Freedom of Information

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  • McConnell's War on FOIA - Transportation Bill Edition

    The FOIA blog
    scott hodes
    26 Jul 2015 | 12:44 pm
    The Senate Transportation bill has four FOIA Exemption 3 statutes within the bill.  None of these have gone before the Senate Judiciary Committee which is the  committee with jurisdiction on FOIA matters.  The provisions would allow information to be withheld under FOIA when certain threshold matters are met. Over the weekend, a number of public interest groups sent letters to the Senate opposing these provisions without a further examination of them. As this post is being written the Senate is debating and will be voting on the Transportation bill on…
  • Georgia college president pays for violating student’s civil rights

    FIRST AMENDMENT COALITION » News & Opinion
    donal brown
    28 Jul 2015 | 12:55 pm
    An ex-student at Valdosta State University in Georgia won a $900,000 settlement in a First Amendment case. Without due process, the college’s president expelled Hayden Barnes in 2007 for a satirical Facebook posting protesting the plans for constructing two parking garages on campus. (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, July 23, 20125, press release) A […]
  • New Attorney General’s manuals out now include changes to Public Records, Open Meeting laws

    IDOG
    IDOG
    8 Jul 2015 | 11:37 am
    The Idaho Attorney General’s office has published new versions of its manuals on the Idaho Public Records Law, the Idaho Open meeting Law and the Ethics in Government law, to reflect changes enacted by the Legislature this year, including recodifying all three statutes into a new title of the Idaho Code entitled “Transparent and Ethical Government.” From Eye on Boise/The Spokesman-Review
  • Trash-talking Washington, but cleaning up with D.C. donors

    OpenSecrets Blog
    Alex Lazar
    29 Jul 2015 | 9:14 am
    Jeb Bush at a Central Florida pastors event in Orlando on Monday. (AP Photo/John Raoux) When former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) announced his run for the presidency back in June, he tried to cast himself as a Washington outsider — despite his family’s long-standing ties to the nation’s capital. “We are not going to clean up the mess in Washington by electing the people who either helped create it or have proven incapable of fixing it,” he said. Washingtonians seem to have thick skin, though — or at least selective hearing. The city and its environs ranked as…
  • CISA is bad for accountability and transparency — and it must be stopped

    Sunlight Foundation Blog
    Sean Vitka
    28 Jul 2015 | 11:01 am
    (Image credit: Electronic Frontier Foundation) When someone shows up with a bill that promises to help secure America’s online infrastructure, it sounds like something we can all get behind. That was the idea behind the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA), but there are colossal problems with this bill, including significant issues with accountability and transparency. First, CISA carves out the sharing of “cyber threat indicators” and “defensive measures” pursuant to this bill from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Though it should be avoided if at all…
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    The FOIA blog

  • McConnell's War on FOIA - Transportation Bill Edition

    scott hodes
    26 Jul 2015 | 12:44 pm
    The Senate Transportation bill has four FOIA Exemption 3 statutes within the bill.  None of these have gone before the Senate Judiciary Committee which is the  committee with jurisdiction on FOIA matters.  The provisions would allow information to be withheld under FOIA when certain threshold matters are met. Over the weekend, a number of public interest groups sent letters to the Senate opposing these provisions without a further examination of them. As this post is being written the Senate is debating and will be voting on the Transportation bill on…
  • New OGIS Director Named

    scott hodes
    23 Jul 2015 | 12:58 pm
    The Office of Government Information Services, an office of the National Archives and Records Administration has announced its new director, James Holzer.  More details can be found at FreedomInfo.
  • Understanding FOIA Operations

    scott hodes
    22 Jul 2015 | 6:47 am
    A reporter for the New York Post has made a FOIA request to the Commerce Department and because it has been delayed he believes that the Secretary of Commerce is to blame.  While the Secretary, as well as all heads of federal agencies are too blame for FOIA problems, it isn't because they are specifically blocking releases to requests on reporters.  Its because they are not insisting that FOIA operations be fully funded either in their own budgets or when testifying before Congress.  As such, Congress allows the status quo to go on where agencies must fund FOIA from…
  • NY Times FOIA Article - I'm quoted

    scott hodes
    19 Jul 2015 | 3:27 pm
    The New York Times has this article on journalist Jason Leopold and his many FOIA requests.  I'm quoted in the article.
  • CIA Ordered to Pay Over $400,000 in Attorney Fees

    scott hodes
    15 Jul 2015 | 12:35 pm
    Judge Royce Lamberth has ordered the CIA to pay over $400,000 in interim attorney fees to two attorneys in a decade old FOIA case.  The opinion can be found here.
 
