Freedom of Information

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  • Non-Profits May Have Exemption 4 Protections

    The FOIA blog
    scott hodes
    17 Apr 2015 | 5:33 am
    This interesting blog post from two attorneys at Orrick discusses a recent decision from the First Circuit that gave a non-profit (in this case Planned Parenthood) Exemption 4 protection for material it had submitted to the government. I think the take away is that not only for profit companies have trade secrets or confidential commercial information.  This type of material may be submitted to the government by a number of types of entities including non-profits, solo businesses, trade associations, Native American tribes, and more.  Tax status is very…
  • San Diego lawyer challenges inewsource over allegations

    FIRST AMENDMENT COALITION » News & Opinion
    donal brown
    16 Apr 2015 | 12:54 pm
    The Law firm of  San Diego environmental attorney Cory Briggs subpoenaed inewsource’s Lorie Hearn seeking information on a story about a conflict-of -interest investigation of Briggs. Last week a non-profit associated with Briggs filed a lawsuits against Hearn and inewsource over the lease for office space inewsource has with San Diego State. (inewsource, Alpril 14, […]
  • Public records policy set at county

    IDOG
    IDOG
    1 Apr 2015 | 1:15 pm
    Kootenai County now has a consistent, uniform policy to ensure public records requests are processed and handled according to state laws and court rules. From the Coeur d'Alene Press
  • EU Antitrust Case: Google’s Spending Helps Deflect Similar Charges Stateside

    OpenSecrets Blog
    Clark Mindock
    17 Apr 2015 | 8:29 am
    (Carlos Luna via Flickr) Search engine giant Google could be facing major penalties in the European Union after it was charged this week with favoring its own products and services in search results over those of its competitors. The case is being called the most significant in the antitrust realm since the U.S. sued Microsoft in 1999. The charges were announced on Wednesday in Brussels. Google has defended its practices, saying that consumers have many options in their searches, and called the accusations “wide of the mark.” And President Obama has criticized the claims against…
  • Liberal group to air 'issue ad' in Iowa

    Sunlight Foundation Blog
    Jacob Fenton
    17 Apr 2015 | 12:45 pm
    A left-leaning nonprofit will begin airing ads on the renewable fuel standard in Des Moines on Monday, days after Hillary Clinton wrapped up her first road trip through Iowa as a presidential candidate. Americans United for Change, a nonprofit headed by a former Democratic National Committee official, declined to provide details on the buy. Jeremy Funk, a spokesman for the group, said only that an announcement was planned Monday. Ad documents at NBC affiliate WHO-TV and CBS affiliate KCCI show ads scheduled to run on news programming on Monday only. A KCCI document describes the ad as being…
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    The FOIA blog

  • Non-Profits May Have Exemption 4 Protections

    scott hodes
    17 Apr 2015 | 5:33 am
    This interesting blog post from two attorneys at Orrick discusses a recent decision from the First Circuit that gave a non-profit (in this case Planned Parenthood) Exemption 4 protection for material it had submitted to the government. I think the take away is that not only for profit companies have trade secrets or confidential commercial information.  This type of material may be submitted to the government by a number of types of entities including non-profits, solo businesses, trade associations, Native American tribes, and more.  Tax status is very…
  • Capitol Hill FOIA Lawsuit Filed

    scott hodes
    16 Apr 2015 | 5:47 am
    A lawsuit was filed against the Department of Justice on records of an investigation of the shooting of a woman who failed to heed warnings from law enforcement reports the Washington Post, who also has a request for the records.  The records appear to have been created by the United States Attorney's Office - their FOIA responses are handled by the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA).  Even though this office has had FOIA problems for years, to my knowledge, Congress has never had any hearings into the structure of the office and its FOIA…
  • DOJ Issues New FOIA Regulations

    scott hodes
    10 Apr 2015 | 9:10 am
    The Department of Justice has published new FOIA regulations nearly seven years after the latest amendments to the FOIA and four years since the proposed regulations were first published.  The regulations appear to have taken into consideration many of the comments made to the proposed regulations.  Now DOJ needs to work to see that all agencies update their regulations prior to any new FOIA amendments, now proceeding in Congress, become law.
  • CIA Torture Review Documents Ruled Deliberative

    scott hodes
    7 Apr 2015 | 5:37 am
    TechDirt reports on a decision by Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on a FOIA request for documents pertaining to the CIA's review ordered by former agency head Leon Panetta of its detention and interrogation program began after 9/11.  The court has found that the review is protected by the deliberative process privilege of Exemption 5.  
  • FOIA Training Goes West

    scott hodes
    1 Apr 2015 | 4:38 pm
    The American Society of Access Professionals has announced the first FOIA training west of the Mississippi since 2011 - ASAP is holding a FOIA workshop in Denver Colorado on June 17 and 18.  Register early for the best prices!  More information can be found here.
 
