Freedom of Information

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  • FOIA Training Goes West

    The FOIA blog
    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.
  • Campus free expression takes hit in Supreme Court decision

    FIRST AMENDMENT COALITION » News & Opinion
    donal brown
    31 Mar 2015 | 12:24 pm
    The U.S. Supreme Court sided with a school administration of a Morgan Hill, California high school  in leaving in place a ruling that they acted correctly in asking students to remove shirts with images of American flags during Cinco de Mayo. The administration was concerned that given a history of tension and fighting between whites […]
  • 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
  • Last Known Coordinates: Shared Vendors May Offer Clues to Planning Between Campaigns, Super PACs

    OpenSecrets Blog
    Russ Choma
    1 Apr 2015 | 7:38 am
    The campaign of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shared several vendors with Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, a single-candidate super PAC that backed him. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) Super PACs are now the de rigeur accessories for every candidate’s campaign, and not just presidential ones. In fact, in the 2014 midterms, 102 single-candidate super PACs spent $52.5 million trying to get candidates elected. The key for campaigns and their matching super PACs, though, is that they can’t match too much — though identifying what’s considered forbidden…
  • Opening criminal justice data: What we learned from Louisiana

    Sunlight Foundation Blog
    Becca James
    1 Apr 2015 | 7:20 am
    The Sunlight Foundation is currently embarking on a project aimed at assessing the openness of criminal justice data nationwide, state by state. In our latest update, we add five states to our growing inventory of criminal justice data: Alaska, Idaho, Louisiana, Texas and Wyoming. Police car in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo credit: Stanley Wood While Louisiana fails at reporting criminal justice data on the state level, it succeeds at doing so on the municipal level, making it an extraordinary case study of the complexities of state criminal justice data. In the days following Hurricane…
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    The FOIA blog

  • 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.
  • Concerns Over FOIA Amendments Begin To Surface

    scott hodes
    30 Mar 2015 | 6:44 am
    The Hill has this article on concerns being raised by the financial community on the proposed FOIA amendments snaking its way through both sides of Congress. If I was in Congress, I'd hold a hearing and make those that are thought to have concerns testify on the record so the concerns are known and then considered. [Note: This is not to imply that I share the concerns currently being raised, I just believe the best way to move forward is to have DOJ and others in and out of government testify under oath, as to their beliefs about the FOIA proposals.]
  • FOIA Bill On To Full House

    scott hodes
    25 Mar 2015 | 12:17 pm
    The FOIA bill pending in the House of Representatives was marked up today with a few amendments added.  Government Executive has this story about the amendments, but I think that the Office of Legal Counsel discussed in the article may be the Department of Justice's OLC not the one in the White House as I do not believe the lawyers in the White House representing the President are subject to the FOIA. The bill now goes to the full House.  As it is different than the one that passed the Senate, the bills will then have to go to a committee of the whole and…
  • FOIA Bill Markup - March 25, 2015?

    scott hodes
    24 Mar 2015 | 1:02 pm
    There have been rumblings that the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will markup the FOIA bill that is pending before it on Wed. March 25.  The committee's calendar has legislation markup scheduled for this date but it is currently blank on what legislation will be considered.
  • Sunshine Week Roundup Post - White House, State Department, DOJ

    scott hodes
    18 Mar 2015 | 11:21 am
    So it's Sunshine Week - the one week a year that the media pays attention to open government and writes articles about how bad the government is at it.  Those of us who deal with FOIA and other government access laws know that its much more than just a once a year item and hope that next week, or next month those "celebrating" Sunshine Week will help push transparency issues when its not a special week for it. But in honor of Sunshine Week, I'm going to pour some water on outrage that has been bubbling up - I've been outraged on some of these things for a long…
 
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    FIRST AMENDMENT COALITION » News & Opinion

