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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

More Americans now say government should take steps to restrict false information online

Pew: “Amid rising concerns over misinformation online – including surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, especially vaccines – Americans are now a bit more open to the idea of the U.S. government taking steps to restrict false information online. And a majority of the public continues to favor technology companies taking such action, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Roughly half of U.S. adults (48%) now say the government should take steps to restrict false information, even if it means losing some freedom to access and publish content, according to the survey of 11,178 adults conducted July 26-Aug. 8, 2021. That is up from 39% in 2018. At the same time, the share of adults who say freedom of information should be protected – even if it means some misinformation is published online – has decreased from 58% to 50%…”

The Afghanistan Papers A secret history of the war

“A confidential trove of government documents obtained by The Washington Post reveals [Dec. 9, 2019] that senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable. The documents were generated by… Continue Reading

Facebook’s Attack on Research is Everyone’s Problem

EFF: “Facebook recently banned the accounts of several New York University (NYU) researchers who run Ad Observer, an accountability project that tracks paid disinformation, from its platform. This has major implications: not just for transparency, but for user autonomy and the fight for interoperable software. Ad Observer is a free/open source browser extension used to collect… Continue Reading

Long-Withheld Office of Legal Counsel Records Reveal Agency’s Postwar Influence

Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University: “Documents released in our FOIA lawsuit for OLC legal opinions issued prior to 1994. This Reading Room contains all of the documents produced to date in Francis v. Dep’t of Justice, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit the Knight Institute filed on behalf of five scholars, Campaign… Continue Reading

What does this new Google Scholar “Public Access” feature mean for me or my work?

Libvine, Melissa Rothfus – “Google Scholar recently released a new feature to the Scholar Profile section that tracks whether articles that are supposed to be open access under funder mandates are actually freely available. The feature is controversial. Some have decried the accuracy of the information and the suggestion to use Google Drive to make… Continue Reading

Top 4 Unbiased Independent World News Sources

Make Use Of: “Unbiased news sources are rare, but they do exist. Here are the best news websites that are free from true censorship….The Associated Press was founded in 1846. The renowned global news organization has 53 Pulitzer Prizes under its belt. It is and has always been the epitome of clear and unbiased news… Continue Reading

DOJ requested data on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses from Apple

CNN – “The Department of Justice sent a broad request in February 2018 to Apple as part of its investigation that collected data on members of Congress, staffers and their families. The department demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses from Apple, the company said Friday evening. Apple received the subpoena from… Continue Reading

Activist Archivists Are Trying to Save the ‘Pirate Bay of Science’

Vice – Facing lawsuits and legal trouble, archivists are working to save 77TB of freely available scientific data.  It can be hard to access scientific articles, which are often hidden behind expensive paywalls. For 10 years, Sci-Hub, the “Pirate Bay of Science” has hosted scientific papers free for anyone who wanted them. But it hasn’t… Continue Reading

Microsoft Academic discontinued & Semantic Scholar withdraws hosting of “Open access” papers

Musings About Librarianship – “In the last month, there were two interesting developments that caused quite a stir in my twitter feeds (see discussions here and here). Firstly, there was an interesting announcement on the Unpaywall mailing list, that Unpaywall had detected that Semantic Scholar which was one of the biggest repository sources they were… Continue Reading

Who is “Public” Data Really For?

LitHub: “…Both words—“public” and “open”—invite a question: For whom? Despite the efforts of Mae and Gareth, and Tom Grundner and many others, the internet as it exists is hardly a public space. Many people still find themselves excluded from full participation. Access to anything posted on a city web page or on a .gov domain… Continue Reading

Join Our Newest Crowdsourcing Campaign: Historical Legal Reports from the Law Library of Congress

In Custodia Legis: “Calling all students of history, government, law, public policy, international relations, and other interested members of the public – help us expand access to hundreds of previously unreleased legal reports and other publications from the Law Library of Congress dating back to the 1940s! We are excited to launch our second crowdsourcing… Continue Reading

Zoom Court Is Changing How Justice Is Served

The Atlantic – “Last spring, as COVID‑19 infections surged for the first time, many American courts curtailed their operations. As case backlogs swelled, courts moved online, at a speed that has amazed—and sometimes alarmed—judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys. In the past year, U.S. courts have conducted millions of hearings, depositions, arraignments, settlement conferences, and even… Continue Reading