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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

Science – USDA is not posting new animal inspections

Follow up to multiple postings addressed here – Some animal welfare data removed from USDA site is restored – news from Science [Meredith Wadman]  that “the Donald Trump administration appears to have reversed its decision to remove from public sight the results of past government inspections of animal research facilities. But getting hold of new… Continue Reading

Memo in CREST shows Agency considered employing semantics to get around ban on destroying damaging material

Muckrock report and documents: “Declassified records recently unearthed in CREST show the CIA waffled on a promise to obey the law in destroying records of Agency’s illegal activities and wrongdoing In 1976, Congresswoman Bella Abzug wrote to CIA Director George H.W. Bush about the existing moratorium on the destruction of CIA files. As the Chairwoman… Continue Reading

Three out of Five Federal Agencies Flout New FOIA Law

National Security Archive: “Three out of five of all federal agencies are flouting the new law that improved the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and required them to update their FOIA regulations, according to the new National Security Archive FOIA Audit released today to celebrate Sunshine Week. The National Security Archive Audit found that only… Continue Reading

MIT announces prize for responsible civil disobedience

“On July 21, 2016 we announced the creation of a $250K cash prize award for responsible disobedience. This idea came after a realization that there’s a widespread frustration from people trying to figure out how can we effectively harness responsible, ethical disobedience aimed at challenging our norms, rules, or laws to benefit society. And so… Continue Reading

Physicist declassifies rescued nuclear test films

“The U.S. conducted 210 atmospheric nuclear tests between 1945 and 1962, with multiple cameras capturing each event at around 2,400 frames per second. But in the decades since, around 10,000 of these films sat idle, scattered across the country in high-security vaults. Not only were they gathering dust, the film material itself was slowly decomposing,… Continue Reading

Court: FBI’s Secret Rules for Spying on Journalists Can Remain Secret

FindLaw – “In 2015, the Freedom of the Press Foundation sued the Department of Justice under the Freedom of Information Act in an attempt to force the DOJ to publish its rules for conducting warrantless spying on journalists in the United States. The DOJ responded that it had supplied all of the documentation the Foundation… Continue Reading

Rachel Maddow – Why Presidents Release Their Tax Returns

Why Presidents Release Their Tax Returns [note – this is a commentary on why Presidential candidates release their respective taxes – a significant factual tutorial on this issue that includes discussion of Trump’s past financial ties and foreign connections.] – “Rachel Maddow talks about the precedent for why presidents have released their tax returns and… Continue Reading

New Watchdog Demands DOJ Investigation of Records Law Violations

Investigators Will Use Public Records and Legal Challenges to Uncover Misconduct Across Executive Branch Agencies “… American Oversight is led by experienced litigator Austin Evers who will serve as Executive Director and ethics expert Melanie Sloan who will serve as Senior Advisor. Evers and Sloan will be supported by an in-house litigation team and outside… Continue Reading

Knight Foundation – Forecasting Freedom of Information

Forecasting Freedom of Information – Why it faces problems—and how experts say they could be solved, March 2017 — By David Cuillier, University of Arizona School of Journalism. A study commissioned by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. “People must have access to reliable public information to make informed decisions and hold their… Continue Reading

Chaffetz, Cummings Urge Compliance with Federal Recordkeeping Laws

Letter to White House and agencies requests information on procedures for proper preservation – “House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) sent a letter to the White House and 55 federal agencies requesting information on how each entity is complying with the Presidential Records Act (PRA) and… Continue Reading

CIA Asserts State Secrets Privilege in Torture Case

Via Secrecy News, Steven Aftergood – please read the entire posting here: “The Central Intelligence Agency formally asserted the state secrets privilege this week in order to prevent disclosure of seven categories of information concerning its post-9/11 interrogation program, and to prevent the deposition of three CIA officers concerning the program. The move was first… Continue Reading

The Other Animal-Welfare Documents APHIS Deleted

Follow up to previous postings, Animal welfare information wiped from USDA website and Some animal welfare data removed from USDA site is restored – via AltGov2 (kudos and thanks to Russ Kick and note that AltGov 2 is another new website project by Russ) “They did it again. At the beginning of February, the USDA’s… Continue Reading