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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

The Uncensored Library built within Minecraft

Reporters Without Borders – [see  also this YourTube video] “On March 12, the “World Day Against Cyber Censorship”, The Uncensored Library [built by BlockWorks] opened its doors. Providing access to independent information to young people around the world through a medium they can playfully interact with. Journalists from five different countries now have a place to make their voices heard again, despite having been banned, jailed, exiled and even killed. Their forbidden articles were republished in books within Minecraft, giving readers the chance to inform themselves about the real political situation in their countries and learn the importance of press freedom. Let’s empower the next generation to stand up for their right to information and give them a powerful tool to fight oppressive leaders: knowledge. Together with the ever-expanding gaming community, we will show the world that the truth will never be silenced!..”

DOJ seeks new emergency powers amid coronavirus pandemic

Politico: “The Justice Department has quietly asked Congress for the ability to ask chief judges to detain people indefinitely without trial during emergencies — part of a push for new powers that comes as the novel coronavirus spreads throughout the United States. Documents reviewed by POLITICO detail the department’s requests to lawmakers on a host… Continue Reading

Data Reveals the True Impact of the Coronavirus Outbreak

Wired –  In some countries, satellite images, internet speed, and traffic information reveal what governments won’t. “As the coronavirus crisis engulfs the planet, some think that using official data to make sense of the situation only helps so much. Governments might be deliberately obfuscating what is going on in the country—as China did in the… Continue Reading

Could the 2020 Election Be Postponed? Only With Great Difficulty. Here’s Why.

The New York Times – “With Louisiana and Georgia delaying their primary votes, we answer six key questions about holding elections in a crisis. And no, a president cannot cancel an election with executive authority…” The coronavirus outbreak is inflicting new disruptions on the 2020 presidential campaign by the day, but few compare to the… Continue Reading

Open Source directory of 5,000 Coronavirus Studies – Newspapers lift paywalls on coronavirus reporting

Vice: “A group of online archivists have created an open-access directory of over 5,000 scientific studies about coronaviruses that anyone can browse and download without encountering a paywall. The directory is hosted on The-Eye, a massive online archiving project run by a Reddit user named “-Archivist.” Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a… Continue Reading

Key Source of COVID-19 Testing & Infection Data

TPM – Josh Marshall: “This seems to be the best and really only source of information I’ve seen with detailed and frequently updated data on the rate of COVID-19 testing and infections broken down by states within the United States. This is the breakdown by states. [Per the author – The utility is that it… Continue Reading

Freedom in the World 2020

Freedom House – A Leaderless Struggle for Democracy – “Democracy and pluralism are under assault. Dictators are toiling to stamp out the last vestiges of domestic dissent and spread their harmful influence to new corners of the world. At the same time, many freely elected leaders are dramatically narrowing their concerns to a blinkered interpretation… Continue Reading

How Information on the Coronavirus is Managed on Chinese Social Media

Citizen Lab – Censored Contagion – “Key Findings: YY, a live-streaming platform in China, began to censor keywords related to the coronavirus outbreak on December 31, 2019, a day after doctors (including the late Dr. Li Wenliang) tried to warn the public about the then unknown virus. WeChat broadly censored coronavirus-related content (including critical and… Continue Reading

As Coronavirus Numbers Rise C.D.C. Testing Comes Under Fire

The New York Times – Federal health officials botched an initial diagnostic test and restricted widespread screening. Missteps may have raised the risks to Americans, critics say. “The coronavirus has found a crack in the nation’s public health armor, and it is not one that scientists foresaw: diagnostic testing. The Centers for Disease Control and… Continue Reading

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): A Legal Overview

EveryCRSReport.com: The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): A Legal Overview, February 24, 2020 – “Originally enacted in 1966, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) establishes a three-part system that requires federal agencies to disclose a large swath of government information to the public. First, FOIA directs agencies to publish substantive and procedural rules, along with certain… Continue Reading

Chief FOIA Officers Council’s Technology Committee Releases Best Practices and Recommendations

National Archives FOIA Ombudsman: “Looking for ways to bolster the use of technology within the FOIA process? Check out a report from the Technology Committee (Committee) of the Chief FOIA Officers Council (Council) to the Council Co-Chairs that discusses FOIA Information Technology (IT) best practices and recommendations. In response to a recommendation by  the 2016-2018… Continue Reading

Did the Early Internet Activists Blow It?

Slate – I’ve fought for a free internet for 30 years. Here’s where I think we went wrong, and right. By Mike Godwin – “…I’ve come to believe our society should take reasonable steps to limit intentionally harmful speech, but I also find myself increasingly embracing a broader, more instrumentalist vision of freedom of speech than… Continue Reading