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    FIRST AMENDMENT COALITION » News & Opinion

  • Georgia college president pays for violating student’s civil rights

    donal brown
    28 Jul 2015 | 12:55 pm
    An ex-student at Valdosta State University in Georgia won a $900,000 settlement in a First Amendment case. Without due process, the college’s president expelled Hayden Barnes in 2007 for a satirical Facebook posting protesting the plans for constructing two parking garages on campus. (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, July 23, 20125, press release) A […]
  • Free speech concerns force San Diego to retrench on tobacco regulation

    donal brown
    28 Jul 2015 | 12:02 pm
    San Diego dropped its ban on tobacco ads within 1,000 feet of schools, libraries, arcades, rec centers and child care facilities. The National Association of Tobacco Outlets alerted the city to a 2001 U.S. Supreme Court allowing truthful commercial speech promoting legal products. The city is retaining its restrictions on the sale of tobacco at […]
  • Free speech issue bubbles up with San Francisco regulation of sugary soft drinks

    donal brown
    28 Jul 2015 | 11:22 am
    A soda pop trade organization sued San Francisco to overturn laws banning ads on city property and requiring warning labels on sugary beverages. The American Beverage Association claims the law banning the industry’s ads violates their free speech rights. (San Francisco Chronicle, July 24, 2015, by Emily Green) The beverage industry is trying to claim […]
  • Associated Press announces modern history news archive on YouTube

    donal brown
    23 Jul 2015 | 12:21 pm
    The Associated Press is putting on YouTube over 550,000 video clips of historic events as far back as 1895. It will be the largest compilation of news content on YouTube. (Variety, July 22, 2015, by Todd Spangler) In a press release, AP said the archives will be a great public service, enabling not only documentary […]
  • Use of police bodycams has potential to enhance public trust

    donal brown
    23 Jul 2015 | 11:50 am
    In techdirt, July 22, 2015, Mike Masnick holds that the use of police body cams can only improve transparency and public trust in law enforcement if the footage is free of tampering. Questions have surfaced about the recently released video of the arrest of Sandra Bland in Texas that many think was edited. A video […]
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    IDOG

  • New Attorney General’s manuals out now include changes to Public Records, Open Meeting laws

    IDOG
    8 Jul 2015 | 11:37 am
    The Idaho Attorney General’s office has published new versions of its manuals on the Idaho Public Records Law, the Idaho Open meeting Law and the Ethics in Government law, to reflect changes enacted by the Legislature this year, including recodifying all three statutes into a new title of the Idaho Code entitled “Transparent and Ethical Government.” From Eye on Boise/The Spokesman-Review
  • Caldwell trustees mum on superintendent, assistant removal

    IDOG
    24 Jun 2015 | 10:30 am
    Residents of Caldwell packed the school district board room Monday night to address trustees with a host of questions and expressions of disappointment one week after the board removed Superintendent Tim Rosandick and Assistant Superintendent Luci Asumendi from active duty status. From the Idaho Press-Tribune
  • Government seeks to shield terrorism witnesses from view

    IDOG
    10 Jun 2015 | 8:52 am
    Prosecutors want to hide two witnesses behind a screen in an upcoming terrorism trial to shield their identities from the public and allow them to testify using made-up names. From the Idaho Statesman
  • Open process to seek new Idaho Court of Appeals judge yields four finalists: Three women, one man

    IDOG
    1 Jun 2015 | 10:26 am
    Here’s an interesting contrast: While Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch pursue a secret process to name a recommended replacement for longtime U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge, who will take senior status July 3, a much different and more open process is under way to replace the retiring state Court of Appeals Judge Karen Lansing. From Eye on Boise/The Spokesman-Review
  • Idaho senators’ secret selection process for new federal judge raises questions

    IDOG
    27 Apr 2015 | 8:38 am
    It seems that women need not apply to the federal district court bench in Idaho. A secretive selection process that Idaho’s two senators have launched to find a replacement for U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge appears to be ignoring female candidates. From The Spokesman-Review
 
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    OpenSecrets Blog

  • Trash-talking Washington, but cleaning up with D.C. donors

    Alex Lazar
    29 Jul 2015 | 9:14 am
    Jeb Bush at a Central Florida pastors event in Orlando on Monday. (AP Photo/John Raoux) When former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) announced his run for the presidency back in June, he tried to cast himself as a Washington outsider — despite his family’s long-standing ties to the nation’s capital. “We are not going to clean up the mess in Washington by electing the people who either helped create it or have proven incapable of fixing it,” he said. Washingtonians seem to have thick skin, though — or at least selective hearing. The city and its environs ranked as…
  • Clinton first, Trump last on share of funds from women