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    FIRST AMENDMENT COALITION » News & Opinion

  • San Diego lawyer challenges inewsource over allegations

    donal brown
    16 Apr 2015 | 12:54 pm
    The Law firm of  San Diego environmental attorney Cory Briggs subpoenaed inewsource’s Lorie Hearn seeking information on a story about a conflict-of -interest investigation of Briggs. Last week a non-profit associated with Briggs filed a lawsuits against Hearn and inewsource over the lease for office space inewsource has with San Diego State. (inewsource, Alpril 14, […]
  • Tampa Bay Times criticized for not informing Secret Service about D.C. gyrocopter stunt

    donal brown
    16 Apr 2015 | 11:51 am
    The Tampa Bay Times has come under fire for valuing a scoop more than federal government security when it failed to notify the Secret Service with sufficiently in advance that a Florida man planned to land his one-man gyrocopter to land on the Capitol lawn on Wednesday. (The Washington Post, April 15, 2015, by Paul […]
  • Prior restraint fails in bid to rein in California newspaper story about alleged corruption

    donal brown
    16 Apr 2015 | 10:35 am
    The City of Newport Beach failed to keep the Orange County Register from publishing a story about alleged corruption involving spending by an assistant city manager. The city claimed a Register reporter had obtained a closed session memorandum from the city attorney for a March 17 meeting that was privileged attorney-client communication and successfully petitioned […]
  • Brown Act roundup: Burbank teachers protest failure to report out of closed session

    donal brown
    16 Apr 2015 | 9:48 am
    Burbank teachers are protesting what they claim is a violation of the Brown Act, California’s open meeting law, during the process of hiring a new district superintendent. The teachers are asking the District Attorney to investigate a failure of the board of trustees to report out of closed session. (The Burbank Leader, April 16, 2015, […]
  • Indiana prosecutor flouts shield law in pursuit of reporter’s notes in murder investigation

    donal brown
    14 Apr 2015 | 12:14 pm
    An Indiana reporter was ordered to testify and surrender interview notes about a story she wrote in March on a murder investigation. Her employer, The Elkhart Truth, is fighting the order. Indiana has a strong shield law for journalists stipulating that they should not be forced to testify about their sources.  (The Elkhart Truth, April […]
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    IDOG

  • Public records policy set at county

    IDOG
    1 Apr 2015 | 1:15 pm
    Kootenai County now has a consistent, uniform policy to ensure public records requests are processed and handled according to state laws and court rules. From the Coeur d'Alene Press
  • City council admits illegally voting via email

    IDOG
    30 Mar 2015 | 9:47 am
    City officials in northern Idaho say they voted illegally four times over the past year. The Lewiston Tribune reports that the Genesee city councilors acknowledged their actions during a special March 26 meeting. The four-member panel then voided its most recent email vote, which involved a lease agreement with the Latah County Library District. From AP/Lewiston Tribune
  • Wasden: Under Idaho Public Records Law, Clinton emails would be available

    IDOG
    15 Mar 2015 | 10:58 am
    As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of our state's Public Records Law, I encourage all Idahoans to take a moment to ask whether a policy decision made a generation ago remains relevant in our state today. Guest opinion from Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden
  • Otter: Open government is fundamental

    IDOG
    15 Mar 2015 | 10:55 am
    Open, transparent and accessible government is fundamental to a successful free society. That's why I appointed a public records ombudsman in April 2014 after hearing from constituents that existing law provides only a burdensome remedy for challenging public record request denials. Guest opinion from the Idaho Statesman
  • Southeast Idaho couple learns the steep cost of government access

    IDOG
    15 Mar 2015 | 10:52 am
    When Rhonda and Eric D'Amico decided to exercise their right under Idaho law to see public records, they were surprised when Idaho State University told them to fork over $1,235. Not easily deterred, the D'Amicos decided to set up an online fundraising campaign to help pay the tab. From the Idaho Statesman
 
