30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Secrecy and FOIA

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.

Jan 24, 2008 | News
Park City, Utah, January 24, 2008 – The new documentary “Secrecy,” made by Harvard professors Peter Galison and Robb Moss, premiered this past week at the Sundance Film Festival, featuring National Security Archive director Tom Blanton in a leading role and on the after-show panels answering questions from Sundance audiences. Blanton participated in the premiere showing on January 18 in Park City, the follow-up showing on January 19 also in Park City, and the noontime showing on Sunday January 20 at the screening room in Robert Redford’s Sundance Resort.

Jan 16, 2008 | News
Washington DC, January 16, 2008 - In response to a federal court order issued last week, the White House late last night refused to acknowledge any missing e-mails, instead stating that it “has undertaken an independent effort to determine whether there may be anomalies in Exchange e-mail counts” during the 2003-2005 period. A sworn statement by the Chief Information Officer of the White House Office of Administration filed with U.S.

Jan 8, 2008 | News
Washington DC, January 8, 2008 -In an Order issued today, Magistrate Judge Facciola of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the White House to answer questions about over 5 million missing e-mails generated between 2003-2005. Noting that the need for information on the missing e-mails is “time-sensitive” because of the risk that stored copies of the e-mails “are increasingly likely to be deleted or overridden with the passage of time,” the Court demanded answers in a sworn declaration by January 15, 2008 about the location of the missing e-mails.

Jan 2, 2008 | News
Washington DC, January 2, 2008 - In one of his last decisions of the year on Monday, December 31, 2007, President Bush signed into law the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reform bill (S. 2488). The bill, the OPEN Government Act of 2007, was passed unanimously by both the House and the Senate in December. The new law aims to fix some of the most persistent problems in the FOIA system, including excessive delay, lack of responsiveness, and litigation gamesmanship by federal agencies.

Dec 14, 2007 | News
Washington DC, December 14, 2007 -The National Security Archive yesterday rebutted the government’s argument for dismissal of the Archive’s lawsuit in federal district court seeking to recover 5 million or more Executive Office of the President e-mails that are missing from the period 2003 to 2005. “It is remarkable that the government wants to stop the public from trying to protect records that belong to the people of the United States, particularly records that tell the story of this country’s policies,” stated Meredith Fuchs, the Archive’s General Counsel.

Nov 13, 2007 | News
Washington DC, November 13, 2007 -A federal judge yesterday ordered the Executive Office of the President to preserve all e-mail backup media in its possession, or under its custody or control, under conditions that will preserve its eventual use. The Order came in two cases, consolidated today, that seek to enforce the Executive Office of the President’s, and its component agencies’, Federal Records Act obligations.

Nov 2, 2007 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, November 2, 2007 - Then-national security adviser Henry A. Kissinger colluded with Soviet ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin to keep the U.S. Secretary of State in the dark about ongoing secret discussions between the Soviets and the Nixon White House, according to newly released Soviet-era documents, released last week by the Department of State.

Oct 29, 2007 | News
Washington DC, October 29, 2007 - The National Security Archive filed a motion on Friday, October 26, seeking expedited discovery against the Executive Office of the President to find out what e-mails are missing from the White House e-mail system or backup tapes. Archive General Counsel Meredith Fuchs explained, “The pressing need for the information arises out of troubling representations by the EOP and its components about its document preservation obligations and the location of its backup tapes.

Oct 1, 2007 | News
Washington DC, October 1, 2007 - A District Court in the District of Columbia has ruled that an Executive Order issued by President George W. Bush in 2001, which severely slowed or prevented the release of historic presidential papers is, in part, invalid. In a carefully constructed decision, the court held that the Archivist of the United States acts arbitrarily, capriciously, and contrary to law by relying on the Executive Order to delay release of the records of former presidents.

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