  • Campus free expression takes hit in Supreme Court decision

    donal brown
    31 Mar 2015 | 12:24 pm
    The U.S. Supreme Court sided with a school administration of a Morgan Hill, California high school  in leaving in place a ruling that they acted correctly in asking students to remove shirts with images of American flags during Cinco de Mayo. The administration was concerned that given a history of tension and fighting between whites […]
  • Transparency: Rare victory in obtaining license plate scans from Oakland police

    donal brown
    31 Mar 2015 | 11:06 am
    Ars Technica used a public record request to obtain the entire data base of 4.6 million reads of license plates between 2010 and 2014 made by the Oakland Police Department. An Ars Technica analysis showed that the police could use the data to make a number of valid conclusions about the private lives of the […]
  • AP suggests making murder of journalists a war crime

    donal brown
    30 Mar 2015 | 12:47 pm
    AP CEO Gary Pruitt has proposed that international law be changed to make killing journalists or taking them hostage a war crime. He said wearing “PRESS” on vests no longer protects journalists but instead makes them targets. Over a 1,000 journalist have died since 1992. Pruitt said terrorist groups don’t want the media around since […]
  • Regulation of commercial drone use in flux

    donal brown
    30 Mar 2015 | 11:57 am
    The Federal Aviation Administration is allowing commercial drone flight without airspace clearance. The leeway is only granted to the 50 plus companies already granted exemption from the rule banning commercial drones. (ComputerWorld, March 24, 2015, by Martyn Williams, IDG News Service) Amazon is protesting government regulation contending that approval given to them to test deliveries […]
  • Insurance companies not forced to defend malicious defamation claims

    donal brown
    30 Mar 2015 | 9:44 am
    The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that an insurance company is not compelled to defend an orthodonic business whose employee posted libelous statements about a competitor online. The court held that the applicable insurance policy precluded coverage for acts done with intent to injure. (Law360, March 19, 2015, by Jeff Sistrunk) “…S&B [Sletten […]
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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
    It’s time once again to start polishing your dress shoes in anticipation of honoring the very best of the past year in journalism at the annual Idaho Press Club Best of 2014 Awards banquet. 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

  • Last Known Coordinates: Shared Vendors May Offer Clues to Planning Between Campaigns, Super PACs

    Russ Choma
    1 Apr 2015 | 7:38 am
    The campaign of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shared several vendors with Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, a single-candidate super PAC that backed him. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) Super PACs are now the de rigeur accessories for every candidate’s campaign, and not just presidential ones. In fact, in the 2014 midterms, 102 single-candidate super PACs spent $52.5 million trying to get candidates elected. The key for campaigns and their matching super PACs, though, is that they can’t match too much — though identifying what’s considered forbidden…
  • Four 2016 Hopefuls Accused of Breaking Law

    Russ Choma
    31 Mar 2015 | 12:18 pm
    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, crowded by reporters on a recent trip to New Hampshire. (AP Photo/Jim Cole) The Campaign Legal Center has filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission against four 2016 presidential hopefuls, accusing them of actively organizing and running early presidential bids without abiding by federal rules related to fundraising limits and disclosure. The group’s complaints against Republicans Jeb Bush, Scott Walker and Rick Santorum and Democrat Martin O’Malley allege they all are already carrying out activities that clearly indicate an organized…
  • Company Awarded First Federal Offshore Wind Farm Spends Big in D.C.

    Clark Mindock
    30 Mar 2015 | 11:36 am
    (TumblingRun via Flickr) It has been nearly 15 years since a proposal to build wind turbines in federal waters was first floated by Cape Wind, but a Virginia power company with a much more substantial Washington money presence is poised to take the baton over the finish line. Dominion Resources, a company whose profits have charged up the campaign funds of House Energy and Commerce Committee members and the bank accounts of lobbyists, was awarded a permit last week to begin work on offshore wind energy in Virginia, bringing the U.S. one step closer to producing energy via a method already…
  • ‘I’m Not a Candidate': How Presidential Hopefuls Get Around Finance Rules

    Russ Choma and Dan Roberts
    30 Mar 2015 | 7:27 am
    Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker – not yet a declared candidate for president in 2016 – speaks to the New Hampshire Republican Party. (Jim Cole/AP) This story was cross-posted with the The Guardian. The dinner invitations that dropped into the inboxes of political donors last week proudly boasted a list of guests whose names have already become very familiar in the crowded race for the Republican presidential nomination. Jeb Bush, Scott Walker and Rick Santorum are among nine confirmed speakers for the Iowa Republican party’s annual Lincoln dinner in Des Moines. Rand Paul, Chris Christie…
  • Reid Linchpin of Democratic Big Dollar Fundraising

