30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Secrecy and FOIA

May 6, 2008 | News
Washington D.C., May 6, 2008 - The White House yesterday admitted to a federal magistrate judge that it has no computer back-up tapes with data written before May 23, 2003, and that it cannot track the history of individual hard drives within the White House system that may contain missing e-mails. The White House filing responded to an April 24, 2008, order from Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola of the U.S.
Mar 19, 2008 | News
Washington DC, March 19, 2008 - As if the sub-prime credit crisis was not enough, the U.S. Treasury Department today won the fourth annual Rosemary Award for the worst performance by a federal agency under the Freedom of Information Act. Given annually by the Emmy- and George Polk Award-winning National Security Archive at George Washington University, the Rosemary recognizes outstandingly bad responsiveness to the public that flouts the letter and spirit of the Freedom of Information Act.
Mar 18, 2008 | News
Washington DC, March 18, 2008 - In an order issued today, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia directed the Executive Office of the President (EOP) to show cause why it should not be ordered to create and preserve a forensic copy of any data storage media in use between March 2003 and October 2005 within the EOP. The order comes in a lawsuit brought by the National Security Archive seeking to force the EOP and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to take steps to preserve and restore missing White House e-mails.
Mar 16, 2008 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., March 16, 2008 - President Bush’s executive order for a “citizen-centered” and “results-oriented” Freedom of Information system did improve customer service at federal agencies, but has failed to make consistent progress on backlogs and has not significantly improved compliance with electronic FOIA requirements, according to the Knight Open Government Survey released today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org).
Feb 26, 2008 | News
Washington DC, February 26, 2008 - At a hearing today before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, it was disclosed that the White House has received repeated warnings from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and from information technology experts within the White House about the risk of lost e-mails. Records obtained by the Committee showed that NARA's warnings began as early as January 2004 and that the White House was aware of the danger that e-mails may not be properly preserved.
Jan 31, 2008 | News
Washington, D.C., January 31, 2008 - The National Security Archive, along with several leading U.S. historical associations, today is filing a petition in federal court in New York City for the release of grand jury records from the 1951 indictment of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were accused of running an espionage ring that passed American atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, convicted of spying, and executed in 1953.
Jan 24, 2008 | News
Park City, Utah, January 24, 2008 – The new documentary “Secrecy,” made by Harvard professors Peter Galison and Robb Moss, premiered this past week at the Sundance Film Festival, featuring National Security Archive director Tom Blanton in a leading role and on the after-show panels answering questions from Sundance audiences. Blanton participated in the premiere showing on January 18 in Park City, the follow-up showing on January 19 also in Park City, and the noontime showing on Sunday January 20 at the screening room in Robert Redford’s Sundance Resort.
Jan 16, 2008 | News
Washington DC, January 16, 2008 - In response to a federal court order issued last week, the White House late last night refused to acknowledge any missing e-mails, instead stating that it “has undertaken an independent effort to determine whether there may be anomalies in Exchange e-mail counts” during the 2003-2005 period. A sworn statement by the Chief Information Officer of the White House Office of Administration filed with U.S.
Jan 8, 2008 | News
Washington DC, January 8, 2008 -In an Order issued today, Magistrate Judge Facciola of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the White House to answer questions about over 5 million missing e-mails generated between 2003-2005. Noting that the need for information on the missing e-mails is “time-sensitive” because of the risk that stored copies of the e-mails “are increasingly likely to be deleted or overridden with the passage of time,” the Court demanded answers in a sworn declaration by January 15, 2008 about the location of the missing e-mails.
Jan 2, 2008 | News
Washington DC, January 2, 2008 - In one of his last decisions of the year on Monday, December 31, 2007, President Bush signed into law the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reform bill (S. 2488). The bill, the OPEN Government Act of 2007, was passed unanimously by both the House and the Senate in December. The new law aims to fix some of the most persistent problems in the FOIA system, including excessive delay, lack of responsiveness, and litigation gamesmanship by federal agencies.

Pages