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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

Documenting COVID-19

Documenting COVID-19 is a repository of searchable documents related to the COVID-19 pandemic obtained through state open-records laws and the Freedom of Information Act. Click on a state for details about the 54 document sets available as of July 13, 2020, and news coverage that have used those materials. Do you need help with COVID-19 public records, want to collaborate with us or want to contribute records you’ve obtained? Subscribe, follow us on Twitter and email us at [email protected]

House Judiciary Committee Releases Transcript of Interview with Former SDNY Prosecutor Geoffrey Berman

“Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) released a transcript of the Committee’s July 9th interview with Geoffrey Berman, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY). Chairman Nadler issued the following statement on the release of the transcript: “While Mr. Berman was U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New… Continue Reading

The Fullest Look Yet at the Racial Inequity of Coronavirus

[Note – The New York Times obtained the CDC data included in this article after winning a FOIA lawsuit.] The New York Times – “…Racial disparities in who contracts the virus have played out in big cities like Milwaukee and New York, but also in smaller metropolitan areas like Grand Rapids, Mich., where the Bradleys… Continue Reading

New research explores how conservative media misinformation may have intensified the severity of the pandemic

Washington Post – “…The three studies paint a picture of a media ecosystem that entertains conspiracy theories and discourages audiences from taking steps to protect themselves and others.. There are many reasons our response to the pandemic tied to more than 120,000 U.S. deaths has faltered, experts say, including the lack of a cohesive federal… Continue Reading

A lawsuit is threatening the Internet Archive but it’s not as dire as you may have heard

Vox: “The Internet Archive (also known as IA or Archive.org), home to the giant vault of internet and public domain history known as the Wayback Machine, is currently facing a crisis — one largely defined by misinformation. A group of publishing companies filed a scathing copyright lawsuit earlier this month over the IA’s controversial attempt… Continue Reading

Meet the Woman Behind the World’s Most Famous Coronavirus Tracker

US News: Her dashboard lets people track the spread in near real-time. She had no idea it would get this big. “The woman behind what may be the world’s most famous coronavirus tracker isn’t a medical professional – she’s a civil engineer. Since launching in late January, Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 dashboard – a black… Continue Reading

John Bolton’s Book That Trump Wanted to Stop Is Spreading Widely on Piracy Sites

Motherboard: ‘The Room Where it Happened’ is tearing up the charts on sites where people download the book for free. Former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s memoir The Room Where It Happened is set to release tomorrow, but it’s already a huge hit on pirate sites. According to Torrent Freak, The Pirate Bay, Google Drive,… Continue Reading

Police Officers Rarely Charged for Excessive Use of Force in Federal Court

“Despite growing popular unrest and media attention in recent years over excessive use of force by police officers, the latest available case-by-case data show that federal prosecutors rarely bring relevant criminal charges known as “deprivation of rights under the color of law” (18 U.S.C. 242) against law enforcement. In the first seven months of FY 2020, federal… Continue Reading

Complaint: Trump Sues John Bolton Over His Memoir

Law.com – “…This is a civil action by the United States to prevent Defendant John R. Bolton, a former National Security Advisor, from compromising national security by publishing a book containing classified information,” the Justice Department said in its complaint Tuesday in Washington. The Trump administration on Tuesday went to court in Washington in an… Continue Reading

The Economist Democracy Index 2019

“The twelfth edition of the Democracy Index finds that the average global score has fallen from 5.48 in 2018, to 5.44. This is the worst average global score since The Economist Intelligence Unit first produced the Democracy Index in 2006. Driven by sharp regressions in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa, four out of the five… Continue Reading

CDC Document Shows Just How Badly the U.S. Is Handling Coronavirus

Gizmodo: “The U.S. government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic continues to be faltering, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Leaked CDC documents dated June 9 that were obtained and published by Yahoo News this week show the U.S. is still exhibiting astronomical increases in new cases of the virus, doing… Continue Reading

ACLU files class action suit on behalf of journalist targeted during protests

ACLU: “We are facing a full-scale assault on the First Amendment freedom of the press. As people take to the streets to demand justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and too many other Black people who have been killed by police in recent years, journalists have joined them to bear witness.… Continue Reading