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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

Free Law Project – Our Financial Disclosure Database is Now Available to All

“Two weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal published their blockbuster report detailing over 100 judges that had likely violated the Ethics in Government act. To do their work, the Wall Street Journal reporters had exclusive access to our database of financial disclosures. Today we are making the database available to all. Included in the database are:

  • Over 250,000 pages of financial records dating from 2003-2020, with complete coverage of every judge, justice, and magistrate between 2011 and 2018.
  • Over 1.5 million investment records.
  • Around 12,000 sources of income outside of regular investments.
  • More than 1,700 gifts received by federal judges. And a lot more. We have made a huge effort to gather every possible disclosure. Read our coverage page for caveats and details.  Starting today, this data is available in two new ways. First, we have integrated this data into the CourtListener website, where you can look up any judge and see their disclosures. For every judge that you look up, you will see a detailed page with all the data we have extracted, including their investments, gifts, spousal income, other sources of income and more…”

Freedom on the Net 2021 – The Global Drive to Control Big Tech

“In the high-stakes battle between states and technology companies, the rights of internet users have become the main casualties. Key Findings: Global internet freedom declined for the 11th consecutive year.  Governments clashed with technology companies on users’ rights. Authorities in at least 48 countries pursued new rules for tech companies on content, data, and competition over… Continue Reading

Pinterest whistleblower launches resources to help tech employees speak out

Fast Company: “One day after the testimony of Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, a group of civic organizations led by another well-known whistleblower—Ifeoma Ozoma, who spoke out about her employer, Pinterest, in 2020—is launching a new website that might help other tech employees come forward to speak about wrongdoing within their companies. As was made clear… Continue Reading

How the secrets of the Pandora Papers were freed

Wired: “The Pandora Papers have rocked the world. Since news organisations began publishing their explosive contents on October 3, the giant leak has dominated headlines and posed questions of some of the world’s most powerful people and their financial propriety.  Everyone from former UK prime minister Tony Blair to the King of Jordan have been… Continue Reading

Why The Post published the Pandora Papers investigation

[October 10, 2021] “The Washington Post is joining news organizations around the globe to bring you the first in a series of important stories. These are the product of nearly a year of reporting at The Post focused on a vast trove of documents that expose a secretive financial universe that benefits the wealthy and… Continue Reading

Free Law Project Creates the First Online Database of Federal Judicial Financial Disclosures

“At Free Law Project, our mission is to make legal information free and open to all, and especially to journalists, researchers, and academics. That is why we are excited to announce the creation of a new, first-of-its-kind database of federal judicial financial records. Over the past several months, we provided award-winning journalists James Grimaldi, Coulter… Continue Reading

Freedom in the World 2021 Democracy under Siege

 Freedom in the World 2021: “As a lethal pandemic, economic and physical insecurity, and violent conflict ravaged the world in 2020, democracy’s defenders sustained heavy new losses in their struggle against authoritarian foes, shifting the international balance in favor of tyranny. Incumbent leaders increasingly used force to crush opponents and settle scores, sometimes in the… Continue Reading

More Americans now say government should take steps to restrict false information online

Pew: “Amid rising concerns over misinformation online – including surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, especially vaccines – Americans are now a bit more open to the idea of the U.S. government taking steps to restrict false information online. And a majority of the public continues to favor technology companies taking such action, according to a new… Continue Reading

The Afghanistan Papers A secret history of the war

“A confidential trove of government documents obtained by The Washington Post reveals [Dec. 9, 2019] that senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable. The documents were generated by… Continue Reading

Facebook’s Attack on Research is Everyone’s Problem

EFF: “Facebook recently banned the accounts of several New York University (NYU) researchers who run Ad Observer, an accountability project that tracks paid disinformation, from its platform. This has major implications: not just for transparency, but for user autonomy and the fight for interoperable software. Ad Observer is a free/open source browser extension used to collect… Continue Reading

Long-Withheld Office of Legal Counsel Records Reveal Agency’s Postwar Influence

Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University: “Documents released in our FOIA lawsuit for OLC legal opinions issued prior to 1994. This Reading Room contains all of the documents produced to date in Francis v. Dep’t of Justice, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit the Knight Institute filed on behalf of five scholars, Campaign… Continue Reading

What does this new Google Scholar “Public Access” feature mean for me or my work?

Libvine, Melissa Rothfus – “Google Scholar recently released a new feature to the Scholar Profile section that tracks whether articles that are supposed to be open access under funder mandates are actually freely available. The feature is controversial. Some have decried the accuracy of the information and the suggestion to use Google Drive to make… Continue Reading