30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Secrecy and FOIA

Jun 13, 2019 | Blog Post
Emails Released through FOIA Show Special Relationship between Transportation Dept. and State of Kentucky FOIA-released records obtained by American Oversight and provided to Politico illuminate how Transportation Department Secretary Elaine Chao prioritizes requests from Kentucky – home state of her husband and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Specifically, the department established a special liaison, Chao’s […]

Jun 6, 2019 | Blog Post
Year after year, the Department of Justice’s Office of Information Policy (OIP) issues a summary of annual agency FOIA reports that misinterprets FOIA performance across the federal government to the point the report’s main conclusions are unreliable, and this year is no different. OIP’s mandate is to “encourage” government-wide FOIA compliance – an important step […]

May 30, 2019 | Blog Post
Trump Memo “Effectively Amends” EO 13526 to Transfer Limited DNI Authority to AG Barr President Trump recently signed a presidential memo that “effectively amends” Executive Order 13526 on classification of national security information to grant Attorney General William Barr the “authority of the Director of National Intelligence to declassify intelligence information concerning the 2016 election.” […]

May 23, 2019 | Blog Post
FOIA Shows Sailors Created “Rape List” That CO Failed to Properly Address A FOIA request from Military.com won the release of a 74-page investigation into a “rape list” created by members of the USS Florida’s Gold Crew – the second submarine to integrate women. The report found “Navy leaders failed to address sailors’ safety concerns after […]

May 16, 2019 | Blog Post
Trump’s Secrecy will “Blast a Huge Crater” in work of Historians if not Checked The Washington Post Editorial Board weighed in on the National Security Archive’s lawsuit against the Trump administration for failing to document meetings with heads of state, noting “The failure to document these meetings is not only about compliance with the law. […]

May 15, 2019 | Blog Post
A June 16, 2014 CIA “FLASH FYSA [For Your Situational Awareness] email to the Office of the Director of the National Clandestine Service [ODNCS] warned of a “Possible Future Washington Post Article regarding CIA Covert Influence Operations.” The “covert influence operation” was a doll.  A doll with a likeness of Osama bin Laden, except that […]

May 7, 2019 | News
Washington, D.C., May 7, 2019 – The National Security Archive today joined Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) in filing suit to compel the White House to create and preserve records of the President's meetings with foreign leaders.

May 3, 2019 | News
Washington, D.C., May 3, 2019 - The National Security Archive, along with 15 other media organizations, filed a “friend of the court” brief on April 29 in the lawsuit Barr v. Redacted challenging the FBI’s authority to issue national security letters (NSLs) without any judicial oversight and under indefinite gag orders.

May 2, 2019 | Blog Post
FOIA Reporting Shows Serious Problems in Michigan Prisons   Indefatigable FOIA reporting from the Detroit Free Press reveals several alarming trends in Michigan’s state-run prisons – a spike in death rates, reporting misleading statistics to the state legislature, and shoddy records-keeping. The ratio of deaths in Michigan prison’s is now 348 deaths per 100,000 prisoners, […]

Apr 25, 2019 | Blog Post
Exemption 4 Scope Awaits SCOTUS Ruling On Monday the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media. The case, which is the first the justices have heard “to address the meaning of a Freedom of Information Act exemption used to decide when information businesses give the government is […]