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    OpenSecrets Blog

  • EU Antitrust Case: Google’s Spending Helps Deflect Similar Charges Stateside

    Clark Mindock
    17 Apr 2015 | 8:29 am
    (Carlos Luna via Flickr) Search engine giant Google could be facing major penalties in the European Union after it was charged this week with favoring its own products and services in search results over those of its competitors. The case is being called the most significant in the antitrust realm since the U.S. sued Microsoft in 1999. The charges were announced on Wednesday in Brussels. Google has defended its practices, saying that consumers have many options in their searches, and called the accusations “wide of the mark.” And President Obama has criticized the claims against…
  • Ted Cruz Out-Fundraises Romney Suggesting Big Money Race

    Russ Choma and Paul Lewis
    16 Apr 2015 | 1:22 pm
    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in Iowa earlier this month. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik) This story was cross-posted with the Guardian. Ted Cruz is raising money for his presidential campaign at a significantly faster rate than Mitt Romney did four years ago, eclipsing the early total raised by the former Massachusetts governor who went on to win the Republican nomination in 2012. The conservative Texas senator, who is seeking to unite the Republicans’ tea party wing behind his White House run, raised $4.3 million during the final days of March – his first full week after declaring as…
  • Schock Still Spending Big — On Lawyers

    Russ Choma
    15 Apr 2015 | 1:48 pm
    Former Rep. Aaron Schock in early February before his resignation. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File) The campaign committee of former Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), who resigned last month after allegations of improper spending by his congressional office, secretive investment deals with donors and fraudulent mileage reimbursement claims, filed its first quarter FEC report today, and it’s a portrait of a shining career stopped short. Stopped short by a gigantic legal bill. In the months running up to a sudden string of revelations of improper financial activity that started in early March,…
  • Turkeys, Auto Dealers, Propane and the “Death Tax”

    Clark Mindock
    15 Apr 2015 | 7:26 am
    Happy Tax Day! We could think of no better way to celebrate than to fill you in on what’s going on with the “death tax,” once known as the estate tax until it fell victim to clever messaging by GOP opponents. As it turns out, the Death Tax Repeal Act is back, waiting for a vote in the House. And it’s just as polarizing as ever. White House advisers reportedly are ready to recommend a veto of the bill should it land on President Obama’s desk. The bill, which is expected to see a vote this week, would eliminate the federal levy on the transfer of an estate…
  • Will Clinton Win Back Wall Street for Democrats?

    Russ Choma
    14 Apr 2015 | 12:27 pm
    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton participates in a roundtable with voters in Monticello, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) Wall Street has been remarkably bipartisan for much of the last 25 years, but a swerve to the right a few years ago cut its flow of campaign cash for Democrats practically to a trickle. That may change as Hillary Clinton’s official announcement of a presidential bid returns to the spotlight a Democratic candidate whom Wall Street has always liked. Then again, it may not: Striking the theme of income inequality in her first real campaign…
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    Sunlight Foundation Blog

  • Liberal group to air 'issue ad' in Iowa

    Jacob Fenton
    17 Apr 2015 | 12:45 pm
    A left-leaning nonprofit will begin airing ads on the renewable fuel standard in Des Moines on Monday, days after Hillary Clinton wrapped up her first road trip through Iowa as a presidential candidate. Americans United for Change, a nonprofit headed by a former Democratic National Committee official, declined to provide details on the buy. Jeremy Funk, a spokesman for the group, said only that an announcement was planned Monday. Ad documents at NBC affiliate WHO-TV and CBS affiliate KCCI show ads scheduled to run on news programming on Monday only. A KCCI document describes the ad as being…
  • Deletes of the Week: Catching delayed deletions on Twitter

    Nicko Margolies
    17 Apr 2015 | 8:39 am
    Deletions via Politwoops. There are enough people using Twitter that when someone tweets something particularly bizarre and quickly deletes it, many users may notice it. But as a tweet ages and falls from the recent stream, it's easier to quietly scrub those statements without getting attention — unless you're a politician in Politwoops. This week, Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., deleted 15 statements from one of his three Twitter accounts after they were first posted weeks before. The deletions, cherry-picked among other older tweets, ranged from one week to six weeks old. While Polis ignored…
  • Sunlight and allies continue to push for transparent political advertising

    Sean Vitka
    17 Apr 2015 | 7:55 am
    The FCC's headquarters, Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: FCC/Flickr) For years, Sunlight has been pushing for the Federal Communications Commission to make the public files held by media broadcasters truly public – and what that really means is getting them online. Sunlight and our allies at Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause and the Institute of Public Representation at Georgetown recently won a small victory, successfully petitioning the FCC to bring all television broadcasters' files online, and are now closely watching as the FCC considers another petition of ours: bringing radio,…
  • New reforms illuminate Maryland's public records

