30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

United States and Canada

Jun 18, 2009 | News
Washington, DC, June 18, 2009 - A report issued by the Air Force Audit Agency that was released to the National Security Archive this week identifies significant mismanagement in the Air Force Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) program. The findings demonstrate a pattern of noncompliance with statutory timeframes to respond to records requests from the public and misrepresentations about the state of the Air Force FOIA program.

Jun 10, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, June 10, 2009 - Last week the world lost a luminary scholar of diplomatic and international history with the passing of Ernest R. May, who served for 20 years on the National Security Archive's advisory board. In thinking about the immense and wide-ranging contributions that Ernest made during the course of a career that lasted over fifty years, a line from Wallace Stevens comes to mind: “Description is revelation.” (from his poem Description without Place).

Jun 5, 2009 | Briefing Book
Recent Actions by Declassification Panel Show Pattern of CIA Overclassification and Tight Grip on Early Cold War History Documents Released Offer New Revelations on October War Intelligence and the Israeli Nuclear Weapons Program Washington, D.C., June 5, 2009 - Now that President Obama has announced a review of U.S. secrecy policy, critics of secrecy policy and declassification requesters alike can only hope that those who carry it out understand the serious failings of the secrecy system as it currently exists.

May 21, 2009 | News
Washington, DC, May 21, 2009 – At a hearing today focusing on the National Archives and Records Administration and the selection of a new Archivist, National Security Archive General Counsel Meredith Fuchs said: “[The new Archivist] should have a vision for an Archives 2.0.” Discussing electronic records management, classification, presidential records and libraries, and access as critical challenges, before the Information Policy, Census, and National Archives Subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Ms.

May 1, 2009 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, May 1, 2009 - President Obama's recent call for a "world without nuclear weapons" immediately raised questions of how do you get there, what does deterrence actually require before you get there, and how many nuclear weapons would that involve at each step. Exactly these questions of "how much is enough" were raised fifty years ago in secret debate within the U.S. government, when Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Arleigh Burke argued that a small force of mainly nuclear missile-launching Polaris submarines was enough for deterrence.

Apr 14, 2009 | News
Washington, DC, April 14, 2009 - The plaintiffs and defendants in the pending lawsuit seeking restoration of millions of missing White House e-mails and the installation of an effective e-mail archiving system have agreed to stay the case so that the parties can discuss whether the matter can be resolved outside of litigation.

Apr 13, 2009 | News
Washington, DC, April 13, 2009 – Today, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights announced that "Torturing Democracy" has won a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for domestic television and is a finalist for the grand prize.

Mar 19, 2009 | News
Washington, D.C., March 19, 2009 - Attorney General Eric Holder today released new guidelines for federal agencies on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that reinforce the presumption of disclosure articulated by President Obama in his day one Memorandum on FOIA, issued January 21, 2009. Attorney General Holder’s memorandum provides practical guidance for implementing the presumption of disclosure, including by encouraging discretionary releases of records and releasing portions of records even when other portions are being withheld.

Mar 13, 2009 | News, Rosemary Award
Washington, DC, March 13, 2009 – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) today won the fifth annual Rosemary Award for the worst Freedom of Information Act performance by a federal agency. The FBI’s reports to Congress show that the Bureau is unable to find any records in response to two-thirds of its incoming FOIA requests on average over the past four years, when the other major government agencies averaged only a 13% “no records” response to public requests.

Feb 26, 2009 | News
Washington, DC, February 26, 2009 – Today Secretary of Defense Robert Gates lifted a blanket ban on news media coverage of the honor guard ceremonies that mark the return of military casualties from abroad. The new policy will permit media coverage of the ceremonies, during which caskets draped with American flags are brought home from war, after consultation with the families of the fallen. The Obama administration’s move restores press access to the honor ceremonies, which had been the practice from World War II through the Panama invasion of 1989.

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