    Russ Choma
    27 Mar 2015 | 10:19 am
    Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced his retirement in 2016 today. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid‘s announcement he won’t run for reelection in 2016 lights up unexpected races for his leadership post and his Nevada seat, but its biggest impact might be the loss of one of the Democratic party’s most industrious and creative fundraisers. And in the post-Citizens United era, Reid has been a linchpin of the Democratic outside money strategy. A constellation of big-spending outside groups that have been the biggest…
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    Sunlight Foundation Blog

  • Opening criminal justice data: What we learned from Louisiana

    Becca James
    1 Apr 2015 | 7:20 am
    The Sunlight Foundation is currently embarking on a project aimed at assessing the openness of criminal justice data nationwide, state by state. In our latest update, we add five states to our growing inventory of criminal justice data: Alaska, Idaho, Louisiana, Texas and Wyoming. Police car in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo credit: Stanley Wood While Louisiana fails at reporting criminal justice data on the state level, it succeeds at doing so on the municipal level, making it an extraordinary case study of the complexities of state criminal justice data. In the days following Hurricane…
  • Making SublimeLinter Work With rbenv and rubocop

    Sam Handler
    31 Mar 2015 | 11:26 am
    Linting your source exposes syntax errors and deviations from accepted code style, and I heartily recommend it. Linters get much more useful when you hook them up to your text editor, since the editor will visually flag bad lines as you work. After installing SublimeLinter 3 and SublimeLinter-rubocop in Sublime Text 3, I saw the following error in the Sublime Text 3 console (which you can pull up with ctrl + `): SublimeLinter: rubocop version query: /Users/samh/.rbenv/shims/ruby -S rubocop --version SublimeLinter: WARNING: no rubocop version could be extracted from: ruby: no Ruby script found…
  • Partisanship is a profit center for founder of new Scott Walker super PAC

    Peter Olsen-Phillips
    30 Mar 2015 | 11:12 am
    One line Wisconsin governor and White House hopeful Scott Walker used in his speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit in January — if politicians "go big and go bold you can actually get results" — has surfaced as more than a rallying cry for the Badger State pol. It's now the moniker of a new super PAC established by political operative Robert Adams, who has a history of using much of the money raised from his political vehicles to support neither candidates nor causes — but rather Robert Adams and the businesses he owns. Though Walker allies have already established a 527 political…
  • 10 things you can do to engage with open data (Part II)

    Amy Ngai
    30 Mar 2015 | 9:02 am
    From submitting a FOIA request to examining crime maps and more, there are a lot of things you can do with open data. (Photos under creative commons licenses.) Need ways to make open data more tangible in your life? Here’s the second installment of our miniseries covering ways to engage with open data. Missed Part I? Check it out here. Five more ways you can engage with open data… 6. FOIA something. Technically, this isn’t necessarily open data; since you need to employ the Freedom of Information Act to access the information, it isn't very ... open. However, FOIA and open data have…
  • OpenGov Voices: Advancing access to campaign finance data in Puerto Rico

    guest author Alvin Quiñones
    30 Mar 2015 | 7:43 am
    Alvin Quiñones, founder of the Center for Public Policy Research. As part of our efforts to promote transparency and open data in Puerto Rico, ABRE Puerto Rico this month received formal recognition and support from the Office of the Electoral Comptroller (OCE in its Spanish acronym) to publish campaign contribution data for Puerto Rico. In conjunction with this collaboration, ABRE Puerto Rico has created a new web-based tool that allows the public to search through individual political campaign donation information. We have placed our application in our portal at ABRE Puerto Rico's donation…
 
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    Deeplinks

  • Not Just Space Photos: Flickr Now Allows All Users To Expand the Public Domain

    Parker Higgins
    1 Apr 2015 | 4:21 pm
    The way copyright lawyers talk about the public domain as something works “fall into” when the copyright terms finally expires, it sometimes sounds like some kind of trash heap. But that couldn't be further from the truth: The public domain is a fantastic resource for learning, creativity and innovation—our cultural commons. We were very happy to learn that Flickr has released a feature this weekend that allows any uploader to use Creative Commons tools to take easy affirmative steps to support that resource. Flickr users can now easily mark their photos as public domain materials in…
  • China Uses Unencrypted Websites to Hijack Browsers in GitHub Attack