    LaVita Tuff
    16 Apr 2015 | 11:34 am
    Maryland State House. (Photo credit: Martin Falbisoner/Wikimedia Commons) Maryland is about to take a big step toward increasing transparency: Both the state’s House and Senate have passed positive reforms to the state’s Public Information Act (PIA), making its public records more accessible to all. The changes arrive after Marylanders for Open Government — a coalition of community and transparency organizations, of which Sunlight is a member — came together to develop suggestions to improve the law, which hasn’t been updated in 45 years. The legislation now awaits the signature of…
  • Citizens United is a revolving door problem

    Bill Allison
    16 Apr 2015 | 10:12 am
    The U.S. Constitution. (photo credit: Kim Davies/Flickr) At a campaign appearance Tuesday, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton called for cracking down on “unaccountable” money in the political system, even if it required amending the Constitution. Mrs. Clinton’s own record in that regard is not spotless. For example, Norman Hsu, a bundler for her Senate and presidential campaigns, raised $45,000 for her from a California family whose patriarch, a mailman, earned $49,000 a year, and whose matriarch was a homemaker. And Sant Chatwal, a hotel magnate based in New York City, made more…
 
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    Deeplinks

  • United Airlines Stops Researcher Who Tweeted about Airplane Network Security from Boarding Flight to Security Conferences

    Andrew Crocker
    18 Apr 2015 | 11:12 pm
    Our client, Chris Roberts, a founder of the security intelligence firm One World Labs, found himself detained by the FBI earlier this week after tweeting about airplane network security during a United Airlines flight. When Roberts landed in Syracuse, he was questioned by the FBI, which ultimately seized a number of his electronic devices. EFF attorneys now represent Roberts, and we’re working to get his devices back promptly. But unfortunately last week’s tweet and FBI action isn’t the end of the story. Roberts was back at the airport on Saturday evening, headed to San Francisco to…
  • Is This Justice? Charging an Eighth Grader with a Felony for “Hacking”

    Amul Kalia
    17 Apr 2015 | 11:24 am
    A 14-year-old eighth grader in Florida, Domanik Green, has been charged with a felony for “hacking” his teacher’s computer. The “hacking” in this instance was using a widely known password to change the desktop background of his teacher’s computer with an image of two men kissing. The outrage of being charged with a felony for what essentially amounts to a misguided prank should be familiar to those who follow how computer crimes are handled by our justice system. Usually, when it comes to bad laws related to computer hacking, or unauthorized access, the focus is the federal…
  • EFF's Podcasting Patent Win Highlights a Disturbing Trend

    Karen Gullo
    17 Apr 2015 | 9:54 am
    It's time to take a closer look at EFF's recent victory against bogus patents and highlight what we and others concerned about our patent system are up against. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), acting on our request for review, last week invalidated claims from a patent Personal Audio LLC was using to assert that it invented podcasting.  At stake was the right of bloggers, podcasters, and broadcasters to air content, including popular shows like "This American Life"  and "Stuff You Should Know," online and operate their websites free of costly "settle or we’ll sue"…
  • Fast Track Bill Would Legitimize White House Secrecy and Clear the Way for Anti-User Trade Deals

    Jeremy Malcolm and Maira Sutton
    16 Apr 2015 | 2:51 pm
    Following months of protest, Congress has finally put forth bicameral Fast Track legislation today to rush trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) through Congress. Sens. Orrin Hatch and Ron Wyden, and Rep. Paul Ryan, respectively, introduced the bill titled the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015. With Fast Track, lawmakers will be shirking their constitutional authority over trade policy, letting the White House and the U.S. Trade Representative pass Internet rules in back…
  • On the Clipper Chip's Birthday, Looking Back on Decades of Key Escrow Failures

    Parker Higgins
    16 Apr 2015 | 1:07 pm
    On this day in 1993, the Clinton White House introduced the Clipper Chip, a plan for building in hardware backdoors to communications technologies. The chip would be used in American secure voice equipment, giving law enforcement agencies the explicit ability to decrypt its traffic using a key stored by the government. The White House promised that only law enforcement with proper "legal authorization" could access that key—and thus, the contents of the communications. Obviously, the Clipper Chip never took hold. Key escrow generally encountered massive public opposition, and the security…
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    The Fine Print: blog posts from Center for Effective Government

