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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

An Interview with UN Special Rapporteur David Kaye

Digital Rights Monitor: “The latest 2018 Freedom House report presents a dismal picture of internet freedom. Out of 65 countries studied for the report, internet freedom deteriorated in 26 countries including United States of America. The study also noted that more than a dozen countries were putting in place restrictive measures in the name of… Continue Reading

The Fresno Bee and the War on Local News

GQ: “Local newspapers like The Fresno Bee have long been an endangered institution in America, and that was before California Rep. Devin Nunes began waging a public campaign against his hometown paper. Zach Baron spent time with the reporters fighting to keep news alive in an age when the forces they cover are working equally… Continue Reading

Researchers try to cope without HHS public medical guideline database five months after its takedown

Sunlight Foundation: “When the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHRQ) shut down its National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) in July, medical professionals who relied on the database, hosted at guideline.gov, reacted with alarm. For nearly 20 years, AHRQ’s repository of medical guidelines had served as the gold standard for clinicians, helping guide day to day… Continue Reading

US nuclear tests killed far more civilians than we knew

Quartz: “When the US entered the nuclear age, it did so recklessly. New research suggests that the hidden cost of developing nuclear weapons were far larger than previous estimates, with radioactive fallout responsible for 340,000 to 690,000 American deaths from 1951 to 1973. The study, performed by University of Arizona economist Keith Meyers, uses a novel method (pdf)… Continue Reading

U.S. Courts Are Figuring Out if the Government Can Block You On Facebook

NextGov: “In the last two years, there’s been a cascade of lawsuits in the U.S. against public officials who have blocked people on social media and deleted critical comments. The list starts with the highest one in the country, president Donald Trump, and goes all the way down to a county board chair. As officials use social platforms… Continue Reading

International Fact-Checking Network’s code of principles

Poynter: Commit to transparency — sign up for the International Fact-Checking Network’s code of principles. “The code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter is a series of commitments organizations abide by to promote excellence in fact-checking. We believe nonpartisan and transparent fact-checking can be a powerful instrument of accountability journalism…” “…The commitments… Continue Reading

Avoiding A World War Web: The Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace

Lawfare: “On Nov. 11 [2018] at 11:00 a.m., more than 70 world leaders walked towards the Arc de Triomphe in Paris to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War and to honor the 19 million people who lost their lives in it. French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a charged speech denouncing… Continue Reading

Is WikiLeaks a Russian Front?

Consider the ramifications of this article, via The Atlantic – The idea that the putative transparency group served as a connection between Moscow and the president’s associates is starting to become clearer – if it is an accurate appraisal of an expanding exposure of corruption and malfeasance perpetrated by public and private citizens and groups… Continue Reading

Questions We Should Be Asking About Facebook’s Smear Campaign Against Its Critics

EFF: “The New York Times published a blockbuster story about Facebook that exposed how the company used  so-called “smear merchants” to attack organizations critical of the platform. The story was shocking on a number of levels, revealing that Facebook’s hired guns stooped to dog-whistling, anti-Semitic attacks aimed at George Soros 1 and writing stories blasting… Continue Reading

How China Walled Off the Internet

The New York Times – “Today, China has the world’s only internet companies that can match America’s in ambition and reach. It is years ahead of the United States in replacing paper money with smartphone payments, turning tech giants into vital gatekeepers of the consumer economy. And it is host to a supernova of creative… Continue Reading

The Pentagon’s Getting More Secretive and It’s Hurting National Security

Defense One: “At a time of rampant executive branch corruption and large increases in defense spending, Americans are rightly concerned about the need for governmental transparency. People deserve to know how their money is being used, and what life-or-death decisions the Pentagon bureaucracy is making in their names. As President Trump asks for more defense… Continue Reading

Where ICE Secure Communities Removals Now Occur

“Nine out of ten counties in the United States with the most Secure Communities removals are in Texas and California. Fingerprints submitted to the FBI by law enforcement agencies from just these two states also gave rise to almost half (47%) of all recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removals under its Secure Communities program… Continue Reading