    Bill Budington
    1 Apr 2015 | 2:56 pm
    Over the past few weeks, China has been using its country's Internet infrastructure to attack political opponents by turning normal users' web browsers into Denial of Service tools. These attacks were a deep violation of the basic trust that allows the Internet to function smoothly, and an disquieting and unprecedented development in the history of state-orchestrated denial-of-service attacks. They exploited the fact that many enormous sites still use insecure HTTP rather than HTTPS, allowing the Great Firewall to modify those sites, and the fact that our web browsers are willing to run…
  • Leaked ODNI Mission Statement Reveals Radical Changes to Intelligence Community's Guiding Philosophy

    Dave Maass
    1 Apr 2015 | 1:46 pm
    The Office of the Director of National Intelligence was created in 2004 to serve as central authority for intelligence activities in the United States. To illustrate its mission, several years ago the agency created a poster outlining a series of eight goals that the agency believed would lead to "the most insightful intelligence possible." Unfortunately, this list of goals, which is still in use today, does not include language related to privacy, civil liberties, or the Constitution. That's about to change, according to a leaked draft of an updated mission poster. After coming under fire…
  • Leaked TPP Investment Chapter Reveals Serious Threat to User Safeguards

    Maira Sutton
    1 Apr 2015 | 11:27 am
    A newly leaked chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement from Wikileaks has confirmed some of our worst fears about the agreement. The latest provisions would enable multinational corporations to undermine public interest rules through an international tribunal process called investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). Under this process, foreign companies can challenge any new law or government action at the federal, state, or local level, in a country that is a signatory to the agreement. Companies can file such lawsuits based upon their claim that the law or action harms…
  • Stupid Patent of the Month: GPS Tracking, or Something

    Vera Ranieri
    31 Mar 2015 | 1:41 pm
    GPS technology has been around for a while. Wikipedia puts the start of development at 1973. But it wasn’t until the 1990s that it became available for consumer use. And even then, it took some time before the government removed restrictions on accuracy that it had on its use by civilians. (The government had added an intentional error to the signal that made GPS variably inaccurate up to 50 meters.) With the loosening of restrictions on GPS came furious development in consumer applications—and a flurry of patents. Which brings us to this month’s Stupid Patent of the Month. The dubious…
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    The Fine Print: blog posts from Center for Effective Government

  • FDA’s Insufficient Response to Antibiotics in Food Animals

    rwhite
    30 Mar 2015 | 2:09 pm
    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.” 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…
  • Six Charts Explain How Workers’ Compensation is Deteriorating

    jschieder
    30 Mar 2015 | 1:20 pm
    Workers’ compensation is a state-based government program that has protected American workers for close to a century. Throughout the early part of U.S. history, injured workers were taken care of by the communities they were a part of: churches, worker’s benevolence associations, neighbors, or extended family. But when workplace deaths and injuries soared during the industrial revolution, government stepped in to help. Today, workers who are injured on the job or become ill after long-term exposure to workplace hazards are able to collect workers’ compensation. This…
  • Can We Get Serious about Train Safety? Technology Could Reduce 40 Percent of Rail Accidents

    afrank
    24 Mar 2015 | 1:06 pm
    Last month, we wrote about the rise in crude oil train accidents and the need to approve federal crude-by-rail safeguards as quickly as possible. These rules, currently under review by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, would require thicker walls on oil tankards and impose speed limits on oil trains. These are vital safeguards that will improve oil train safety. But they don’t address a factor contributing to 40 percent of rail accidents: human error. Just as distracted driving can cause road collisions, trains can collide or derail when engineers fail to respond to…
  • The Administration's New Fracking Rule Has a Few Catches

    afrank
    23 Mar 2015 | 11:50 am
    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) just released a long-awaited rule that regulates fracking on federal and tribal lands, the first revision to federal fracking standards in almost 30 years. BLM currently manages over 100,000 oil and gas wells – over 90 percent of which are fracked. The rule establishes minimum safeguards that must be followed when drilling occurs on federal or tribal lands. The Rule Does Not Establish a Clear Right-to Know The new rule requires companies to disclose the chemicals used during fracking.  While the data is officially reported to BLM, the bureau…
  • Reject Government Contractors Who Draw the Blinds on Sunshine

    kmcfate
    20 Mar 2015 | 6:12 am
    Once a year, Sunshine Week rolls around and presents us with an opportunity to assess how open and transparent our government is. But with more and more public services being contracted out to private companies, sunlight’s “disinfectant” effects are being lost, according to a new report by In the Public Interest – Closing the Books: How Government Contractors Hide Public Records The report shows how government contractors are hiding the data needed to evaluate whether contracting out to private companies is a better deal for taxpayers than leaving services in the…
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    Local Open Government Blog