  • Offshore Tax Dodgers Jeopardize Long-Term Financial Health of American Small Businesses

    jschieder
    16 Apr 2015 | 12:49 pm
    Every small business would need to pay $3,244 in additional taxes to offset the $110 billion in federal and state revenue lost every year to offshore tax avoidance by multinational corporations, according to a new report from U.S. PIRG. The report is an excellent reminder that corporate tax avoidance is not victimless. Offshore tax avoidance hurts communities by robbing the government of revenue to make public investments – in schools, infrastructure, first responders, and other public goods. Local small businesses and individuals are then left to pay for needed public investments.
  • Inequality and the Estate Tax: What You Need to Know

    jschieder
    15 Apr 2015 | 7:23 am
    Beginning this evening, the House is expected to vote to repeal the estate tax – one of our nation’s key checks on tremendous accumulations of wealth by a handful of the richest Americans. This is alarming, given the revenue that would be sacrificed and the historical importance of the estate tax. Thankfully, the president appears poised to veto the repeal bill if it also passes the Senate and reaches his desk. Surveys suggest many Americans are unsure who pays the estate tax and how the estate tax works. Let’s clear up some of this confusion. First of all, only…
  • General Electric Restructuring Surprise: Company to Pay 20 Times More in Taxes Than It Paid in the Last Decade

    sklinger
    14 Apr 2015 | 6:30 am
    In a dramatic move, General Electric (GE) announced on Friday that it would be selling off its financial service businesses. GE expects to shed $200 billion of assets in the restructuring, returning $90 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends, stock buybacks, and new shares in a company to be spun-off. But it will also pay $6 billion in taxes on its offshore profits as part of the transactions. To put that in context, over the last decade, GE has paid just $293 million in federal income taxes on $68 billion in reported U.S. profits – a tax rate of just 0.4 percent –…
  • Budget Cuts at the IRS Leave Phones Ringing and Hurt the Middle Class

    sklinger
    10 Apr 2015 | 10:48 am
    As Tax Day approaches, the news is filled with stories of unanswered phone calls at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The stories will spark an eye-roll or a sarcastic mumble about our “unresponsive government.” But most will fail to mention that the IRS is an agency dealing with a 17 percent cut to its budget since 2010. These cuts have meant there are 26 percent fewer IRS workers answering questions than there were five years ago, even though the number of people filing returns has grown by seven million. Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities More than 100 million…
  • FDA’s Insufficient Response to Antibiotics in Food Animals

    rwhite
    30 Mar 2015 | 2:09 pm
    UPDATE (March 30, 2015): The Obama administration released the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria on March 27. The plan comes in response to the president's 2014 Executive Order 13676, “Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.” Unfortunately, the plan essentially maintains the status quo with respect to the use of antibiotics in food animal production. It relies on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 2014 guidance documents that encourage manufacturers of antibiotic drugs used in food animals to voluntarily relabel their…
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    Local Open Government Blog

  • No Privacy Interest In Employee's Identity Connected To Existence Of Investigation When Allegations Are Not Described

    Lee Marchisio
    3 Apr 2015 | 11:05 am
    In Predisik v. Spokane School District No. 81, the Washington Supreme Court holds by a 5 justice majority that disclosure of employer investigation records that reveal an employee’s identity do not implicate employee privacy rights under the Public Records Act (PRA) when the records do not describe the allegations being investigated.  The court therefore reversed the Court of Appeals below, ordered disclosure of the records without redaction, and denied the employees’ requests for injunctive relief under the PRA.  Two media outlets submitted public records requests to…
  • Washington Supreme Court Grants Petitions to Review Nissen v. Pierce County

    Adrian Urquhart Winder
    5 Mar 2015 | 12:48 pm
    On March 3, 2015, the Washington Supreme Court granted two petitions to review Nissen v. Pierce County, 183 Wn. App. 581, 333 P.3d 577 (2014).  In Nissen, the Washington Court of Appeals applied the Washington Public Records Act and held that text messages sent and received from a government employee’s (the elected prosecuting attorney’s) private cell phone are public records if they relate to government business, as are portions of call logs that track a government employee’s private, non-agency cell phone.  Read more about the decision here.  Pierce County…
  • Hillary Clinton Defends Use of Personal E-mail

