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

Category Archives: Freedom of Information

U.S. Courts Are Figuring Out if the Government Can Block You On Facebook

NextGov: “In the last two years, there’s been a cascade of lawsuits in the U.S. against public officials who have blocked people on social media and deleted critical comments. The list starts with the highest one in the country, president Donald Trump, and goes all the way down to a county board chair. As officials use social platforms more and more to communicate with their constituents, bypassing traditional media channels, the question of how they treat these avenues is becoming increasingly important. In the last week, there were notable developments in three lawsuits. Two women in Maine, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, settled on Dec. 7 with the state’s governor Paul LePage; on Dec. 4, a federal judge in a case against Kentucky governor Matt Bevin ordered him to turn over screenshots of blocked users’ comments; while an appellate court in New Orleans heard arguments on Dec. 6 in a case against the sheriff’s office for Hunt County, Texas. There are two other cases currently in federal appeals courts looking at the same issue…”

International Fact-Checking Network’s code of principles

Poynter: Commit to transparency — sign up for the International Fact-Checking Network’s code of principles. “The code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter is a series of commitments organizations abide by to promote excellence in fact-checking. We believe nonpartisan and transparent fact-checking can be a powerful instrument of accountability journalism…” “…The commitments… Continue Reading

Avoiding A World War Web: The Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace

Lawfare: “On Nov. 11 [2018] at 11:00 a.m., more than 70 world leaders walked towards the Arc de Triomphe in Paris to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War and to honor the 19 million people who lost their lives in it. French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a charged speech denouncing… Continue Reading

Is WikiLeaks a Russian Front?

Consider the ramifications of this article, via The Atlantic – The idea that the putative transparency group served as a connection between Moscow and the president’s associates is starting to become clearer – if it is an accurate appraisal of an expanding exposure of corruption and malfeasance perpetrated by public and private citizens and groups… Continue Reading

Questions We Should Be Asking About Facebook’s Smear Campaign Against Its Critics

EFF: “The New York Times published a blockbuster story about Facebook that exposed how the company used  so-called “smear merchants” to attack organizations critical of the platform. The story was shocking on a number of levels, revealing that Facebook’s hired guns stooped to dog-whistling, anti-Semitic attacks aimed at George Soros 1 and writing stories blasting… Continue Reading

How China Walled Off the Internet

The New York Times – “Today, China has the world’s only internet companies that can match America’s in ambition and reach. It is years ahead of the United States in replacing paper money with smartphone payments, turning tech giants into vital gatekeepers of the consumer economy. And it is host to a supernova of creative… Continue Reading

The Pentagon’s Getting More Secretive and It’s Hurting National Security

Defense One: “At a time of rampant executive branch corruption and large increases in defense spending, Americans are rightly concerned about the need for governmental transparency. People deserve to know how their money is being used, and what life-or-death decisions the Pentagon bureaucracy is making in their names. As President Trump asks for more defense… Continue Reading

Where ICE Secure Communities Removals Now Occur

“Nine out of ten counties in the United States with the most Secure Communities removals are in Texas and California. Fingerprints submitted to the FBI by law enforcement agencies from just these two states also gave rise to almost half (47%) of all recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removals under its Secure Communities program… Continue Reading

A mission for journalism in a time of crisis

In a turbulent era, the media must define its values and principles, writes Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner “Now we are living through another extraordinary period in history: one defined by dazzling political shocks and the disruptive impact of new technologies in every part of our lives. The public sphere has changed more radically in the… Continue Reading

ICE Is Imprisoning a Record 44,000 People

Daily Beast – Congress told the immigration agency to reduce its detentions. Instead, ICE detained more people than ever, The Daily Beast has learned. Where did it find the money? “The number of people detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement has hit an all-time high, according to recent statistics reviewed by The Daily Beast. That… Continue Reading

Annual Report: FOIA Lawsuits Reach Record Highs in FY 2018

The FOIA Project at the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse: “Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits continued to break record highs in FY 2018. According to case-by-case court records, 860 FOIA lawsuits were filed in FY 2018 against government agencies. In addition, the backlog of FOIA suits waiting to be decided rose to 1,204 cases, an… Continue Reading

Immigration Court Backlog Surpasses One Million Cases

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse – “The Immigration Court backlog has jumped by 225,846 cases since the end of January 2017 when President Trump took office. This represents an overall growth rate of 49 percent since the beginning of FY 2017. Results compiled from the case-by-case records obtained by TRAC under the Freedom of Information Act… Continue Reading