30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

United States and Canada

Mar 27, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, March 27, 2014 – In February 2014, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) posted 300,000 State Department telegrams from 1977 — the first year of the Jimmy Carter administration — on its Access to Archival Databases system. This posting is another step in carrying out the commitment that NARA and the State Department have made to putting on-line major State Department document databases and indexes as they are declassified.
Mar 24, 2014 | News, Rosemary Award
Washington, DC, March 24, 2014 – Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has won the infamous Rosemary Award for worst open government performance in 2013, according to the citation published today by the National Security Archive at www.nsarchive.org. Despite heavy competition, Clapper's "No, sir" lie to Senator Ron Wyden's question: "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?" sealed his receipt of the dubious achievement award, which cites the vastly excessive secrecy of the entire U.S.
Mar 14, 2014 | Briefing Book
IN THE NEWS Obama Administration Official Whitewashes Truth About FOIA By Jason Leopold, Freedom of the Press Foundation, March 17, 2014 Sunshine Week: Transparency issues persist with Obama administration By Josh Hicks, Washington Post, March 17, 2014 US Cites Security More to Censor, Deny Records By Ted Bridis and Jack Gillum, AP, March 16, 2014 Open Government and Freedom of Information: Reinvigorating the Freedom of Information Act for the Digital Age Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, March 11, 2014
Feb 20, 2014 | Briefing Book
A major controversy during the administration of President George W. Bush concerned the use or misuse of intelligence with regard to Iraqi weapons of mass destruction programs and possible links between Iraq and al-Qaida. The best known elements of that controversy were Iraqi motivations behind the procurement of aluminum tubes, whether Iraq had sought to acquire uranium from Niger, if Iraq was seeking to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program, and whether it was producing and stockpiling chemical or biological weapons.
Jan 24, 2014 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, January 24, 2014 – A recently declassified transcript of a telephone conversation (telcon) between Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and President Gerald Ford in December 1975 indicates tensions between Kissinger and Donald Rumsfeld's Defense Department over the SALT II arms control agreement. Telling Ford that "we have [a] SALT agreement within our grasp," Kissinger said "We can smash our opponents" [See document 6].
Oct 29, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 29, 2013 – The CIA's history of the U-2 spy plane, declassified this past summer, sparked enormous public attention to the U-2's secret test site at Area 51 in Nevada, but documents posted today by the National Security Archive (www.nsarchive.org) show that Area 51 played an even more central role in the development of the U.S. Air Force's top secret stealth programs in the 1970s and 1980s, and hosted secretly obtained Soviet MiG fighters during the Cold War. Compiled and edited by Archive senior fellow Jeffrey T.
Sep 4, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 4, 2013 – Recent press disclosures about National Security Agency (NSA) electronic surveillance activities — relying on documents provided by Edward Snowden — have sparked one of the most significant controversies in the history of the U.S. Intelligence Community. Today, the nongovernmental National Security Archive at The George Washington University posts a compilation of over 125 documents — a Web resource — to provide context and specifics about the episode.
Aug 15, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., August 15, 2013 – On 21 February 1955, Richard M. Bissell, a senior CIA official, wrote a check on an Agency account for $1.25 million dollars and mailed it to the home of Kelly Johnson, chief engineer at the Lockheed Company's Burbank, California, plant. According to a newly declassified CIA history of the U-2 program obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by National Security Archive senior fellow Jeffrey T.
Aug 5, 2013 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., August 5, 2013 – Today, on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology, the National Security Archive posts an update to its 2001 electronic briefing book on Science, Technology and the CIA. The posting adds 20 new items to the 45 documents in the previous version. The new records cover all eras of the CIA's exploitation of science and technology, from its initial involvement during the tenure of Allen Dulles (1953-61) to its post-Cold War activities.
Apr 26, 2013 | Briefing Book
Since at least 1997, the National Security Agency (NSA) has been responsible for developing ways to attack hostile computer networks as part of the growing field of Information Warfare (IW), according to a recently declassified internal NSA publication posted today by the non-governmental National Security Archive ("the Archive") at The George Washington University. Declaring that "the future of warfare is warfare in cyberspace," a former NSA official describes the new activity as "sure to be a catalyst for major change" at the super-secret agency.

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