Secrecy and FOIA
Apr 21, 2006 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, DC, April 21, 2006 - Last month the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) put almost 320,000 declassified cables on-line when it opened up State Department document databases from 1973 and 1974. This is significant news for researchers, because the text of declassified diplomatic cables is now retrievable on the NARA Web site. Beginning in 1973, the State Department began creating electronic systems for transmitting cables to and from U.S. embassies.
Apr 19, 2006 | News br>
Washington D.C., 19 April 2006 - A federal court today granted partial summary judgment to the National Security Archive finding that the Air Force has violated the Freedom of Information Act and has engaged in a pattern or practice of violating the FOIA.
Secret Understanding Between National Archives and CIA Exposes Framework for Surreptitious Reclassification ProgramApr 19, 2006 | News br>
Washington D.C., 19 April 2006 - Monday, Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein released a declassified Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Central Intelligence Agency, signed in October 2001, and a background paper that shed more light on the recently exposed reclassification of open files at the National Archives and Records Administration. After the secret MOU came to Weinstein's attention last Thursday, he sought its immediate declassification.
Apr 11, 2006 | News br>
Washington D.C., 11 April 2006 - The National Archives and Records Administration secretly agreed to a covert effort, led by the Air Force, the CIA, and other still-hidden intelligence entities, to remove open-shelf archival records and reclassify them while disguising the results so that researchers would not complain, according to a previously secret Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
Pseudo-Secrets: A Freedom of Information Audit of the U.S. Government's Policies on Sensitive Unclassified InformationMar 14, 2006 | Briefing Book, FOIA Audit br>
Washington D.C., March 14, 2006 - The first-ever government-wide audit of the ways that federal agencies mark and protect information that is unclassified but sensitive for security reasons has found 28 different and uncoordinated policies, none of which include effective oversight or monitoring of how many records are marked and withheld, by whom, or for how long.
Mar 13, 2006 | Briefing Book, FOIA Audit br>
In an effort to identify the oldest unanswered Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests in the federal government, the National Security Archive used the FOIA itself to ask more than 60 federal agencies for copies of their ten oldest pending FOIA requests. The results are astonishing-requests as old as 17 years remain unanswered, some agencies are unable even to identify their oldest requests, and agency backlogs are significantly more chronic and extensive than the agencies' annual reports to Congress indicate.
Mar 13, 2006 | News, Rosemary Award br>
Washington D.C., 13 March 2006 - The Central Intelligence Agency has won the second annual Rosemary Award, recognizing the worst performance by a federal agency in complying with the Freedom of Information Act. The Award is named after President Nixon's secretary Rosemary Woods and the backwards-leaning stretch which she testified resulted in her erasing eighteen-and-a-half minutes from a key Watergate conversation on the White House tapes.
Mar 9, 2006 | News br>
Washington, D.C., March 9, 2006 - The Justice Department official who oversaw national security matters from 2000 to 2003 e-mailed his former colleagues after revelation of the controversial warrantless wiretapping program in December 2005 that the Department's justifications for the program were "weak" and had a "slightly after-the-fact quality" to them, and surmised that this reflected "the VP's philosophy that the best defense is a good offense," according to documents released through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the Electronic Privacy Information Center and joined by
Feb 21, 2006 | Briefing Book br>
Washington, D.C., February 21, 2006 - The CIA and other federal agencies have secretly reclassified over 55,000 pages of records taken from the open shelves at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), according to a report published today on the World Wide Web by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.
Jan 27, 2006 | News br>
Links Previously released PDBs Court documents Declassified CIA documents on presidential briefings Previous Postings 19 January 2006 CIA Secrecy Challenged on President's Daily Brief UC Davis Professor Appeals Lower Court Decision Withholding Two 40-Year-Old Memos to LBJ 15 July 2005 Judge Grants Immortality to Presidential Privilege Withholds Two 1960s CIA Daily Briefs to LBJ Despite Release of 35 Others With No Damage to U.S. 6 May 2005 Bush Administration Claims Presidential Privilege for LBJ Documents CIA Refuses Release of 35-year-old President's Daily Briefs 23 December 2004