    Alex Lazar
    27 Jul 2015 | 11:55 am
    Hillary Clinton speaking at NYU on Friday. (Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx) Whatever Hillary Clinton‘s gender gap may be in the polls, she’s able to raise money from men and women in roughly equal amounts — which puts her way ahead of the presidential candidate pack when it comes to bringing in contributions from her own sex. The former secretary of state has thus far raised 49.8 percent of her itemized individual contributions from women, totaling a little over $17.2 million, Center for Responsive Politics data shows. Although she has received slightly more money from men,…
  • FEC tells Bush campaign to clean up bookkeeping on nearly $257,000

    Will Tucker
    27 Jul 2015 | 11:34 am
    Republican presidential candidate former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush addresses guests during a gathering in Gorham, N.H., last Thursday. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Jeb Bush‘s campaign accepted prohibited or excessive contributions totaling $256,873 in the opening weeks of his campaign, including nearly $50,000 from donors who list an overseas address as their residence, according to a letter the Federal Election Commission sent the campaign Sunday. “The Bush campaign has some clean-up to do for the disclosure report it filed last week,” said Paul S. Ryan, senior counsel with the…
  • Three times as much agribusiness money, on average, for House members voting to bar GMO labeling

    Alex Lazar
    24 Jul 2015 | 1:41 pm
    (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) Thursday’s House passage of a bill that would keep states from requiring genetically modified foods to be labeled was a big — and not at all close — win for agribusiness and food and beverage interests. The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, known to its critics as the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act, sailed through by a vote of 275 to 150. While the bulk of its support came from the GOP and most of its opponents hailed from Democratic districts, the vote didn’t break cleanly along party lines. Among its 107 sponsors…
  • For GOP senators running for White House, campaign cash correlates with Export-Import Bank position

    Alex Lazar
    23 Jul 2015 | 9:07 am
    (Export-Import Bank) As the first 2016 GOP presidential debate draws near, candidates are staking out their policy positions. One area of debate: Whether or not to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, which Congress failed to do before its funding expired a few weeks ago. The agency, which helps finance American exports, has been accused by some of being an enabler of crony capitalism and corporate welfare, rather than a facilitator of small-business growth, as others portray it. All of the GOP candidates who are currently in the Senate have taken a stance on Ex-Im: Sens. Rand Paul…
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    Sunlight Foundation Blog

  • CISA is bad for accountability and transparency — and it must be stopped

    Sean Vitka
    28 Jul 2015 | 11:01 am
    (Image credit: Electronic Frontier Foundation) When someone shows up with a bill that promises to help secure America’s online infrastructure, it sounds like something we can all get behind. That was the idea behind the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA), but there are colossal problems with this bill, including significant issues with accountability and transparency. First, CISA carves out the sharing of “cyber threat indicators” and “defensive measures” pursuant to this bill from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Though it should be avoided if at all…
  • What is open design?

    Caitlin Weber
    27 Jul 2015 | 9:19 pm
    Designers, developers and communication staff collaboratively wirestorm for the landing page of a new tool. Open design is a means to producing a better product. It means sharing solutions, process and assets and gathering feedback from fellow designers, the design community and nondesigners alike. Sunlight has a long history as a proponent of open source technology. We use open source technologies to produce our tools, open source the code that we write for others to use and advocate for the same behavior from government. Open design aligns well with our organizational agenda for…
  • OpenGov Voices: More openness, less secrecy

    guest author Fritz Schwarz
    27 Jul 2015 | 9:24 am
    Fritz Schwarz, chief counsel of the Brennan Center Since the 1950s, America has slipped into more and more secrecy, a trend that was particularly exacerbated after Sept. 11. Of course, some government information is and should be secret. But far too much is classified as such and then kept this way for far too long. This shift undermines the pillars of American democracy. Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence said governments “deriv[e] their just powers from the consent of the governed.” In the Federalist Papers, Madison said that, through voting, the people are the “primary control…
  • DNC retreats, lifts ban on money from lobbyists and PACs

    Zachary Sorenson
    24 Jul 2015 | 12:05 pm
    Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, speaks at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo credit: Christopher Dilts, Obama for America) As it gears up for an expensive election, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has decided to loosen its restrictions and start accepting contributions for its national convention and presidential campaign accounts from lobbyists and political action committees, lifting a ban that has been in place for the past two presidential elections. Donors who want to support a presidential candidate can only…
  • Despite earmark ban, local governments hope for help from highway bill

