30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

United States and Canada

Mar 15, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, March 15, 2010 - Despite President Barack Obama's and Attorney General Eric Holder's 2009 memoranda calling for reform in government agencies' administration of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the latest government-wide FOIA Audit released today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University found: Ancient requests--as old as 18 years--still persist in the FOIA system. A minority of agencies have responded to the Obama and Holder Memos with concrete changes in their FOIA practices.
Mar 12, 2010 | News
Washington, DC, March 12, 2010 - The Rosemary Award for worst open government performance, named after President Nixon’s secretary who erased 18 Ѕ minutes of a crucial Watergate tape, this year goes to the Federal Chief Information Officers Council, the senior federal officials (responsible for $71 billion a year of IT purchases) who have never addressed the failure of the government to save its e-mail electronically, according to the citation today by the National Security Archive (www.nsarchive.org).
Jan 15, 2010 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., January 15, 2010 - To refute early 1960s novels and Hollywood films like Fail-Safe and Dr. Strangelove which raised questions about U.S. control over nuclear weapons, the Air Force produced a documentary film--"SAC [Strategic Air Command] Command Post"--to demonstrate its responsiveness to presidential command and its tight control over nuclear weapons.
Dec 18, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 18, 2009 - The challenges facing President Obama in the Copenhagen climate negotiations this week directly parallel the domestic and diplomatic constraints that troubled the Clinton administration more than a decade ago in the Kyoto talks, according to internal U.S. government documents from 1997 obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and posted on the Web today by the National Security Archive.
Dec 14, 2009 | News
Washington, DC, December 14, 2009 - The National Security Archive (the Archive), Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the White House and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) today entered into an agreement setting forth general principles that will resolve the missing White House e-mail lawsuit filed first by the Archive in September 2007. "We commend the Obama Administration for making a strong effort to clean up the electronic data mess left behind by the prior administration," commented Sheila Shadmand, counsel for the Archive from Jones Day.
Sep 30, 2009 | News
Washington, DC, September 30, 2009 - At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today on “Advancing Freedom of Information in the New Era of Responsibility,” Archive General Counsel Meredith Fuchs reported on improvements in FOIA processing since the 2007 FOIA amendments went into effect, but said the most recent statistics demonstrated that excessive backlogs still plague the system. Citing requests as old as 17 years, Ms. Fuchs asked the Committee to look closely at FY 2009 data when it is reported to determine whether anything has improved. Ms.
Aug 25, 2009 | Special Exhibit
Posted below is a side-by-side comparison of the Bush and Obama administration versions of the 2004 CIA Inspector General Report on Torture.
Aug 9, 2009 | News
Washington D.C., August 25, 2009 - Today, the National Security Archive posted a side-by-side comparison of two very different versions of a 2004 report on the CIA's "Counterterrorism Detention and Interrogation Activities" by Agency Inspector General John Helgerson. Yesterday, the Obama administration released new portions of the report including considerably more information about the use of torture and other illegal practices by CIA interrogators than a version of the report declassified by the Bush administration in 2008. The report was first posted on the Web yesterday by the Washington Independent.
Jul 17, 2009 | Briefing Book
Pentagon classification authorities are treating classified historical documents as if they contain today's secrets, rather than decades-old information that has not been secret for years. Today the National Security Archive posted multiple versions of the same documents—on issues ranging from the 1973 October War to anti-ballistic missiles, strategic arms control, and U.S. policy toward China—that are already declassified and in the public domain.
Jul 10, 2009 | News
Washington, DC, July 10, 2009 - Today’s release of a report by several agency inspectors general reinforces the National Security Archive’s argument in our Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that the Justice Department should declassify and release the legal justifications for the surveillance program authorized by President Bush after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

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