30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Secrecy and FOIA

Jul 17, 2017 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., July 17, 2017 – The Department of Homeland Security will release the visitor logs for President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort by September 8, according to a court order filed on July 14, 2017, by federal judge Katherine Polk Failla.

Jul 13, 2017 | Blog Post
A blistering 2008 Central Intelligence Agency legal settlement of $350,000 to the National Security Archive’s pro bono lawyers, paid after losing a Freedom of Information Act case, led to the opening of an Inspector General investigation to review whether the CIA violated “policy and federal law” with respect to the FOIA. The IG report, released in […]

Jul 13, 2017 | Blog Post
Trump’s Deregulation Teams Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, interviews, and public records helped The New York Times and ProPublica identify 71 appointees to the Trump administration’s deregulation teams at agencies across the government, including 28 members with potential conflicts of interest. The Times notes, “Some appointees are reviewing rules their previous employers sought to […]

Jul 6, 2017 | Blog Post
FOIA at 51 The Freedom of Information Act turned 51 this July 4, and the public is still fighting tooth-and-nail for its right to know decades after the law went into effect. This calendar year alone the National Security Archive has filed suit against the Trump administration four times – including for access to the […]

Jun 29, 2017 | Blog Post
Public Access to CRS Reports Public access to Congressional Research Service reports is mandated in the House’s Legislative Branch Appropriations Committee bill for 2018, which passed out of committee this morning. The act, if enacted, directs the Library of Congress’ CRS to make all non-confidential reports public. The topic has been subject of debate for […]

Jun 27, 2017 | Blog Post
Survey results analyzed in a Secret December 20, 2012, FBI Counterterrorism Division report shed some light on the Bureau’s insights about homegrown violent extremists. The report, released to the National Security Archive’s Dr. Jeffrey Richelson in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, specifically focuses on radicalization. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to […]

Jun 22, 2017 | Blog Post
Drastic Cuts Coming to State’s FOIA Shop The State Department’s FOIA shop, which is heavily reliant on Limited Non-Career Appointment (LNA) Foreign Service Officers with decades of experience in foreign policy, is poised to undergo a radical – and disruptive – shift. The National Security Archive has been contacted by sources within the department warning […]

Jun 15, 2017 | Blog Post
DOD Trying to Expand FOIA Exemptions for Third Year in a Row The Defense Department is seeking – for the third time in three years – a new FOIA exemption that, if approved, would allow the agency to expand the FOIA’s (b)(3) exemption to withhold “military tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP), as well as rules […]

Jun 15, 2017 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., June 15, 2017 – The State Department today released a long-awaited “retrospective” volume of declassified U.S. government documents on the 1953 coup in Iran, including records describing planning and implementation of the covert operation.

Jun 8, 2017 | Blog Post
Now is the Time for Archivist to Call the Torture Report a Federal Record The Trump Administration reportedly is returning copies of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s torture program to Congress. The move would effectively hide the report from FOIA and public scrutiny and comes after years of FOIA lawsuits to win access to the […]

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