    Steve DiJulio
    3 Mar 2015 | 7:55 am
    On March 2, 2015, The New York Times reported that Hilary Clinton, during her tenure as Secretary of State, may have violated federal regulations by using her personal e-mail to conduct government business. The report says that Clinton aides took no measures to preserve the personal emails on the department servers, which is required by the Federal Records Act. Read more at: http://www.king5.com/story/news/politics/2015/03/03/hillary-clinton-emails/24299925/  
  • City Investigation of Law Enforcement Whistleblower Allegations Subject to Disclosure; No Redaction of Witness Identification

    Steve DiJulio
    24 Feb 2015 | 2:06 pm
    In early 2011, City of Fife police officers submitted a whistleblower complaint to the City Manager.  The complaint covered a range of topics including discrimination, misappropriation of public funds and improper workplace relationships.  The City retained an outside entity to investigate the allegations.  The City determined the investigation was thorough and the allegations were either not sustained or unfounded.  One of the complaining officers submitted a public records request for the report, audio recordings and transcripts of interviews, and other records relating…
  • Court Of Appeals Reverses Large Public Records Act Penalty Imposed On University Of Washington

    Adrian Urquhart Winder
    19 Feb 2015 | 11:25 am
    In Bichindaritz v. University of Washington, Division One of the Court of Appeals reversed a $723,290.50 penalty and $102,958.03 attorney fee award for violations of the Public Records Act by the University of Washington.  The trial court had concluded that the University’s production of documents to the requestor, a former employee who had sued the University, was not in good faith and that the University waited too long to produce records it had already assembled but had not yet reviewed.  The University appealed. In particular, the University challenged the trial…
 
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    Sunlight Foundation Blog

  • Liberal group to air 'issue ad' in Iowa

    Jacob Fenton
    17 Apr 2015 | 12:45 pm
    A left-leaning nonprofit will begin airing ads on the renewable fuel standard in Des Moines on Monday, days after Hillary Clinton wrapped up her first road trip through Iowa as a presidential candidate. Americans United for Change, a nonprofit headed by a former Democratic National Committee official, declined to provide details on the buy. Jeremy Funk, a spokesman for the group, said only that an announcement was planned Monday. Ad documents at NBC affiliate WHO-TV and CBS affiliate KCCI show ads scheduled to run on news programming on Monday only. A KCCI document describes the ad as being…
  • Deletes of the Week: Catching delayed deletions on Twitter

    Nicko Margolies
    17 Apr 2015 | 8:39 am
    Deletions via Politwoops. There are enough people using Twitter that when someone tweets something particularly bizarre and quickly deletes it, many users may notice it. But as a tweet ages and falls from the recent stream, it's easier to quietly scrub those statements without getting attention — unless you're a politician in Politwoops. This week, Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., deleted 15 statements from one of his three Twitter accounts after they were first posted weeks before. The deletions, cherry-picked among other older tweets, ranged from one week to six weeks old. While Polis ignored…
  • Sunlight and allies continue to push for transparent political advertising

    Sean Vitka
    17 Apr 2015 | 7:55 am
    The FCC's headquarters, Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: FCC/Flickr) For years, Sunlight has been pushing for the Federal Communications Commission to make the public files held by media broadcasters truly public – and what that really means is getting them online. Sunlight and our allies at Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause and the Institute of Public Representation at Georgetown recently won a small victory, successfully petitioning the FCC to bring all television broadcasters' files online, and are now closely watching as the FCC considers another petition of ours: bringing radio,…
  • New reforms illuminate Maryland's public records

    LaVita Tuff
    16 Apr 2015 | 11:34 am
    Maryland State House. (Photo credit: Martin Falbisoner/Wikimedia Commons) Maryland is about to take a big step toward increasing transparency: Both the state’s House and Senate have passed positive reforms to the state’s Public Information Act (PIA), making its public records more accessible to all. The changes arrive after Marylanders for Open Government — a coalition of community and transparency organizations, of which Sunlight is a member — came together to develop suggestions to improve the law, which hasn’t been updated in 45 years. The legislation now awaits the signature of…
  • Citizens United is a revolving door problem

    Bill Allison
    16 Apr 2015 | 10:12 am
    The U.S. Constitution. (photo credit: Kim Davies/Flickr) At a campaign appearance Tuesday, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton called for cracking down on “unaccountable” money in the political system, even if it required amending the Constitution. Mrs. Clinton’s own record in that regard is not spotless. For example, Norman Hsu, a bundler for her Senate and presidential campaigns, raised $45,000 for her from a California family whose patriarch, a mailman, earned $49,000 a year, and whose matriarch was a homemaker. And Sant Chatwal, a hotel magnate based in New York City, made more…
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    Sunlight Foundation Blog

