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Combating Government Secrecy through Freedom of Information

New Sunshine Week report shares best practices to maximize the power of FOIA – “In response to a growing culture of government secrecy, people are seeking new ways to defend their right to information and combat intensifying threats to transparency and accountability. Openness advocates, journalists, litigators and grassroots organizations working on a range of policy issues are increasingly looking to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to shine light on government actions carried out in our name, but without our knowledge. Today, Open the Government released a Best Practices Guide to FOIA Collaboration, highlighting cases where FOIA collaboration is successfully being used to fuel advocacy campaigns and advance openness policies.  “The OTG coalition is using FOIA more every day in clever ways to roll-back the tide of government secrecy, strengthening overall collective demands for transparency in the process,” said Lisa Rosenberg, Executive Director of Open the Government. “We are immensely grateful for everyone who shared their FOIA success stories with us, and are thrilled to build on a body of knowledge to help fuel efforts to maximize the full power of the law.”  Government secrecy is nothing new. But, with the advent of the Trump Administration, new threats to the public’s right to know have emerged. A report released last week by OTG, Closing Democracy’s Window, documents how during the first year of the current administration there has been a rapid erosion of openness, a crumbling of norms, frequent and ongoing disparagement of the media, efforts to stonewall information requests, manipulation of data, and outright suppression of facts…”

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