30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Secrecy and FOIA

Jun 11, 2008 | News
Washington D.C., June 11, 2008 - The National Security Archive’s General Counsel today warned that while “the establishment of trusted pathways for information is obviously essential to coordination amongst federal, state, local and tribal authorities, and private parties, those pathways are just as susceptible to manipulation and failure as individual agencies that jealously guard their secrets and turf.” The Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment of the House Committee on Homeland Security, chaired by Representative Jane Harman, asked for the Arch

May 14, 2008 | News
Washington DC, May 14, 2008 - The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is overwhelmed and behind the curve, facing huge increases in both electronic records and classified records, according to Congressional testimony today by National Security Archive director Tom Blanton. The U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security, chaired by Sen.

May 8, 2008 | News
Washington DC, May 8, 2008 - Today's Washington Post devotes the cover of its Style section and a full inside page to the National Security Archive, which the Post calls "the house that FOIA built and a mecca for document buffs." For the full text, photos and graphics, see the article on washingtonpost.com. Reporter Peter Carlson calls Archive staff "a good advertisement for the dubious proposition that spending your entire adult life poring through government documents has a fountain-of-youth effect."

May 7, 2008 | News
Washington DC, May 7, 2008 - The National Security Archive's Meredith Fuchs was featured May 5 in a Fox-5 News (WTTG) expose about the FBI's mismanaged secrets. "The Fox News report would make anyone concerned about how well the FBI finds its own information for use in its investigations," commented Meredith Fuchs.

May 6, 2008 | News
Washington D.C., May 6, 2008 - The White House yesterday admitted to a federal magistrate judge that it has no computer back-up tapes with data written before May 23, 2003, and that it cannot track the history of individual hard drives within the White House system that may contain missing e-mails. The White House filing responded to an April 24, 2008, order from Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola of the U.S.

Mar 19, 2008 | News, Rosemary Award
Washington DC, March 19, 2008 - As if the sub-prime credit crisis was not enough, the U.S. Treasury Department today won the fourth annual Rosemary Award for the worst performance by a federal agency under the Freedom of Information Act. Given annually by the Emmy- and George Polk Award-winning National Security Archive at George Washington University, the Rosemary recognizes outstandingly bad responsiveness to the public that flouts the letter and spirit of the Freedom of Information Act.

Mar 18, 2008 | News
Washington DC, March 18, 2008 - In an order issued today, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia directed the Executive Office of the President (EOP) to show cause why it should not be ordered to create and preserve a forensic copy of any data storage media in use between March 2003 and October 2005 within the EOP. The order comes in a lawsuit brought by the National Security Archive seeking to force the EOP and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to take steps to preserve and restore missing White House e-mails.

Mar 16, 2008 | Briefing Book, FOIA Audit
Washington, D.C., March 16, 2008 - President Bush’s executive order for a “citizen-centered” and “results-oriented” Freedom of Information system did improve customer service at federal agencies, but has failed to make consistent progress on backlogs and has not significantly improved compliance with electronic FOIA requirements, according to the Knight Open Government Survey released today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org).

Feb 26, 2008 | News
Washington DC, February 26, 2008 - At a hearing today before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, it was disclosed that the White House has received repeated warnings from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and from information technology experts within the White House about the risk of lost e-mails. Records obtained by the Committee showed that NARA's warnings began as early as January 2004 and that the White House was aware of the danger that e-mails may not be properly preserved.

Jan 31, 2008 | News
Washington, D.C., January 31, 2008 - The National Security Archive, along with several leading U.S. historical associations, today is filing a petition in federal court in New York City for the release of grand jury records from the 1951 indictment of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were accused of running an espionage ring that passed American atomic secrets to the Soviet Union, convicted of spying, and executed in 1953.

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