Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Category Archives: Freedom of Information

The history of book bans—and their changing targets—in the U.S.

National Geographic: “From religious texts and anti-slavery novels to modern works removed from school libraries, here’s how the targets of censorship have changed over the years. Mark Twain. Harriet Beecher Stowe. Judy Blume. William Shakespeare. These names share something more than a legacy of classic literature and a place on school curriculums: They’re just some of the many authors whose work has been banned from classrooms over the years for content deemed controversial, obscene, or otherwise objectionable by authorities. Book banning is once again in the headlines. Earlier this year, Utah approved a state law suppressing “sensitive material” in classrooms. Meanwhile, a group of Georgia moms have gotten attention for attending school board meetings and reading passages out loud from books they find objectionable, such as Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, claiming they are “pornographic materials.” Though censorship is as old as writing, its targets have shifted over the centuries. Here’s how book banning emerged in the United States—stretching as far back as when some of the nation’s territories were British colonies—and how censorship affects modern readers today…”

California abortion access

Abortion is legal and protected in California Abortion remains safe, legal, and accessible in California, whether or not you live in the state. This website has current and accurate information about how you can access abortion services in Californi – Find a provider California protects your privacy – This website is a safe space for… Continue Reading

Russia spent millions in secret global political campaign, U.S. official says

Washington Post: “Russia has secretly funneled at least $300 million to foreign political parties and candidates in more than two dozen countries since 2014 in an attempt to shape political events beyond its borders, according to a new U.S. intelligence review. Moscow planned to spend hundreds of millions of dollars more as part of its… Continue Reading

OpenSecrets launches new tool to track ballot measures across the country

“OpenSecrets has launched a new tool to track ballot measures across the country as part of a continuing effort to integrate state level data following the merger with the Center for Responsive Politics and the National Institute on Money in Politics.  The tool features an interactive map that will help users explore ballot measure data… Continue Reading

Could the Internet Archive Go Out Like Napster?

Slate: “Two and a half years ago, the Internet Archive made a decision that pissed off a lot of writers—and embroiled it in a lawsuit that many netizens fear could weaken the archive, its finances, and its services long into the future. In March 2020, as bookstores and libraries joined other businesses in closing their… Continue Reading

Is Open Access Equal Access? PACER User Fees and Public Access to Court Information

Moreland, John, Is Open Access Equal Access? PACER User Fees and Public Access to Court Information (2021). “Is Open Access Equal Access? PACER User Fees and Public Access to Court Information,” DttP: Documents to the People, 49, no. ¾ (Fall/Winter 2021): 42-48, Indiana Legal Studies Research Paper No. 484, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4194979 “Our country… Continue Reading

Before the Presidential Records Act of 1978, presidents owned their papers

Washington Post: Now all presidents, including Donald Trump, must turn them over to the National Archives. “Until the 1970s, former presidents could do pretty much whatever they wanted with their presidential papers. That often was a problem. Some papers “were purposely destroyed, while others fell victim to chance destruction,” concluded a 1978 congressional study. “Others… Continue Reading

How Often Do the FBI and the Department of Justice Seek Search Warrants and Subpoenas?

TRAC: “From January through June of this year, federal prosecutors made 883 applications to federal judges to authorize search warrants and issue subpoenas or a summons, according to the most current government records. A long list of federal agencies were the requesters, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation topped the rolls with 309 requests, 35… Continue Reading

COVID-19 Archive Prototype

Our COVID-19 Archive aims to aggregate digitized documents related to the the initial phases of the pandemic. To start, we have processed the emails of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. They are now divided into individual emails, which can be searched and sorted with the original metadata… Continue Reading

Texas school district officials order 41 books off of library shelves

The Texas Tribune: “Ahead of the first day of school, the Keller Independent School District is removing all books that were challenged last year within the school district, including the Bible, “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison and a graphic novel adaptation of Anne Frank’s “The Diary of Young Girl.” “Attached is a list of… Continue Reading