35+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

United States and Canada

May 12, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 12, 2021 — This week’s ransomware episode involving Colonial Pipeline has exposed deep cracks in America’s digital armor.  However, lost in the flurry of calls for swift action to avoid future damage is the fact that such attacks have been predicted for some time, as a sampling of government records posted today by the National Security Archive shows.

May 4, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C. - May 4, 2021 - Some United States Capitol Police (USCP) officers could not access their shields during the January 6, 2021, mob attack on the Capitol because the equipment was locked on a bus. Others had access to their shields, but, because they had been stored in a trailer without climate control, they shattered on impact.

Apr 26, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 26, 2021 — The recent passage of the “Cyber Diplomacy Act of 2021” by the House of Representatives suggests U.S. lawmakers are eager to expand the U.S.’s toolbox for addressing cyber threats to explicitly include diplomacy, according to a compilation of policy records posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive.  Introduced on the heels of the SolarWinds breach, the bill would establish a new “Bureau of International Cyberspace Policy.”

Apr 5, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 5, 2021 – President Bill Clinton’s climate policy faced some of its biggest challenges from two very different quarters – China and the Congress – according to a collection of recently declassified internal papers posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive. 

Mar 12, 2021 | Briefing Book, FOIA Audit
Washington D.C., March 12, 2021 - The Defense Department finally replied to the National Security Archive’s September 2006 FOIA request early last year. After nearly 15 years of waiting, on January 24, 2020, the OSD/JS FOIA Office wrote: “This pertains to your enclosed Freedom of Information Act request, which you submitted on September 26, 2006. We received your request on the same day and… regret the delay in completing your request.

Mar 3, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., March 3, 2021 - Video evidence presented by House impeachment managers during Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial shows just how close the violent mob came to physically confronting Vice President Mike Pence and Senators Mitt Romney and Chuck Schumer, and includes footage of the mob rifling through congressional desks and offices. The never-before-seen cell phone and surveillance footage, which members of Congress watched at the same time as the public, makes the Pentagon’s continued silence about its delay in sending in the D.C.

Feb 25, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., February 25, 2021 – As President Joe Biden elevates climate change to a Cabinet-level national security issue, the challenges his administration faces can be illuminated by a close look at another administration that took climate change seriously – Bill Clinton’s. Today, the National Security Archive is posting a selection of documents focusing on how the Clinton White House organized itself to build on the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and secure Senate ratification of the agreement.

Feb 15, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., February 15, 2021 - Since our last posting about exercise Eligible Receiver 97-1, the Cyber Vault project has continued its efforts to unearth more documents and information about the secretive exercise that was so f

Feb 11, 2021 | News
Washington, D.C., February 11, 2021 – The National Security Archive et. al. v. Donald J. Trump et. al. lawsuit, filed December 1, 2020 to prevent a possible bonfire of records in the Rose Garden, achieved a formal litigation hold on White House records that lasted all the way through the transition and Inauguration Day, the preservation of controversial WhatsApp messages, and a formal change in White House records policy.

Jan 20, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., January 20, 2021 - Biden spokesperson Jen Psaki has now pledged the new administration will resume publication of Secret Service logs of White House visitors, an Obama transparency innovation that was canceled by Donald Trump. The Obama White House posted some six million records of visits to the White House within 90 days of the visit, enabling journalists and citizens to track lobbyists and interest groups, and even determine the relative influence of, for instance, Google, versus the other tech companies.