    Nick Judd
    24 Jul 2015 | 8:56 am
    (Photo credit: Taber Andrew Bain/Flickr) The death of earmarks might make it more difficult for federal lawmakers to introduce old school pork-barrel politics into the highway bill now being discussed in the U.S. Senate, but it also means that local officials have fewer ways to get help to fund big infrastructure projects of their own. Lawmakers are expected to work through the weekend on legislation that would refill the Highway Trust Fund and other vehicles for financing transportation infrastructure. In years past, these "highway bills" came complete with long lists of narrow-bore line…
 
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    Deeplinks

  • Is Canada Set to Cave on Copyright Term Extension in the TPP?

    Michael Geist
    29 Jul 2015 | 9:32 am
    The following is a guest post from Michael Geist, law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations have attracted considerable attention in Canada in recent weeks as the political consequences of dismantling agricultural protections loom large with a national elections scheduled for the fall. Much of the case for caving on those issues focuses on concerns that failing to join the TPP will leave Canada out of a major trading block. Yet the reality is that Canada already has free…
  • Week of Action Opposing CISA: Over 400,000 Faxes Sent At Halfway Point

    Mark Jaycox
    28 Jul 2015 | 11:55 pm
    We're halfway through our Week of Action opposing the privacy-invasive "cybersecurity" bill CISA. This is the fifth time in as many years that Congress is trying to pass an information-sharing bill. The Week of Action aims to stop a rumored vote on the bill before Congress leaves for a 5-week vacation on August 7. We're only three days in and over 400,000 faxes have been sent to the Senate opposing CISA. Join us now in the Week of Action. Today we'll be hosting a Reddit AMA starting at 10am ET/7am PT diving deeper into why this zombie bill must be stopped.  CISA Must be Stopped  CISA…
  • EFF and ACLU of Southern California Urge California Supreme Court to Grant Review in Automated License Plate Reader Case

    Jennifer Lynch
    28 Jul 2015 | 9:29 pm
    EFF and the ACLU of Southern California urged the California Supreme Court in San Francisco to review our lawsuit seeking access to a week’s worth of automated license plate data collected by the Los Angeles Police and Sheriff’s Departments. The California Court of Appeal last spring sided with the agencies and ruled that these data—gathered on about three million vehicles in Los Angeles every week—could be withheld as “records of law enforcement investigations.” This case has significant precedential impact, setting a troubling standard allowing police to keep these records and…
  • Secret TPP Talks Continue at a Luxury Hotel in Hawaii as the Deal Grows More Controversial

    Maira Sutton
    28 Jul 2015 | 5:54 pm
    Trade ministers are meeting behind closed-doors at the Westin Resort and Spa in Maui this week to finalize the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This is the first formal round of talks since the U.S. passed the controversial Fast Track trade legislation in June, which has given U.S. negotiators a renewed sense of determination as they continue to push TPP's corporate-driven mandate on intellectual property and digital regulations. The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) seeks to wrap up talks by the end of the week. According to recent reports, the U.S. is still pushing for copyright…
  • Ethiopia Promises Reform, But Has a Long Way To Go on Civil Liberties

    Sarah Myers West
    28 Jul 2015 | 3:27 pm
    Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn praised the value of the press in his remarks after a state visit with Barack Obama, saying "as far as Ethiopia is concerned, we need journalists.” But almost in the same breath, he called for limits on free expression, suggesting Ethiopia’s domestic journalists work with violent terrorist groups.  His comments are reflective of the country’s long-established record of human rights abuse and violation of the right to free expression in Ethiopia, including the prosecution and arrest of journalists on terrorism charges, the issuing of…
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    The Fine Print: blog posts from Center for Effective Government

