35+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

United States and Canada

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.

Jan 13, 2021 | Briefing Book, Sourcebook
Washington, D.C., January 13, 2021 - The Pentagon’s timeline of its response to the January 6, 2021 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol features multiple discrepancies with the public record, while the first federal indictment of mob participants details the specific legal charges that likely will be brought against others, according to the documents in the National Security Archive’s first "January 6 Sourcebook" posted today. The Sourcebook, subtitled “documents you should read,” includes:

Dec 1, 2020 | News
Washington, D.C., Dec. 1, 2020 – The National Security Archive, the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, the American Historical Association, and the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington today filed suit against President Donald Trump in his official capacity, seeking to enforce the Presidential Records Act and prevent any destruction of records during the presidential transition.

Nov 17, 2020 | News
Washington D.C., November 17, 2020 - The dust is settling on the 2020 presidential election and the Biden Transition Team - if the General Services Administration will comply - must quickly get to work with the business of assuming control of government. The Biden administration faces two simultaneous challenges on the records preservation front: fixing a broken Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) system, and closing the loopholes to the Presidential Records Act (PRA) so they can’t be abused again.

Nov 10, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., November 10, 2020 — After Harvard professor Henry Kissinger met with top Israeli officials in January 1965, he told U.S. diplomats at the Embassy in Tel Aviv of his near certainty that Israel had begun a nuclear weapons project, according to a record of the meeting, which has recently been declassified and is published here for the first time by the National Security Archive. Kissinger added that Israeli scientists were “very certain that such weapons were necessary and that they knew how to make them.”

Nov 2, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 2, 2020 – Declassified highest-level transcripts and diplomatic cables provide new granular detail on the rise to power of Russian President Vladimir Putin 20 years ago, much of it in his own words (as captured by American notetakers) and those of his predecessor Boris Yeltsin, according to the documentary publication today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

Oct 26, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 26, 2020 - In the lead up to the 2020 presidential election, the Cyber Vault has reviewed the respective 2020 platforms of the Democratic and Republican parties and how they propose to address issues of cyber and technology policy. To avoid confusion, it is worth noting that the Republican National Committee (RNC) declined to compile a new convention platform for the 2020 presidential election.