30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Secrecy and FOIA

Jan 9, 2017 | Blog Post
This a version of this article originally appeared in The Federalist, Newsletter of the Society for History in the Federal Government. The Presidential Records Act of 1978 (PRA) established that the papers of U.S. Presidents legally belong to the American people. According to the law, the Archivist of the United States assumes responsibility for the custody, […]

Jan 5, 2017 | Blog Post
DOJ Updates FOIA Regulations The Justice Department updated its FOIA regulations in accordance with the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, which was signed into law by President Obama on June 30, 2016, and requires all agencies to update their FOIA regulations within 180 days after the passage of the bill – which means, by my count, […]

Dec 15, 2016 | Blog Post
Release to One, Release to All – Law Enforcement Carve-out Citing Mosaic Theory a Slippery Slope The Department of Justice is seeking comments on the “Release to One, Release to All” policy prepared by the Office of Information Policy (OIP); the comment period is open through 11:59 PM on December 23. The draft contains two […]

Dec 8, 2016 | Blog Post
Untrustworthy Elections A 2007 Ohio Secretary of State review to assess the security of electronic voting systems used in the state discovered that “all of the studied systems possess critical security failures that render their technical controls insufficient to guarantee a trustworthy election.” The 300-plus page review was one of the dozen new documents that […]

Dec 7, 2016 | Blog Post
These comments will be presented to the Public Interest Declassification Board for its December 8 meeting and were initially published on the PIDB’s blog, Transforming Classification.  The former head of the Information Security Oversight Office, responsible for oversight of the US classification system, has acknowledged that classification officials joke that “you could easily classify the ham sandwich.”  Barack […]

Dec 7, 2016 | Blog Post
This morning the Archive’s Executive Director, Tom Blanton, is testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee for its hearing on “Examining the Costs of Over-classification on Transparency and Security.” Below is a copy of Blanton’s “must read” testimony. Testimony of Thomas Blanton, Director, National Security Archive, George Washington University   Before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, U.S. […]

Dec 6, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 6, 2016 – On November 9, 1983, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization launched a nuclear war against its nemesis, the Warsaw Pact, after NATO military commanders sought and received permission for “initial limited use of nuclear weapons” from the political leadership of the Western alliance.

Dec 2, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., December 2, 2016 – 250 years ago today, two centuries before the United States enacted the Freedom of Information Act, the Swedish Parliament passed the Ordinance on Freedom of Writing and of the Press, the world's first law requiring "publicity for official documents."

Dec 2, 2016 | Blog Post
Chiquita Terrorist Funding A federal judge in Florida ruled that “victims of Colombian paramilitary death squads funded by Chiquita” have a right to have their case heard in the United States rather than Colombia, “clearing the way for the historic case to advance toward trial.” The ruling comes nearly a decade after Chiquita pled guilty […]

Nov 18, 2016 | Blog Post
Transparency and Donald Trump In the nine days since Donald Trump won the presidential election reports have surfaced that he considered seeking top secret clearances for his three oldest children, and in some instances their spouses – requests that would be unprecedented if true. Trump also seems to be standing by a plan to place his […]

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