  • 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…
  • Exemption Log Sufficient to Trigger One Year Statute of Limitations for Washington PRA Claim

    Steve DiJulio
    9 Feb 2015 | 4:21 pm
    Under Washington’s Public Record Act, an action challenging an agency’s refusal of records must be filed within one year of the agency’s claim of exemption. RCW 42.56.550(6). The Supreme Court holds that an insufficient exemption log will not trigger the running of the statute of limitations.  Rental Housing Association of Puget Sound v. City of Des Moines, 165 Wn.2d 525 (2009  A “log need not be elaborate but should allow a requestor to make a threshold determination of whether the agency has properly invoked the exemption.”  WAC…
 
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    Sunlight Foundation Blog

  • Opening criminal justice data: What we learned from Louisiana

    Becca James
    1 Apr 2015 | 7:20 am
    The Sunlight Foundation is currently embarking on a project aimed at assessing the openness of criminal justice data nationwide, state by state. In our latest update, we add five states to our growing inventory of criminal justice data: Alaska, Idaho, Louisiana, Texas and Wyoming. Police car in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo credit: Stanley Wood While Louisiana fails at reporting criminal justice data on the state level, it succeeds at doing so on the municipal level, making it an extraordinary case study of the complexities of state criminal justice data. In the days following Hurricane…
  • Making SublimeLinter Work With rbenv and rubocop

    Sam Handler
    31 Mar 2015 | 11:26 am
    Linting your source exposes syntax errors and deviations from accepted code style, and I heartily recommend it. Linters get much more useful when you hook them up to your text editor, since the editor will visually flag bad lines as you work. After installing SublimeLinter 3 and SublimeLinter-rubocop in Sublime Text 3, I saw the following error in the Sublime Text 3 console (which you can pull up with ctrl + `): SublimeLinter: rubocop version query: /Users/samh/.rbenv/shims/ruby -S rubocop --version SublimeLinter: WARNING: no rubocop version could be extracted from: ruby: no Ruby script found…
  • Partisanship is a profit center for founder of new Scott Walker super PAC

    Peter Olsen-Phillips
    30 Mar 2015 | 11:12 am
    One line Wisconsin governor and White House hopeful Scott Walker used in his speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit in January — if politicians "go big and go bold you can actually get results" — has surfaced as more than a rallying cry for the Badger State pol. It's now the moniker of a new super PAC established by political operative Robert Adams, who has a history of using much of the money raised from his political vehicles to support neither candidates nor causes — but rather Robert Adams and the businesses he owns. Though Walker allies have already established a 527 political…
  • 10 things you can do to engage with open data (Part II)

    Amy Ngai
    30 Mar 2015 | 9:02 am
    From submitting a FOIA request to examining crime maps and more, there are a lot of things you can do with open data. (Photos under creative commons licenses.) Need ways to make open data more tangible in your life? Here’s the second installment of our miniseries covering ways to engage with open data. Missed Part I? Check it out here. Five more ways you can engage with open data… 6. FOIA something. Technically, this isn’t necessarily open data; since you need to employ the Freedom of Information Act to access the information, it isn't very ... open. However, FOIA and open data have…
  • OpenGov Voices: Advancing access to campaign finance data in Puerto Rico

    guest author Alvin Quiñones
    30 Mar 2015 | 7:43 am
    Alvin Quiñones, founder of the Center for Public Policy Research. As part of our efforts to promote transparency and open data in Puerto Rico, ABRE Puerto Rico this month received formal recognition and support from the Office of the Electoral Comptroller (OCE in its Spanish acronym) to publish campaign contribution data for Puerto Rico. In conjunction with this collaboration, ABRE Puerto Rico has created a new web-based tool that allows the public to search through individual political campaign donation information. We have placed our application in our portal at ABRE Puerto Rico's donation…
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    Sunlight Foundation Blog

