FBI Crime Report Issued Under Trump Is Missing A Ton Of Info – “Every year, the FBI releases a report that is considered the gold standard for tracking crime statistics in the United States: the Crime in the United States report, a collection of crime statistics gathered from over 18,000 law-enforcement agencies in… Continue Reading

The President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection – NARA

“The National Archives today released 2,891 records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy that are subject to the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 (JFK Act). These records are available for download online. The President has also ordered that all remaining records governed by section 5 of the… Continue Reading

NIH emails reveal divisions over renewal of gun research program

Science: “For weeks, questions have swirled around the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) decision to shelve a firearms research program that was launched at the urging of former President Barack Obama’s administration after 20 children and six educators were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, late in 2012. Among other… Continue Reading

FOIA request yields DOJ opinions blocking appointment of presidential relatives

Politico: “…The Justice Department has released a series of recently overruled legal memos concluding that presidents cannot appoint their relatives to the White House staff or presidential commissions, even to unpaid posts. In January, a career Justice Department official essentially declared the earlier opinions erroneous or obsolete, clearing the way for President Donald Trump’s son-in-law,… Continue Reading

DOJ, 18F Report on “Discovery Phase” of National FOIA Portal

“Today, OIP is pleased to announce the results of its collaboration with GSA’s 18F team on the discovery phase of development of a National FOIA Portal.  As we enter development, we want to again solicit both public and agency participation in providing feedback on our work. The FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 directed the Office… Continue Reading

AALL Calls on Federal Courts to Address PACER Fees

News release: “The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) on September 6, 2017] filed an amici curiae brief with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, calling on the judicial body to ensure that the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AO) makes electronic federal court records freely available “to the greatest extent… Continue Reading

18F working on new centralized FOIA website

FedScoop: “The General Services Administration’s 18F digital services team has begun work to build a modern, centralized “portal” for Freedom of Information Act requests. The FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 directs the Department of Justice to create a “consolidated online request portal that allows a member of the public to submit a request for records under… Continue Reading

Propublica lifts the veil on unreported Trump appointees

ProPublica report [note – the site launched a terrific redesign that helps to highlight the strength of their investigative reporting] “President Donald Trump has left hundreds of government jobs unfilled that require a vote by the Senate. Yet his administration has installed more than 1,000 people through political appointments at every major federal agency, handing… Continue Reading