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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

Department of Energy computer systems target of relentless cyberattacks

Cyber attackers successfully compromised the security of U.S. Department of Energy computer systems more than 150 times between 2010 and 2014, according to a review of federal records obtained by USA TODAY. Incident reports submitted by federal officials and contractors since late 2010 to the Energy Department’s Joint Cybersecurity Coordination Center shows a near-consistent barrage of attempts to breach the security of critical information systems that contain sensitive data about the nation’s power grid, nuclear weapons stockpile and energy labs. The records, obtained by USA TODAY through the Freedom of Information Act, show DOE components reported a total of 1,131 cyberattacks over a 48-month period ending in October 2014. Of those attempted cyber intrusions, 159 were successful…”

Internet Archives – We have added a Mastodon Server

“The Internet Archive has recently set up its own Mastodon server– a federated/decentralized open source social media package– that has garnered lots of attention lately.We use it in ways that we use twitter now (we are not leaving twitter): • @[email protected] for events, announcements, and fun things • Staff accounts (e.g. my account @[email protected]) for,… Continue Reading

Ernie Lazar, FOIA Expert and Prolific Government Document Researcher, Dies

The New York Times: “Ernie Lazar, an unheralded hero of researchers who mined his vast digital and documentary archive of government records on political extremists to invigorate their books, articles and arguments and to warn against “it can’t happen here” complacency, died on Nov. 1 at his home in Palm Springs, Calif. He was 77…Mr.… Continue Reading

New Database Eases Release of Judges’ Finance Reports

United States Courts: “A new free public database of federal judges’ financial disclosure reports (FDRs), including periodic transaction reports (PTRs), was launched today by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Once users register in the new database, they can access an electronic version of federal judges’ reports. The new database design allows members of… Continue Reading

Algorithms Quietly Run the City of DC and Maybe Your Hometown

EPIC: “The D.C. government outsources critical governmental decisions to automated decision-making systems in areas such as public benefits, healthcare, policing, and housing. As a result, District residents are surveilled, screened, and scored every day. But because of weak government transparency laws, opaque procurement processes, the power and influence of tech vendors, and the decline in… Continue Reading

RSS government

GovFresh, Luke Fretwell – “Defaulting to an open protocol to syndicate government information makes public communications universally accessible. Every government website should have an RSS feed. This ensures there is an open, universal standard for syndicating government information. The problem – While it’s important that government shares information via distributed outlets – social media, email… Continue Reading

Internet Archive Files Final Reply Brief in Lawsuit Defending Controlled Digital Lending

Internet Archive Blogs: “On Friday, October 7, the Internet Archive filed a reply brief against the four publishers that sued Internet Archive in June 2020: Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, John Wiley & Sons, and Penguin Random House. This is the final brief in support of our motion for summary judgment (our previous motions can… Continue Reading

Report: Access to public records in Virginia cour

Courthousenews: “Traveling more than 1,000 miles over the course of five days, Courthouse News journalists visited 25 Virginia circuit courts to report on civil complaints filed in those courthouses. Their goal was to demonstrate what it would take to cover the public record of the Virginia courts by visiting each courthouse in person. The trip… Continue Reading

US Launches Promising Human Rights Reporting Tool

Human Rights Watch: “The United States Department of State is empowering ordinary people around the world to report human rights abuses by foreign security forces. On September 30, the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor launched a new reporting tool, the Human Rights Reporting Gateway, that gives the public a way to… Continue Reading

Federal Officials Trade Stock in Companies Their Agencies Oversee

WSJ [paywall] – “Hidden records show thousands of senior executive branch employees owned shares of companies whose fates were directly affected by their employers’ actions, a Wall Street Journal investigation found…The review spans 2016 through 2021 and includes data on about 850,000 financial assets and more than 315,000 trades reported in stocks, bonds and funds… Continue Reading

The Free PACER Bill Will Save Money (Despite the CBO Score)

Via Patrice McDermott – “From Gabe Roth at Fix the Court Hi, folks. I want to keep everyone apprised of what’s going on with the Open Courts Act, a bipartisan, bicameral bill that would modernize the federal judiciary’s court records system and make access to documents free (instead of the current $0.10 per page, which… Continue Reading

CREW urges Judicial Conference to implement judicial ethics rules

CREW: “The Judicial Conference—a national policymaking body for the federal courts…should implement a comprehensive prohibition on all federal judges and Supreme Court Justices owning or trading individual securities and develop a strong code of conduct for the Supreme Court. In a letter sent [September 20, 2022], CREW urges the Judicial Conference to act swiftly to… Continue Reading