30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

United States and Canada

Sep 8, 2020 | News
Washington D.C., September 8, 2020 – Now that the Republican and Democratic parties have officially confirmed President Donald J. Trump and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr as their respective presidential nominees, the Cyber Vault will take a closer look at what cybersecurity and digital policy might look like under either a Trump or Biden administration.

Jul 21, 2020 | Briefing Book
Recent debates over U.S. nuclear weapons stockpiles in Western Europe make it worth looking at how those forces got there in the first place. In the 1950s, when fear of Soviet military power was at its height, NATO allies like Italy and West Germany were remarkably compliant to U.S. wishes regarding the storage of nuclear weapons on their soil – and ultimately their potential use in a European war – according to newly released State Department and Defense Department records posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive.  The governments in Bonn and Rome made no objections when Washington came calling and did not even pose questions about when or how the weapons might be used. 

Jun 25, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, June 25, 2020 — Portions of a long-secret government blueprint for expansive surveillance of domestic protest movements during the Nixon presidency have just been released, more than 50 years after it was drafted.  The notorious “Huston Plan” prepared by representatives of the White House and the U.S. intelligence community envisioned a smorgasbord of covert operations that made even FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover queasy. The proposed activities ranged from monitoring domestic dissident groups — notably the Black Panthers — to office break-ins.

Jun 19, 2020 | News
Washington, D.C., June 19, 2020 – As President Trump escalates attempts to quash publication of former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s book, The Room Where it Happened, on the grounds that it still “contains classified information,”  the National Security Archive today posted documentation on previous cases of “prepublication review” dating back to the 1970s that cast doubt on the admi

Jun 4, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., June 4, 2020 - To mark the 31st anniversary of the massacre at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, June 4, 1989, the National Security Archive today reposts its special exhibit of declassified documentation on an event that has decisively shaped contemporary China – and that just in the past week has unexpectedly gained salience for the United States.  

Jun 2, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., June 2, 2020 – The Washington/Camp David summit 30 years ago today brought Presidents George H.W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev together for three days of intense discussions of the future of Europe, the unification of Germany that would happen later that year 1990, the economic crisis facing the Soviet Union, and the tense stand-off between Moscow and the independence-minded Baltic republics, according to declassified Soviet and American documents published today by the National Security Archive.

May 18, 2020 | News
Washington, D.C., May 18, 2020 – The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled against the National Security Archive’s lawsuit to restore the routine disclosure, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), of the White House visitor logs that were taken down by the Trump administration in early 2017.

May 13, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 13, 2020 - The Office of Management and Budget is currently accepting comments on proposed revisions to its uniform FOIA Fee Guidelines, which date from 1987 and govern when and how all agencies can charge FOIA fees. The revisions are unconscionably belated, were undertaken not voluntarily but because of an Administrative Procedures Act lawsuit filed by Cause of Action, and do

Nov 11, 2019 | News
Washington, D.C., November 11, 2019 – A military judge presiding over the Guantanamo trial of alleged USS Cole bomber Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri cited a cable released to the National Security Archive as evidence that the system for handling classified CIA evidence at the detention camp’s national security trials is “flawed and unfair to the defense.” The current system allows prosecutors, working with members of the intelligence community, to decide what portions of evidence the defense needs for trial.

Nov 5, 2019 | News
Washington D.C., November 5, 2019 - The National Security Archive, together with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR), sued Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Department of State today for violating the Federal Records Act by failing to create and preserve essential State Department records (see the complaint). The legal team representing the plaintiffs in the case is led by Anne We

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