  • Liberal group to air 'issue ad' in Iowa

    Jacob Fenton
    17 Apr 2015 | 12:45 pm
    A left-leaning nonprofit will begin airing ads on the renewable fuel standard in Des Moines on Monday, days after Hillary Clinton wrapped up her first road trip through Iowa as a presidential candidate. Americans United for Change, a nonprofit headed by a former Democratic National Committee official, declined to provide details on the buy. Jeremy Funk, a spokesman for the group, said only that an announcement was planned Monday. Ad documents at NBC affiliate WHO-TV and CBS affiliate KCCI show ads scheduled to run on news programming on Monday only. A KCCI document describes the ad as being…
  • Deletes of the Week: Catching delayed deletions on Twitter

    Nicko Margolies
    17 Apr 2015 | 8:39 am
    Deletions via Politwoops. There are enough people using Twitter that when someone tweets something particularly bizarre and quickly deletes it, many users may notice it. But as a tweet ages and falls from the recent stream, it's easier to quietly scrub those statements without getting attention — unless you're a politician in Politwoops. This week, Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., deleted 15 statements from one of his three Twitter accounts after they were first posted weeks before. The deletions, cherry-picked among other older tweets, ranged from one week to six weeks old. While Polis ignored…
  • Sunlight and allies continue to push for transparent political advertising

    Sean Vitka
    17 Apr 2015 | 7:55 am
    The FCC's headquarters, Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: FCC/Flickr) For years, Sunlight has been pushing for the Federal Communications Commission to make the public files held by media broadcasters truly public – and what that really means is getting them online. Sunlight and our allies at Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause and the Institute of Public Representation at Georgetown recently won a small victory, successfully petitioning the FCC to bring all television broadcasters' files online, and are now closely watching as the FCC considers another petition of ours: bringing radio,…
  • New reforms illuminate Maryland's public records

    LaVita Tuff
    16 Apr 2015 | 11:34 am
    Maryland State House. (Photo credit: Martin Falbisoner/Wikimedia Commons) Maryland is about to take a big step toward increasing transparency: Both the state’s House and Senate have passed positive reforms to the state’s Public Information Act (PIA), making its public records more accessible to all. The changes arrive after Marylanders for Open Government — a coalition of community and transparency organizations, of which Sunlight is a member — came together to develop suggestions to improve the law, which hasn’t been updated in 45 years. The legislation now awaits the signature of…
  • Citizens United is a revolving door problem

    Bill Allison
    16 Apr 2015 | 10:12 am
    The U.S. Constitution. (photo credit: Kim Davies/Flickr) At a campaign appearance Tuesday, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton called for cracking down on “unaccountable” money in the political system, even if it required amending the Constitution. Mrs. Clinton’s own record in that regard is not spotless. For example, Norman Hsu, a bundler for her Senate and presidential campaigns, raised $45,000 for her from a California family whose patriarch, a mailman, earned $49,000 a year, and whose matriarch was a homemaker. And Sant Chatwal, a hotel magnate based in New York City, made more…
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    Federation Of American Scientists » Secrecy News Blog Posts

  • Special Operations Beyond War and Peace

    Steven Aftergood
    17 Apr 2015 | 6:06 am
    “Power and influence are now diffusing to a range of actors, both state and non-state, who have not traditionally wielded it,” said Gen. Joseph L. Votel, Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), last month. Under these circumstances, “Traditional approaches to deterrence are increasingly inadequate,” he said. “Adversaries [seek] to maximize their coercive influence while limiting their risk of serious retribution. They are becoming adept at avoiding crossing thresholds that would clearly justify the use of conventional military force.”…
  • Islamic State Financing, and More from CRS

    Steven Aftergood
    17 Apr 2015 | 5:54 am
    Noteworthy new and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that have been withheld from public distribution include the following. Islamic State Financing and U.S. Policy Approaches, April 10, 2015 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force: Issues Concerning Its Continued Application, April 14, 2015 The War Powers Resolution: Concepts and Practice, April 3, 2015 Iran: Efforts to Achieve a Nuclear Accord, April 9, 2015 Science and Technology Issues in the 114th Congress, April 7, 2015 Military Funeral Honors and Military Cemeteries: Frequently Asked Questions, April 10, 2015…
  • No Fly List: Govt Offers New Redress Procedures

