Secrecy and FOIA
Feb 4, 2004 | Briefing Book br>
Dear President Fox, Something remarkable has happened in Guatemala. You owe it to your country to take notice. On January 20, the Guatemalan Supreme Court upheld the conviction of a senior military officer, Col. Juan Valencia Osorio, for plotting and ordering the political assassination of Guatemalan anthropologist Myrna Mack Chang in 1990. The colonel has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Justice Delayed is Justice Denied The Ten Oldest Pending FOIA Requests The National Security Archive Freedom of Information Act AuditNov 17, 2003 | Briefing Book, FOIA Audit br>
Washington D.C., November 17, 2003 - The oldest Freedom of Information requests that are still pending in the U.S. government date back to the late 1980s, before the collapse of the Soviet Union, according to the Freedom of Information Act Audit released today by George Washington University's National Security Archive. The oldest still-pending request is a 1987 inquiry from San Francisco Chronicle reporter Seth Rosenfeld on FBI activities at the University of California at Berkeley.
Jul 4, 2003 | Briefing Book br>
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 4 - George Washington University's National Security Archive, the leading non-profit user of the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, today released its annual Freedom of Information Act birthday posting, 37 years to the day after President Johnson grudgingly signed the U.S. FOIA into law on July 4, 1966.
Spy Agencies Abuse Freedom of Information Exemptions; but Congress May Grant New One to Intercepts AgencyJun 11, 2003 | News br>
Washington, D.C., June 11, 2003 - The Congress is poised to give the National Security Agency a free pass from complying with the Freedom of Information Act for any NSA "operational" files, even though NSA has failed to demonstrate a need for the exemption and the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Reconnaissance Office are abusing similar provisions previously granted by Congress.
May 21, 2003 | Briefing Book br>
The National Security Archive's experience with the U.S. government's declassification process has been a varied one, as it should be given the great diversity of its declassification requests during more than fifteen years of effort. During the Archive's history, it has seen the classification review and declassification processes at their best, at their worst, and many cases in between.
May 21, 2003 | News br>
Washington DC, May 21, 2003 - The Central Intelligence Agency classified and withheld from a Freedom of Information Act release a 25-year-old joke item in a weekly terrorism report about the terrorist threat to Santa Claus and the North Pole, among many other examples of "dubious secrets" published today on the Web by the National Security Archive at George Washington University. The CIA's secret Santa leads the Archive's lengthy compilation of declassified documents that illustrate the arbitrary and capricious decision making that all too often characterizes the U.S.
Proposed FOIA Exemption for National Security Agency Files Buried in FY 2004 Defense Authorization ActMay 5, 2003 | News br>
Washington, D.C., May 5, 2003 - The proposed FY 2004 Defense Authorization Act would throw a cloak of secrecy over valuable National Security Agency ("NSA") records now released under the Freedom of Information Act, including important historical records on the use of signals intelligence and cryptology in U.S. defense history. There have been no public hearings on the proposed legislation, which is based on unsupported justifications.
Mar 14, 2003 | Briefing Book, FOIA Audit br>
WASHINGTON, D.C., 14 MARCH 2003 - The National Security Archive at George Washington University today released results from the first-ever government-wide audit of federal responses to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The audit shows dramatic variations in agency reactions to the restrictive FOIA guidance issued by Attorney General John Ashcroft in October 2001. Some agencies concluded the Ashcroft memo represented a "drastic" and "fundamental" change; others saw no change or said "Yeah. OK" when asked about impact.
Homeland Security Access Regs Need Improvement; Archive Urges Effective Records Magagement, Applauds Secretary Ridge's Commitment to OpennessFeb 26, 2003 | News br>
Washington, D.C., February 26, 2003 - The National Security Archive today submitted comments on the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations that detail how the DHS will implement open government laws. The DHS regulations, issued on January 27, fall short of Congress's intent in eight specific areas, detailed in the Archive's formal comments.
Feb 5, 2003 | News br>
Washington, D.C., February 6, 2003 - The National Security Archive yesterday filed an amicus brief in the pending U.S. Supreme Court case, Department of the Treasury v. City of Chicago. The case involves the gun trace database maintained by Treasury's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which seeks to prevent Chicago from obtaining information such as names and addresses of gun purchasers from the database.