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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

Myth of one internet has morphed into reality of the ‘splinternet’

August 4, 2017, Terry Flew: “Both The Economist and WIRED are worried about the “splinternet”. The UK research organisation NESTA thinks it could “break up” the world wide web as we know it. What is this awkwardly named idea? It’s the concept that someone’s experience of the internet in Turkey, for example, is increasingly different… Continue Reading

New website tracks press freedom violations in United States

“Today, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press joins more than 20 press freedom organizations announcing the launch of the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, a new nonpartisan website dedicated to documenting press freedom abuses across the United States…Led by the Committee to Protect Journalists and Freedom of the Press Foundation, the website will serve… Continue Reading

Let the People Know the Facts: Can Government Information Removed from the Internet Be Reclaimed?

Nevelow Mart, Susan. “Let the People Know the Facts: Can Government Information Removed from the Internet Be Reclaimed?”. LawArXiv, 3 May 2017. Web. “Ms. Mart examines the legal bases of the public’s right to access government information, reviews the types of information that have recently been removed from the Internet, and analyzes the rationales given… Continue Reading

Dramatic Rise in FOIA Lawsuits Filed by Nonprofit Advocacy Groups

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse: “The number of FOIA lawsuits filed by nonprofit and advocacy organizations has generally grown over the past two decades, irrespective of which political party was in office – from the George W. Bush administration, through President Obama’s eight years, and continuing during Donald Trump’s first months as president. Nonprofit groups representing… Continue Reading

National Archives Begins Online Release of JFK Assassination Records

[At 8am on July 24, 2017] “the National Archives released a group of documents (the first of several expected releases), along with 17 audio files, previously withheld in accordance with the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992. The materials released today are available online only.  Access to the original paper records will occur at… Continue Reading

FOIA Requests to Office of Government Ethics to date

The Office of Government Ethics has received 406 FOIA requests to date during Fiscal Year 2017. FY 17/406 Search for the status of all requests to date – https://extapps2.oge.gov/FOIAStatus/FOIAInfo.nsf/SearchByFOIANumber?OpenForm&FOIANumber= Continue Reading

Collaborative investigative report on rollback of federal regulations

The Deep Industry Ties of Trump’s Deregulation Teams – “In February, President Trump ordered federal agencies to form task forces charged with finding regulations to weaken or eliminate. While the names of appointees to executive-agency task forces are typically made public, some agencies are refusing to reveal who is on their panels. The New York… Continue Reading

Twitter vs FBI on National Security Requests for Information on Users

FindLaw – “Twitter sued the FBI and the Department of Justice to establish the company’s right to say how many national security requests it receives from the government. It is part of the company’s transparency report to tell users how often governments request their information. The government recently lost its motion for summary judgment, while… Continue Reading

The Atlantic examines role of CBO in healthcare debate

The Congressional War on Expertise – The Congressional Budget Office is a controversial part of the health-care debate, but that just proves its importance. “…The CBO is supposed to stay above the political fray, serving as an independent, nonpartisan source of analysis. Both teams must be able to trust the agency’s neutrality, or its work… Continue Reading

POGO – FOIA Turns 51: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?

Via POGO: [On July 4, 2017] “the Act quietly turns 51, compared to last year’s celebration at the signing of the FOIA Improvement Act by then-President Obama. The FOIA Improvement Act included some great updates to the landmark access-to-information law, like improved requirements for agencies to proactively post documents online and a new standard of… Continue Reading

Appropriations Bill May Finally Make Congressional Research Reports Public

POGO: “The Project On Government Oversight has long advocated for free and open public access to the publicly funded Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports, and is happy to say that the day anyone can access a CRS report may soon be here. In the proposed appropriations for the CRS released yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee… Continue Reading

TRAC Sues ICE on Withholding Data on Secure Communities Program

“The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) has filed yet another suit in federal court today under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) charging Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with unlawfully withholding records on deportations. The new suit follows one filed on May 9. Both actions concern aspects of ICE’s unusually broad immigration control efforts and… Continue Reading