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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

Chief FOIA Officers Council’s Technology Committee Releases Best Practices and Recommendations

National Archives FOIA Ombudsman: “Looking for ways to bolster the use of technology within the FOIA process? Check out a report from the Technology Committee (Committee) of the Chief FOIA Officers Council (Council) to the Council Co-Chairs that discusses FOIA Information Technology (IT) best practices and recommendations. In response to a recommendation by  the 2016-2018 term of the FOIA Advisory Committee, the Archivist of the United States directed that the cross-agency Council establish a technology subcommittee in partnership with the Chief Information Officer (CIO) Council, to study the use and deployment of technology in agency FOIA programs and identify best practices and recommendations that can be implemented across agencies. In September 2018, the Council established the Technology Subcommittee (later renamed the Technology Committee). Members hail from five Cabinet-level agencies and six independent agencies and met throughout Fiscal Year 2019…”

Did the Early Internet Activists Blow It?

Slate – I’ve fought for a free internet for 30 years. Here’s where I think we went wrong, and right. By Mike Godwin – “…I’ve come to believe our society should take reasonable steps to limit intentionally harmful speech, but I also find myself increasingly embracing a broader, more instrumentalist vision of freedom of speech than… Continue Reading

Python programming language: Now you can take NSA’s free course for beginners

ZDNet – NSA releases Python course after receiving a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for its training materials. “Developers already have numerous options from the likes of Microsoft and Google for learning how to code in the popular Python programming language. But now budding Python developers can read up on the National Security Agency’s… Continue Reading

Law Libraries and the Future of Public Access to Born-Digital Government Information

Kunkel, Rebecca, Law Libraries and the Future of Public Access to Born-Digital Government Information (2017). 109 Law Libr. J. 67, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3519405 “As government publications have shifted from print to electronic, mechanisms for guaranteeing the public’s right to access government information have not kept pace. Because legal resources are among the publications… Continue Reading

National Archives permitting deletion and destruction of gov docs

The New York Times Opinion – Matthew Connelly – professor of history at Columbia.- “…In 2017, a normally routine document released by the archives, a records retention schedule, revealed that archivists had agreed that officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement could delete or destroy documents detailing the sexual abuse and death of undocumented immigrants. Tens… Continue Reading

U.S. Media Polarization and the 2020 Election: A Nation Divided

Deep partisan divisions exist in the news sources Americans trust, distrust and rely on: “As the U.S. enters a heated 2020 presidential election year, a new Pew Research Center report finds that Republicans and Democrats place their trust in two nearly inverse news media environments.  Overall, Republicans and Republican-leaning independents view many heavily relied on… Continue Reading

Who Owns the Law? Why We Must Restore Public Ownership of Legal Publishing

Leslie Street and David R. Hansen. Who Owns the Law? Why We Must Restore Public Ownership of Legal Publishing, 26 J. Intell. Prop. L. 205 (2019) “Who owns the law? In the United States, most law is published by a handful of companies. Among the largest are Thomson Reuters, a Canadian mass-media information firm, and… Continue Reading

Reporters Cmte and 57 news orgs urge Senate to reconsider impeachment trial press restrictions

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press: “In a letter sent Thursday night, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, joined by 57 news organizations, asked the Senate to reconsider press restrictions during the impeachment trial that have been the subject of growing criticism over the past week. “Absent an articulable security rationale,” the… Continue Reading

2020 Edelman Trust Barometer

“The 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals that despite a strong global economy and near full employment, none of the four societal institutions that the study measures—government, business, NGOs and media—is trusted. The cause of this paradox can be found in people’s fears about the future and their role in it, which are a wake-up call… Continue Reading

CMAJ drops paywall

cmaj news: “Starting today, all new Canadian Medical Association Journal content is now freely available online, with older material becoming available on March 1, 2020. Previously, CMAJ research articles, editorials and news stories were freely available, and other content including commentaries and practice articles were only fully available after one year. Dr. Andreas Laupacis, editor-in-chief… Continue Reading

The Wild Wild West of Data Hoarding in the Federal Government

Active Navigation: “There is a strong belief, both in the public and private sector, that the worst thing you can do with a piece of data is to delete it. The government stores all sorts of data, from traffic logs to home ownership statistics. Data is obviously incredibly important to the Federal Government – but… Continue Reading

Judge backs Reveal’s suit to end secrecy around Silicon Valley’s diversity

Reveal: “A federal judge on Tuesday struck down attempts by the U.S. Department of Labor and several major Silicon Valley firms to keep companies’ staff diversity numbers secret, siding with the argument made by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting that the records are not confidential business information.  Magistrate Judge Kandis A. Westmore of… Continue Reading