  • Opening criminal justice data: What we learned from Louisiana

    Becca James
    1 Apr 2015 | 7:20 am
    The Sunlight Foundation is currently embarking on a project aimed at assessing the openness of criminal justice data nationwide, state by state. In our latest update, we add five states to our growing inventory of criminal justice data: Alaska, Idaho, Louisiana, Texas and Wyoming. Police car in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo credit: Stanley Wood While Louisiana fails at reporting criminal justice data on the state level, it succeeds at doing so on the municipal level, making it an extraordinary case study of the complexities of state criminal justice data. In the days following Hurricane…
  • Making SublimeLinter Work With rbenv and rubocop

    Sam Handler
    31 Mar 2015 | 11:26 am
    Linting your source exposes syntax errors and deviations from accepted code style, and I heartily recommend it. Linters get much more useful when you hook them up to your text editor, since the editor will visually flag bad lines as you work. After installing SublimeLinter 3 and SublimeLinter-rubocop in Sublime Text 3, I saw the following error in the Sublime Text 3 console (which you can pull up with ctrl + `): SublimeLinter: rubocop version query: /Users/samh/.rbenv/shims/ruby -S rubocop --version SublimeLinter: WARNING: no rubocop version could be extracted from: ruby: no Ruby script found…
  • Partisanship is a profit center for founder of new Scott Walker super PAC

    Peter Olsen-Phillips
    30 Mar 2015 | 11:12 am
    One line Wisconsin governor and White House hopeful Scott Walker used in his speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit in January — if politicians "go big and go bold you can actually get results" — has surfaced as more than a rallying cry for the Badger State pol. It's now the moniker of a new super PAC established by political operative Robert Adams, who has a history of using much of the money raised from his political vehicles to support neither candidates nor causes — but rather Robert Adams and the businesses he owns. Though Walker allies have already established a 527 political…
  • 10 things you can do to engage with open data (Part II)

    Amy Ngai
    30 Mar 2015 | 9:02 am
    From submitting a FOIA request to examining crime maps and more, there are a lot of things you can do with open data. (Photos under creative commons licenses.) Need ways to make open data more tangible in your life? Here’s the second installment of our miniseries covering ways to engage with open data. Missed Part I? Check it out here. Five more ways you can engage with open data… 6. FOIA something. Technically, this isn’t necessarily open data; since you need to employ the Freedom of Information Act to access the information, it isn't very ... open. However, FOIA and open data have…
  • OpenGov Voices: Advancing access to campaign finance data in Puerto Rico

    guest author Alvin Quiñones
    30 Mar 2015 | 7:43 am
    Alvin Quiñones, founder of the Center for Public Policy Research. As part of our efforts to promote transparency and open data in Puerto Rico, ABRE Puerto Rico this month received formal recognition and support from the Office of the Electoral Comptroller (OCE in its Spanish acronym) to publish campaign contribution data for Puerto Rico. In conjunction with this collaboration, ABRE Puerto Rico has created a new web-based tool that allows the public to search through individual political campaign donation information. We have placed our application in our portal at ABRE Puerto Rico's donation…
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    Federation Of American Scientists » Secrecy News Blog Posts

  • DoD Cut Security Clearances by 15% in Last Two Years

    Steven Aftergood
    26 Mar 2015 | 6:59 am
    In a significant retrenchment of the national security bureaucracy, the Department of Defense has reduced the number of employees and contractors who hold security clearances in the past two years by more than 700,000 persons, a cut of 15% in the total security-cleared population in DoD. The previously undisclosed reductions were reported in data provided by DoD to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. This is the first documented drop in the overall number of security clearances since FY 2010, when the systematic collection of statistical data on clearances began, and it is…
  • H-Bomb History Published Over Government Objections

    Steven Aftergood
    25 Mar 2015 | 10:54 am
    Physicist Kenneth W. Ford, who participated in the design of the hydrogen bomb in the early 1950s, has published a memoir of his experiences despite the objections of Energy Department reviewers who requested substantial redactions in the text. “Building the H Bomb: A Personal History” was released this month in softcopy by World Scientific Publishing Company. Hardcopy editions are to appear in May. The dispute between the author and the government over the book’s publication was first reported by the New York Times in “Hydrogen Bomb Physicist’s Book Runs Afoul…
  • Growing Data Collection Inspires Openness at NGA

    Steven Aftergood
    23 Mar 2015 | 7:52 am
    A flood of information from the ongoing proliferation of space-based sensors and ground-based data collection devices is promoting a new era of transparency in at least one corner of the U.S. intelligence community. The “explosion” of geospatial information “makes geospatial intelligence increasingly transparent because of the huge number and diversity of commercial and open sources of information,” said Robert Cardillo, director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), in a speech last month. Hundreds of small satellites are expected to be launched within…
  • Cybersecurity Information Sharing: A Legal Morass, Says CRS

