30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Secrecy and FOIA

Apr 22, 2019 | News
Washington D.C., April 22, 2019 - Black blotches mar the surface of the Mueller Report like measles cases tracked on a map of Brooklyn.  Some 176 of the 448 pages feature at least one redaction, according to the Washington Post count, and 10 pages are blacked out in full.

Apr 18, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., April 18, 2019 – The National Security Archive has published hundreds of examples over the years of “dubious secrets” where U.S. government censors blacked out documents that had already been released in full – or redacted entirely different parts of the same document at different times.  This surprisingly common occurrence throws into relief how subjective the classification process is and how often agency declassifiers opt for the most sweeping rulings that wind up denying the public reasonable access to their government’s information.

Feb 21, 2019 | Blog Post
For Better or Worse, The Obama Library to Depart From Status Quo The National Archives and Records Administration has released its agreement with the Obama Foundation that outlines how the Foundation’s plan to depart from the traditional NARA-run presidential library model – in favor of digitizing all of Obama’s 30 million unclassified paper records – […]

Feb 7, 2019 | Blog Post
State Dept. Worsens FOIA Reading Room The Department of State has inexplicably made its FOIA reading room significantly less user-friendly. The previous version allowed researchers to sort the reading room’s tens of thousands of documents by date or title, among other filters, or search through curated collections. The current iteration has no such features and […]

Jan 31, 2019 | Blog Post
The Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, 1979: Declassified Documents Show Moscow’s Fear of an Afghan Flip President Trump’s claim that the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 to get rid of terrorists who were coming over the border is false, according to declassified U.S. and Soviet documents released through FOIA and posted by the National Security […]

Jan 24, 2019 | Blog Post
No More Deaths Trials Shed Needed Light on Department of Interior’s Immigration Role Assistant U.S. Attorney Anna Wright argued the first of the Trump administration’s three cases against the humanitarian aid organization No More Deaths in Tucson last week. (The group leaves food and water for migrants crossing the desert and has led efforts to […]

Dec 4, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 4, 2018 - Five years ago, the National Security Agency (NSA) released 136 issues of its internal Cryptolog periodical spanning 1974 through 1997. The collection offered a look into the some of the discussions being held within one of America’s most secretive intelligence agencies. Today the GWU-based National Security Archive is providing a complete index of all 1,504 items in the declassified collection, including but not limited to articles, interviews, and puzzles.

Jun 28, 2018 | Blog Post
FBI Tries to Put FOIA Lawsuits on Hold The FBI recently told a government attorney that it is beginning to file “Open America” stays in “all FOIA lawsuits going” forward. This means, according to Jason Leopold, who brought attention to this alarming development, that “even if you sue the FBI, the bureau won’t process it until […]

Jun 21, 2018 | Blog Post
ISCAP Directed to Help with FRUS Volume The Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP), which is housed at the U.S. National Archives and charged with – among other things –  deciding on Mandatory Declassification Review appeals, held a forum today to discuss the current MDR landscape. Major takeaways from the meeting include: ISCAP received a […]

Jun 7, 2018 | Blog Post
The Archive’s New CyberWar Map The National Security Archive is thrilled to announce the launch of our interactive CyberWar Map. The Map is both a visualization of state-sponsored cyberattacks and an index of documents in the Archive’s Cyber Vault relevant to the subject selected. Clicking on each node will reveal documents and analysis and the […]