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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

CRS addresses whether Congress will have access to Mueller’s report

Via FAS – The Special Counsel’s Report: Can Congress Get It? Michael A. Foster, Legislative Attorney; Todd Garvey, Legislative Attorney. March 8, 2019.

“Recent media reports suggest that Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III is close to concluding his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. As discussed in this separate Sidebar, Department of Justice (DOJ) regulations require the Special Counsel to deliver a confidential report (Special Counsel report) to Attorney General William Barr at the conclusion of the investigation, and the Attorney General must then notify Congress with “an explanation” for the investigation’s termination. But there appears to be no requirement in statute or regulation obligating the Attorney General to share the full Special Counsel report with Congress, and Mr. Barr has indicated that legal considerations might require him to withhold some or all of it. In response, some Members of Congress have suggested that a subpoena may be issued to compel disclosure of the full report…”

See also via FAS – The Special Counsel’s Report: What Do Current DOJ Regulations Require? Cynthia Brown, Legislative Attorney, March 7, 2019. “This Sidebar examines the current legal obligations of the Special Counsel and Attorney General to report information relating to the investigation to Congress and the public. It also provides historical examples of reports issued for other such investigations…”

The Web is missing an essential part of infrastructure: an Open Web Index

The Web is missing an essential part of infrastructure: an Open Web Index – Dirk Lewandowski, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg, German. (Submitted on 9 Mar 2019). arXiv:1903.03846 [cs.IR] “A proposal for building an index of the Web that separates the infrastructure part of the search engine—the index—from the services part that will form… Continue Reading

EPIC – FOIA Gallery 2019

“EPIC’s FOIA litigation over the past year has resulted in disclosure of critical information about the activities of the government. EPIC’s litigation has also generated case law that benefits the FOIA requesters and the open government community across the country.” [h/t Pete Weiss] Introduction to the Freedom of Information Act | EPIC Obtains Communications Between… Continue Reading

New on LLRX – US takes tentative steps toward opening up government data

Via LLRX – US takes tentative steps toward opening up government data – At the beginning of this year, President Trump signed into law the Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary Government Data Act, requiring that nonsensitive government data be made available in machine-readable, open formats by default. As researchers who study data governance and cyber… Continue Reading

Cutbacks in local news leave many communities in the dark

AP – Local journalism is dying in plain sight: “Blame revenue siphoned by online competition, cost-cutting ownership, a death spiral in quality, sheer disinterest among readers or reasons peculiar to given locales for that development. While national outlets worry about a president who calls the press an enemy of the people, many Americans no longer… Continue Reading

NYC Legal Aid Society releases searchable database of federal lawsuits brought against NYC police

The New York Law Journal: “The New York City Legal Aid Society has released a searchable database of federal lawsuits brought against New York City police, which it said could arm plaintiffs attorneys with crucial information for their own civil rights suits. The database, called CAPstat, contains more than 2,350 lawsuits filed from January 2015… Continue Reading

Putin Wants His Own Internet

Bloomberg – A new law would create a single command post from which authorities can manage—and halt—information flows across Russian cyberspace. “Russia’s censorship deficit relative to China is about to narrow. Backed by President Vladimir Putin, lawmakers in Moscow are pushing a bill through parliament dubbed “Sovereign Internet” that’s designed to create a single command post… Continue Reading

See the more than 80 names receiving House Judiciary Committee letters in its investigation

CNN: “The House Judiciary Committee announced Monday that it is sending letters seeking information and documents from more than 80 groups, organizations and individuals, as part of its sweeping investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign, businesses, transition and administration. In an interview with ABC News’ “This Week,” Rep. Jerry Nadler said Sunday the requests for… Continue Reading

UC terminates subscriptions with Elsevier in push for open access to publicly funded research

UC Office of the President: “As a leader in the global movement toward open access to publicly funded research, the University of California is taking a firm stand by deciding not to renew its subscriptions with Elsevier. Despite months of contract negotiations, Elsevier was unwilling to meet UC’s key goal: securing universal open access to… Continue Reading

National Archives Releases New Batch of Kavanaugh Records

Via EPIC – “In response to EPIC’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the National Archives has just released thousands of records about Justice Kavanaugh work in the White House Counsel’s office after 9-11. The records include e-mails from 2002-2003, briefings, meeting memos, and correspondence, and office files about anti-terrorism legislation and access to presidential records.… Continue Reading

FBI’s War Crimes Unit on the Chopping Block

Just Security: “A special unit within the Federal Bureau of Investigation that handles war crimes may be shut down imminently, according to officials familiar with the administration’s decision-making process. The FBI’s International Human Rights Unit takes the lead on investigating individuals within the United States who have been accused of committing international crimes, including war… Continue Reading

Immigration Court Workload in the Aftermath of the Shutdown

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse – “The latest available data from the Immigrant Court indicates that as of February 1, 2019 the court is still playing catch up in the aftermath of the five-week partial government shutdown. It is therefore still too early to get an accurate reading of just how much larger the backlog has… Continue Reading