    Steven Aftergood
    23 Mar 2015 | 7:32 am
    Several pending bills would promote increased sharing of cybersecurity-related information — such as threat intelligence and system vulnerabilities — in order to combat the perceived rise in the frequency and intensity of cyber attacks against private and government entities. But such information sharing is easier said than done, according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service, because it involves a thicket of conflicting and perhaps incompatible laws and policy objectives. “The legal issues surrounding cybersecurity information sharing… are complex…
  • Petraeus Deal Cited in Sterling Leak Defense

    Steven Aftergood
    20 Mar 2015 | 8:06 am
    Attorneys for former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, who was found guilty on nine felony counts involving unauthorized disclosure of classified information, argued yesterday that the Sterling verdict should be set aside in view of the misdemeanor plea agreement that was recently offered to former CIA director Gen. David Petraeus for mishandling classified information. Sterling’s attorneys suggested that the disparate treatment of the two cases was attributable to improper considerations of rank and race. They noted that Petraeus had acknowledged providing his mistress unauthorized access…
 
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    Coding Defined

  • Superfetch - Nodejs HTTP Client

    Hemant Joshi
    24 Mar 2015 | 11:29 pm
    In this post we are going to discuss about Superfetch which is a super powerful node.js HTTP client with support of promise.Now you might be thinking that since we have request (Simplified HTTP request client), then whats the use of Superfetch. This superfetch will come handy if you have a number of requests. Superfetch is very easy to use.Installationnpm install -g superfetchHow to Usevar fetch = require('superfetch');fetch.get('http://www.google.com').then(function (body) {/* This response body will be returned and this code will execute if the status code begins with '2' */}).catch(…
  • Generating C# Classes from XML Or JSON

    Hemant Joshi
    24 Mar 2015 | 10:22 am
    In this post we will discuss generating classes from XML or JSON. You can able to generate Classes from XML or JSON using Visual Studio. It is a real pain for the developers to create data type from the XML or from the JSON and there is a high possibility that you might miss something if the file is really big. This trick will come handy when you are taking XML or JSON feed from one system and you need to integrate it into your project.Lets suppose we have a XML file as<note_tree>  <note>    <to>To1</to>    <from>From1</from> …
  • NDepend - Dependency Analysis Tool

    Hemant Joshi
    23 Mar 2015 | 11:27 am
    In this post we will discuss about a dependency analysis tool for .Net (NDepend). NDepend is a static code analysis tool that provides a lot of features to analyze your code with statistical information and diagrams. It is a Visual Studio plugin which performs a number of analysis across the solution.According to NDepend, it offers a wide range of features to let user analyze a code base. It is often described as a Swiss Army Knife for .Net developers. Before discussing about the NDepend tool we should all know that what exactly is a Static Code Analysis.What is Static Code Analysis ?It is a…
  • New Features in C# 6.0 - Part 2

    Hemant Joshi
    7 Mar 2015 | 9:32 am
    This post is the continuation of New Features in C# 6.0. The new features in C# 6.0 are String Interpolation, nameof Expressions, Exception Filters, Enhancement to Auto Properties, Null-conditional operators, Expression-bodied methods, Dictionary Initializer and Await in catch and finally blocks.5. Null-conditional operatorsBy using this feature developers will definately going to reduce the number of Null Reference Error. Like nullable types, null-conditional operators can be used now. For example, we used to check the object is null or not before calling its properties likevar value = a !=…
  • New Features in C# 6.0 - Part 1

    Hemant Joshi
    6 Mar 2015 | 8:28 pm
    In this post we will discuss about the new features in C# 6.0. The new features in C# 6.0 are String Interpolation, nameof Expressions, Exception Filters, Enhancement to Auto Properties, Null-conditional operators, Expression-bodied methods, Dictionary Initializer and Await in catch and finally blocks.1. String InterpolationIn the previous versions of C# we used string.Format asConsole.WriteLine(String.Format("({0}, {1})", a, b));In C# 6.0, we can put expressions directly in the string literal to show the values in a proper formatted manner. We can even write conditions within string literals…
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