    Steven Aftergood
    14 Apr 2015 | 7:54 am
    Updated below The government will no longer refuse to confirm or deny that persons who are prevented from boarding commercial aircraft have been placed on the “No Fly List,” and such persons will have new opportunities to challenge the denial of boarding, the Department of Justice announced yesterday in a court filing. Until now, the Government refused to acknowledge whether or not an individual traveler had been placed on the No Fly List and, if so, what the basis for such a designation was. That is no longer the case, the new court filing said: “Under the previous redress…
  • National Archives Tackles Email Management

    Steven Aftergood
    10 Apr 2015 | 6:03 am
    Overwhelmed by the challenge of trying to sort, identify and preserve historically valuable government email, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has devised what it calls the Capstone approach to email management. Under Capstone, government email would be categorized for retention or disposal based on the title or position of the email sender, rather than the contents of the email message. Those officials responsible for agency policy and mission performance would have their emails systematically collected and saved; others would not. In theory, this approach should…
  • Justice Dept Updates its FOIA Regulations

    Steven Aftergood
    10 Apr 2015 | 5:41 am
    The Department of Justice last week published newly updated regulations on implementation of the Freedom of Information Act, with several notable changes made in response to public comments. Fifteen sets of comments were submitted by individual members of the public or public interest organizations after the Department released its draft FOIA regulations in 2011. In a lengthy Federal Register notice on April 3, the Department addressed all of the comments, and actually adopted a number of the changes recommended by public commenters. Among the changes that were approved: *    The revised…
 
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  • Functions in TypeScript

    Hemant Joshi
    18 Apr 2015 | 4:10 am
    In this post we are going to discuss about functions in TypeScript. As we all know that Functions are the fundamentals block of any applications in JavaScript. TypeScript functions are almost similar to JavaScript functions but there are different ways, how you can actually write functions in TypeScript.There are mainly four ways how you can define a function in TypeScript and they are : Named Functions, Anonymous Functions, Lambda Functions and Class Functions.1. Named functionsActually this is similar to the function which we write in JavaScript. The only difference which you can find…
  • Basic Types in TypeScript

    Hemant Joshi
    16 Apr 2015 | 8:02 am
    In this post we are going to discuss about basic types in TypeScript. As we all know that typescript is a typed super-set of JavaScript that compiles to plain JavaScript. The key feature which separate typescript with JavaScript is that typescript supports some basic types. Thus TypeScript's type analysis occurs entirely at compile-time and adds no run-time overhead to program execution.The Primitive Types in TypeScript are 'number', 'boolean', 'string' and 'array'. Now you might say that 'boolean' and 'array' are there in JavaScript so whats new in typescript ? Actually in…
  • TypeScript development in Visual Studio

    Hemant Joshi
    15 Apr 2015 | 7:14 am
    In this post we are going to discuss about TypeScript development with Visual Studio. We are going to show you how to get started with TypeScript by plugging it into Visual Studio 2013 and how you can create a project from scratch and start developing TypeScript Applications.To develop TypeScript Application in Visual Studio you need to install TypeScript 1.4 for Visual Studio 2013 plugin.According to TypeScript 1.4 for Visual Studio 2013 this is a standalone, power tool release of TypeScript 1.4 for Visual Studio 2013. It includes both the TypeScript experience for Visual Studio and a…
  • How to solve : No gulpfile found

    Hemant Joshi
    14 Apr 2015 | 12:01 am
    In this post we are going to discuss about how to solve no gulpfile found error. In our previous post we have explained about Configuring System for using TypeScript where we have explained how to install gulp (A JavaScript Task Runner).Now after installing gulp using npm install gulp -g when you run gulp in the command line you might get an error as No gulpfile found error.This error means that gulp doesn't find gulpfile.js to follow the instructions. To solve this error we simply need to add gulpfile.js to our directory root by running the command touch gulpfile.js.Now after…
  • Configuring System for using TypeScript

    Hemant Joshi
    13 Apr 2015 | 10:12 am
    In this post we will be discussing about configuring the system for using the TypeScript. To start with we will have a gulp process that we will be going to run. Gulp is a JavaScript task runner. Now you may ask that what is JavaScript task runner, so the answer is it is just a way to automate various processes in JavaScript.To install gulp you first need to install NodeJS in your system. To install NodeJS head off to the NodeJS Site to get it and install it.After that we need to install gulp. For installing gulp we need to run the command npm install gulp -g .The benefit of using…
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