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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

Creating more accessibility to legislative data focus of think tank Congressional testimony

“The Center for Data Innovation has submitted written testimony to the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Legislative Branch regarding ways to improve the accessibility of legislative data. The Center recommends that Congress begin publishing legislative data via application programming interface (API) in addition to publishing this data in bulk format. As the Library of Congress… Continue Reading

FOIA Backlog Skyrockets at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) – “The backlog of unprocessed FOIA requests to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to climb. In just a two-year period, the backlog of unanswered FOIA requests has tripled, climbing from 17,998 at the end of December 2014 to 46,550 at the end of December 2016. This means… Continue Reading

Chicago mayor Emanuel posts EPA’s deleted climate change page

Politico: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s response to the Trump administration pulling down its website detailing information about climate change: putting up his own. “The new section of the City of Chicago’s website, launched this weekend, pulls data from the archived Environmental Protection Agency page, noting, “while this information may not be readily available on the… Continue Reading

Bill in NY legislature seeks release of Trump tax returns

CNN Money: “Some Democratic state senators in New York are trying an end run to get Donald Trump’s taxes into the public view by introducing legislation that would reveal his state tax returns for the last five years. The legislation — dubbed the Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public Act (or TRUMP Act) — would require… Continue Reading

Office of Government Ethics now handling voluminous info requests from public

Quartz – “Trump’s administration has been widely criticized for its lack of transparency, and demands for information from the public, press, and Congress have gone through the roof. The OGE has already received five times the amount of Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests that they usually get in a full fiscal year—with five months left… Continue Reading

Public Trust in Government Remains Near Historic Lows as Partisan Attitudes Shift

Pew – May 3, 2017: Democrats’ confidence in country’s future declines sharply – “The 2016 election ushered in a new era in Washington defined by unified Republican control of the White House and both chambers of Congress. The changes in the dynamics of power in Washington have registered with members of both political parties. Somewhat… Continue Reading

Animation Maps Two Centuries of US Immigration

“Metrocosm is [a]collection of maps and other data visualization projects — trying to make sense of the world through numbers created by Max Galka, a guy who is fascinated by data. [His] latest project Blueshift is a tool for designing dynamic maps, like some of the ones I post here. My other current project, FOIA Mapper, aims to… Continue Reading

Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals 2017

World Bank – “The Atlas is built around World Development Indicators 2017 – the World Bank’s compilation of statistics from over 200 economies about global development and the quality of people’s lives. For each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, selected indicators have been identified and visualized to analyze trends and challenges, and to stimulate… Continue Reading

Index on Censorship

“This non-exhaustive study of threats to media freedom in the United States researched over 150 publicly reported incidents involving journalists. It uses the criteria developed for and employed by Mapping Media Freedom, Index on Censorship’s project launched in May 2014 that monitors the media landscape in 42 European and neighboring countries. This survey reviewed media… Continue Reading

New bill would preserve public access to public data online

Sunlight Foundation – “Today, Sunlight joins a diverse coalition of government transparency, data innovation, scientific groups and environment defense advocates in supporting new bipartisan bill in Congress to preserve public access to public data. The Preserving Data in Government Act speaks to a matter of of heightened public interest in the spring 2017, as open… Continue Reading

2017 World Press Freedom Index – tipping point

“The 2017 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reflects a world in which attacks on the media have become commonplace and strongmen are on the rise. We have reached the age of post-truth, propaganda, and suppression of freedoms – especially in democracies…RSF’s latest World Press Freedom Index highlights the danger of… Continue Reading

DOJ defends USDA take-down of massive animal abuse database

Follow up to previous postings – Animal welfare information wiped from USDA website and Some animal welfare data removed from USDA site is restored – via Josh Gerstein – Politico – “The Justice Department is mounting a legal defense of one of the most-publicized counter-transparency moves of the new Trump administration: the Agriculture Department’s decision… Continue Reading