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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

“Cast as Criminals, America’s Librarians Rally to Their Own Defense”

The New York Times [read free]: “…As America’s libraries have become noisy and sometimes dangerous new battlegrounds in the nation’s culture wars, librarians like Ms. Neujahr and their allies have moved from the stacks to the front lines. People who normally preside over hushed sanctuaries are now battling groups that demand the mass removal of books and seek to control library governance. Last year, more than 150 bills in 35 states aimed to restrict access to library materials, and to punish library workers who do not comply. “We’re no longer seeing a parent have a conversation with a teacher or librarian about a book their child is reading,” said Deborah Caldwell-Stone, the director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. “We’re seeing partisan groups demand the removal of books that they’re told are bad books, that they are not even reading, because they don’t meet the political or moral agenda.” Activists say they are protecting children from sexually explicit material and exploitation, while conservative politicians seek to harden the bans into policy. Project 2025, the Heritage Foundation’s 900-page ideological blueprint for a potential second Trump administration, declares in its opening pages that “pornography, manifested today in the omnipresent propagation of transgender ideology and sexualization of children,” should be stripped of First Amendment protection and outlawed. “The people who produce and distribute it should be imprisoned. Educators and public librarians who purvey it should be classed as registered sex offenders,” the document says.

New RECAP Archive Search Is Now Live

“In 2016, we launched a major new search engine for the RECAP Archive. Since then, it has grown in usage and size, measuring in at over four hundred million items and receiving about thirty thousand queries per day. Today, after nearly a year of work, and several months in beta, we’re launching a brand-new search… Continue Reading

A leak-hosting site looks to thaw the chill of censorship

Columbia Journalism Review: “In November, Reuters published a special investigative feature headlined, “How an Indian startup hacked the world.” The story alleged that a hacking-for-hire firm called Appin had stolen secrets from executives, politicians, military officials, and wealthy elites around the globe. (Appin has denied this.) A few weeks later, however, the story was taken… Continue Reading

The Atlas of Surveillance Hits Major Milestones: 2023 in Review

EFF: “If you haven’t checked out the Atlas of Surveillance recently, or ever before, you absolutely should. It includes a searchable database and an interactive map, and anyone can download the data for their own projects. As this collaboration with the University of Nevada Reno’s Reynolds School of Journalism (RSJ) finishes its fifth year, we… Continue Reading

Access to Government Information: An Overview

CRS – Access to Government Information: An Overview Updated December 18, 2023: “Congress has long recognized the people’s right to know about the operations and actions of the federal government. A series of modern statutes provides a framework for ways the public may access government information. Built up over the past 60 years, these key… Continue Reading

ODNI Releases Intelligence Community Assessment of Foreign Threats to the 2022 U.S. Elections

“The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) today released the declassified Intelligence Community Assessment of Foreign Threats to the 2022 U.S. Elections [redacted] Coordinated across the Intelligence Community (IC), the assessment addresses the intentions and efforts of foreign actors to influence or interfere with the 2022 U.S. elections. Within 45 days of the… Continue Reading

DOJ Launches National Law Enforcement Accountability Database

DOJ Press Release: “In Executive Order 14074, Advancing Effective, Accountable Policing and Criminal Justice Practices to Enhance Public Trust and Public Safety, the President declared a policy to “make policing safer and more effective by strengthening trust between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.” As explained by the Executive Order, one of the… Continue Reading

Read it yourself: All 673 books removed from Orange classrooms

Orlando Sentinel: “These books are among the 673 rejected by Orange County Public Schools this year [read free] for fear they violate a new Florida law that prohibits “sexual conduct” in books available to students. The books were in teachers’ classroom libraries. The books will get another review by OCPS staff, and could be returned… Continue Reading

An Analysis of Primary State Legal Information

State Legal Information Census – An Analysis of Primary State Legal Information – This report presents findings from a survey of state level primary legal information. Primary legal information includes code (codified statutes passed by state legislatures), regulations (codified collections of rules passed by administrative agencies) and case law (appellate court decisions). This survey was… Continue Reading

GPO Makes Congressionally Mandated Reports Available to the Public Ahead of Schedule

“The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) has made Congressionally Mandated Reports available to the public on GPO’s GovInfo. GPO fulfilled this responsibility ahead of its one-year implementation deadline set by Congress. Reports are now published and available for the public to access at https://www.govinfo.gov/app/collection/CMR. This marks the first time Congressionally Mandated Reports have been accessible… Continue Reading

Saving the News from Big Tech

Saving the News from Big Tech, Cory Doctorow, Special Advisor/EFF, June, 2023: “Media is in crisis: newsrooms all over the world are shuttering and the very profession of journalism is under sustained ideological and physical assault. Freedom of the press is a hollow doctrine if the only news media is written or published by independently… Continue Reading

Never-Reported Details of the Uvalde School Shooting

ProPublica: “Today, ProPublica, The Texas Tribune and the PBS series FRONTLINE are jointly publishing an in-depth examination of the response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, using a trove of raw materials from a state investigation whose findings have yet to be released. The records include investigative interviews with officers,… Continue Reading