30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

United States and Canada

Mar 15, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., March 15, 2018 - A US Foreign Service officer warned that “blatantly illegal” Congressional requests, including the use of a diplomatic pouch to smuggle gemstones and utilizing embassy employees for the “soliciting of female companionship,” were harming “the personal integrity of employees of the Department of State,” according to a Dissent Channel cable newly released to the National Security Archive after a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

Mar 12, 2018 | News, Rosemary Award
Washington, D.C., March 12, 2018 - The Secret Service and the White House have emerged as the dubious winners from the hard-fought competition for the National Security Archive’s infamous Rosemary Award for worst open government performance of 2017.

Mar 8, 2018 | News, FOIA Audit
Washington, DC, March 8, 2018 – Two out of five federal agencies claimed that they were either unable or not required to respond to a targeted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for agency emails submitted by the National Security Archive.

Mar 7, 2018 | Blog Post
Just over a year ago, a Freedom of Information Act release by the National Park Service demonstrably proved that the President of the United States was lying about the size of his inauguration crowd.  That he was even elected president was, in part, because his opponent had improperly stored federal records on a personal server […]

Mar 1, 2018 | Blog Post
Agencies Still Trying to Weaken the FOIA Federal agencies are still trying to restrict access to information and weaken the Freedom of Information Act in a variety of ways. With Sunshine Week – the annual, week-long celebration of access to information – around the corner, I wanted to highlight some of the most egregious ways […]

Feb 22, 2018 | Blog Post
Federal Response to Hawaii Missile False Alert  Emails released through the FOIA give a detailed look at how the military responded to the false alert – sent by a Hawaii state official unaware that a drill was being conducted – that warned Hawaiians that a ballistic missile attack was imminent. The emails show the false […]

Jan 31, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., January 31, 2018 – Like so many treasure hunters, beachcombers, and curio shoppers, U.S. military and intelligence operatives have for decades scoured the planet for access to everything from captured surface-to-air missiles to medicines to bits and pieces of spacecraft that have fallen to Earth – all with an eye to learning something useful about America’s adversaries.

Jan 24, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., January 24, 2018 - On the day before September 11, 2001, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld believed the gravest threat to American national security was Pentagon bureaucracy, according to “snowflakes” he wrote that were released by the Defense Department after a five-year Freedom of Information Act fight and lawsuit by the National Security Archive.

Nov 30, 2017 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 30, 2017 – U.S. presidents sometimes made nuclear threats in the course of Cold War crises and confrontations, but powerful social norms – not just military considerations – inhibited them from initiating the combat use of nuclear weapons, according to declassified documents posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive.

Nov 16, 2017 | Blog Post
Border Wall Plans in Texas would Disrupt Retirement Community, Wildlife Preserves A FOIA request from the Sierra Club’s borderlands team won the release of documents, which were then shared with the Texas Observer, showing tentative border wall plans in the Rio Grande Valley. One of the releases – a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers map […]

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