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Secrecy and FOIA

Feb 23, 2017 | Blog Post
FOIA Request Reveals Anwar al-Awlaki’s Role in Failed 2009 Bombing A federal judge’s order that the FBI conduct a line-by-line review of documents on radicalized American imam Anwar al-Awlaki’s role in an attempted 2009 airline bombing forced the agency to release hundreds of historically significant pages. The documents were initially requested by New York Times […]

Feb 16, 2017 | Blog Post
Scottish FOI Releases Shed Light on Local Law Enforcement Dealings with Trump Team   Scottish police have released 49 documents in response to FOI requests on “its dealings with Trump International Golf Links Scotland (TIGLS) since 2009.” The Ferret reported that the FOI documents show concerns with private security hired by Trump and worry “that the […]

Feb 13, 2017 | Blog Post
The National Security Archive and the Project on Government Oversight are distributing a survey for both FOIA processors and FOIA requesters on how agencies conduct searches. The goal of the survey will be to collect data on disparate agency search methods and software – and the more people who fill it out, the more useful the […]

Feb 9, 2017 | Blog Post
Regulations Undercut OGIS’ Role as Go-To FOIA Experts The Office of Government Information Services has published a proposed rule change to its regulations in the Federal Register. A part of its Dispute Resolution Services section – Dispute resolution process, Section 1291.14 section g – appears problematic. The section states: OGIS issues a final response letter […]

Feb 9, 2017 | Blog Post
By Swetha Kareti, @swethak13 The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the only cabinet level agency that was able to meet President Obama’s 2009 instruction to reduce FOIA backlogs by 10 percent per year. Out of the 15 federal departments surveyed, HHS reduced its backlog by 12.7 percent* per year. The average for all federal departments was an 8.21 […]

Feb 2, 2017 | Blog Post
  DHS IG to Investigate Implementation of Executive Order on Immigration The Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General, heeding requests from Illinois senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin, will investigate the department’s implementation of Donald Trump’s “executive order barring travelers from seven Muslim majority countries.” An internal document obtained by The Intercept […]

Jan 26, 2017 | Blog Post
DOJ’s Pustay Refuses to Answer Questions During 2017’s First FOIA Advisory Committee Meeting The FOIA Federal Advisory Committee held its first meeting of 2017 today. Chaired by the Office of Government Information Services’ new head, Alina Semo, it focused on presentations from its three subcommittees: proactive disclosures, efficiencies and resources, and searches. Highlights from the […]

Jan 19, 2017 | Blog Post
Operation Condor Verdict – Life Imprisonment This week a tribunal in Rome sentenced two former heads of state and two ex-chiefs of security forces from Bolivia and Peru, as well as a former Uruguayan foreign minister, to life imprisonment for their  involvement in the coordinated, cross-border system of repression known as “Operation Condor.” The National Security Archive, which provided testimony and dozens of declassified documents as evidence to […]

Jan 12, 2017 | Blog Post
Dos Erres Arrest in Maryland Federal agents arrested 54-year-old Jose Mardoqueo Ortiz Morales in Maryland last week for suspected involvement in the Guatemalan Special Forces brutal murder of more than 250 men, women and children 1982 – known as the Dos Erres massacre, which was part of the Guatemalan military’s “scorched earth campaign” carried out […]

Jan 9, 2017 | Blog Post
This a version of this article originally appeared in The Federalist, Newsletter of the Society for History in the Federal Government. The Presidential Records Act of 1978 (PRA) established that the papers of U.S. Presidents legally belong to the American people. According to the law, the Archivist of the United States assumes responsibility for the custody, […]