30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

United States and Canada

Dec 4, 2012 | Briefing Book, FOIA Audit
IN THE NEWS Updated December 6, 2012 Agencies lag on transparency, report says By Josh Hicks, The Washington Post, December 4, 2012 Federal Agencies Are Failing to Uphold Obama's Stated Commitment to Transparency By Rebecca J. Rosen, The Atlantic, December 5, 2012 TexMessage: Cornyn chides Obama administration for failing to meet transparency standards of his 2007 law By Jana Kasperkevic, Houston Chronicle, December 5, 2012 Obama's FOIA lag draws fire from left and right By Dave Boyer, The Washington Times, December 4, 2012

Nov 27, 2012 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, November 27, 2012 – In the forty years since the first launch of a commercial imagery satellite – LANDSAT – in 1972, U.S. official policy has shifted dramatically from imposing significant limits on their capabilities to permitting U.S. firms to orbit high-resolution satellites with significant intelligence-gathering capacities. According to declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive, internal debates within the government have focused both on the risks of adversaries exploiting such commercial platforms and on the potential benefits for the U.S.

Nov 19, 2012 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., November 19, 2012 – For decades, U.S. command-control-and-communications (C3) systems were deeply vulnerable to nuclear attack, according to a recently declassified Pentagon study. The document, a top secret internal history of the highly complex procedures that connected the White House and senior civilian and military leaders with local commanders awaiting orders to launch bombers and missiles, details sometimes harrowing reports about systemic weaknesses that could have jeopardized U.S. readiness to respond to a nuclear attack.

Oct 4, 2012 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., October 4, 2012 – Today, the National Security Archive posts the fourth in a series of electronic briefing books concerning secrecy and satellite reconnaissance - one of the most sensitive areas of U.S. intelligence-gathering. Specific satellite programs whose declassification is covered in this briefing book include some of the earliest and, at the time, most secretive programs of their kind: CORONA, ARGON, LANYARD, GRAB, POPPY, GAMBIT, HEXAGON, and QUILL.

Sep 14, 2012 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 14, 2012 – The National Security Archive is today posting - for the first time in its essentially complete form - one of the most controversial nuclear policy directives of the Cold War. Presidential Directive 59 (PD-59), "Nuclear Weapons Employment Policy," signed by President Jimmy Carter on 25 July 1980, aimed at giving U.S.

Aug 12, 2012 | Special Exhibit
Starting in the early 1990s, the Carter-Brezhnev Project brought together not only policy veterans from the U.S. and USSR, but scholars from several institutions, with three main sponsors - the Watson Institute at Brown University, the National Security Archive, and the Norwegian Nobel Institute. The Carter Presidential Center and Jimmy Carter himself supported the project and provided documents, while numerous other institutions and individuals contributed as well. About the Project

Jul 19, 2012 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., July 19, 2012 – A new Web resource posted today by the National Security Archive offers a wide-ranging compilation of declassified records detailing the operations of a key component of U.S. national security. Among the new documents are internal reports on domestic terrorism that expand on what previously public intelligence assessments have revealed. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been one of the best known and most scrutinized components of the U.S. government for well over seventy years.

Jul 4, 2012 | News
Washington, DC, July 4, 2012 – Marking the 46th anniversary of President Johnson's signing the Freedom of Information Act, the National Security Archive today posted a compilation of 46 news headlines from the past year made possible by active and creative use of the FOIA.

May 29, 2012 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 29, 2012 - A secret exercise in 1986 by a U.S. government counter-terrorist unit uncovered a host of potential problems associated with disrupting a nuclear terrorist plot in the United States. Declassified documents released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and posted today by the National Security Archive offer the first detailed public look at the inner workings of the agencies, military units and other U.S. entities responsible for protecting the country from a terrorist nuclear attack.

Apr 10, 2012 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 10, 2012 – The "FBI's most valued secret agents of the Cold War," brothers Morris and Jack Childs, together codenamed SOLO, reported back to J. Edgar Hoover starting in 1958 about face-to-face meetings with top Soviet and Chinese Communist leaders including Mao and Khrushchev, while couriering Soviet funds for the American Communist Party, according to newly declassified FBI files cited in the new book by Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI (New York: Random House, 2012).

Pages