30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Secrecy and FOIA

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.

Feb 21, 2009 | News
Washington, D.C., February 21, 2009 - The Justice Department this week missed the opportunity to bring transparency to the controversy over deleted White House e-mail from the Bush administration by allowing briefing to continue on a motion that had been developed by the Bush Administration. The motion, filed by the Justice Department on January 21, just after the inauguration, sought to dismiss the White House e-mail litigation even while admitting that a secretive restoration process was still not finished. Yesterday the Archive responded to that motion.

Jan 21, 2009 | News
Washington, D.C., January 21, 2009 - On his first full day in office, President Barack Obama signed an executive order and two presidential memoranda heralding what he called a "new era of openness." Announcing a Presidential Memorandum on the Freedom of Information Act to reestablish a presumption of disclosure for information requested under FOIA, President Obama said that "every agency and department should know that this administration stands on the side not of those who seek to withhold information, but those who seek to make it known." The FOIA Memorandum articulates a presumption of

Jan 15, 2009 | News
Washington, D.C., January 15, 2009 - The federal magistrate judge overseeing the White House e-mail litigation today said the issue had reached "true emergency conditions" with only "two business days before the new President takes office" and that "the importance of preserving the e-mails cannot be exaggerated," according to the court's Memorandum Opinion issued this morning along with an Order and posted on the National Security Archive website, www.nsarchive.org.

Jan 14, 2009 | News
Updated Posting - January 14, 2009, 6:00 pm, Washington, D.C. – At a hearing today concerning the risks posed by the presidential transition to the recovery of millions of missing e-mails from the Executive Office of the President (EOP) in the National Security Archive's lawsuit seeking restoration of those e-mails, the White House acknowledged that it has done little to recover e-mail files from computer workstations and nothing to collect external media storage devices that could hold e-mails.

Dec 23, 2008 | Briefing Book
Nixontapes.org and the National Security Archive are pleased to bring you the complete phone conversations of Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Henry Kissinger as captured by the Nixon taping system. This unified, easy-to-use collection includes digital audio from the telephone switchboards of the Oval Office, Nixon’s hideaway office in the Executive Office Building, the Lincoln Sitting Room, the White House residence, and Camp David.

Nov 12, 2008 | News
Washington D.C., November 12, 2008 - The Obama administration can act quickly after taking office in January to reverse the secrecy trend of the last eight years and restore openness in the executive branch, according to a set of new proposals posted online today by the National Security Archive.

Nov 10, 2008 | News
Washington D.C., November 10, 2008 - A court ruled today that the National Security Archive may proceed with its effort to force the White House to recover millions of Bush Administration Executive Office of the President (EOP) e-mail records before the presidential transition.

Nov 5, 2008 | News
Washington D.C., November 5, 2008 - In a striking rebuke to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Judge Gladys Kessler of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia yesterday rejected the CIA’s view that it—and not journalists—has the right to determine which Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests are newsworthy.

Oct 31, 2008 | News
Washington D.C., October 31, 2008 - In an opinion issued today in a case brought by the National Security Archive, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the United States District Court for the District of the Columbia ordered the Department of Justice to submit several legal opinions issued by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel for in camera review.

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