  • New White House Initiative on FOIA Expands Government Transparency

    sklinger
    27 Jul 2015 | 12:38 pm
    In the days following the 49th anniversary of the nation’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on July 4, the White House announced a new FOIA-related pilot program involving seven federal agencies. Under the new policy, dubbed “release to one is release to all,” agencies would post information released in response to any FOIA request on its website for all to see. This is a big win for the transparency community, which has been asking for this for years. The U.S. Environmental Protection Policy (EPA) has had this policy in place since 2013. Joining EPA in the new initiative…
  • Udderly Ridiculous: U.S. Trade Negotiators Try to Milk Dairy Concessions from Canadians

    sklinger
    24 Jul 2015 | 11:56 am
    With the president successfully wrangling “fast track” negotiating authority for the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, U.S. negotiators face new hurdles as they press our Canadian neighbors to open their dairy markets to global competition. This issue may be one of the stickiest ones on the table as global negotiators meet next week in Hawaii to continue to work out the agreement. Canada has long sought to protect its vital dairy industry, succeeding in keeping it out of the 1988 U.S. –Canada trade treaty and the 1992 North American Free Trade…
  • Throwing a Wrench in the Revolving Door

    jschieder
    24 Jul 2015 | 8:07 am
    Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) recently introduced the Financial Services Conflict of Interest Act, which takes aim at the "revolving door." This term refers to people who move from the private sector, to public agencies or Capitol Hill offices, and back to private companies, often bringing undue corporate influence along for the ride. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) cosponsored the legislation. Current law is supposed to keep the revolving door in check but doesn't do enough to clamp down on obvious conflicts of interest. One…
  • Developing Nations Push Corporations to Pay Their Fair Share

    jschieder
    23 Jul 2015 | 6:10 am
    Developing nations gathered at the Third UN Conference on Financing for Development in Ethiopia earlier this month and pushed for a more equitable approach to taxes—they want corporations to pay their fair share and contribute to the well-being of the nations that benefit their bottom lines. International rules that have long benefitted wealthy nations and corporations are draining the developing world of financial resources. This sets up a system that is fundamentally unfair and encourages money laundering and other illegal activities. Unfortunately, as the UN conference drew to a…
  • Paving Our Roads with Broken Promises: A Rotten Idea

    sklinger
    23 Jul 2015 | 5:49 am
    With a week to go before funding for our nation’s Highway Trust Fund runs out, the Senate is working feverishly to pass legislation that would set a clear path for job-creating infrastructure spending over the next several years. Optimism rose early Monday when the outline of a six-year bipartisan bill crafted by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was revealed. The bill would provide three years of guaranteed funding, with the remaining three years to be worked out later. But by late afternoon that day, the bill had suffered its first setback, when eight Republicans…
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    Local Open Government Blog

  • Washington Court Holds Ballots Secret and Not Subject to Public Disclosure

    Steve DiJulio
    14 Jul 2015 | 2:55 pm
    The Washington Constitution, Article VI, Section 6 states: “The Legislature shall provide for such method of voting as will secure to every elector absolute secrecy in preparing and depositing his ballot.” This provision was central to a Washington Court of Appeals decision on July 13, 2015, rejecting a public records act request for “copies of electronic or digital image files” of ballots. White v. Skagit County and Island County, ___ Wn. App. ___, No. 72028-7 (Jul. 13, 2015). Following the 2013 Washington general election, Timothy White sent public records requests…
  • 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…
 
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    Sunlight Foundation Blog

  • CISA is bad for accountability and transparency — and it must be stopped

    Sean Vitka
    28 Jul 2015 | 11:01 am
    (Image credit: Electronic Frontier Foundation) When someone shows up with a bill that promises to help secure America’s online infrastructure, it sounds like something we can all get behind. That was the idea behind the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA), but there are colossal problems with this bill, including significant issues with accountability and transparency. First, CISA carves out the sharing of “cyber threat indicators” and “defensive measures” pursuant to this bill from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Though it should be avoided if at all…
  • What is open design?

    Caitlin Weber
    27 Jul 2015 | 9:19 pm
    Designers, developers and communication staff collaboratively wirestorm for the landing page of a new tool. Open design is a means to producing a better product. It means sharing solutions, process and assets and gathering feedback from fellow designers, the design community and nondesigners alike. Sunlight has a long history as a proponent of open source technology. We use open source technologies to produce our tools, open source the code that we write for others to use and advocate for the same behavior from government. Open design aligns well with our organizational agenda for…
  • OpenGov Voices: More openness, less secrecy

    guest author Fritz Schwarz
    27 Jul 2015 | 9:24 am
    Fritz Schwarz, chief counsel of the Brennan Center Since the 1950s, America has slipped into more and more secrecy, a trend that was particularly exacerbated after Sept. 11. Of course, some government information is and should be secret. But far too much is classified as such and then kept this way for far too long. This shift undermines the pillars of American democracy. Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence said governments “deriv[e] their just powers from the consent of the governed.” In the Federalist Papers, Madison said that, through voting, the people are the “primary control…
  • DNC retreats, lifts ban on money from lobbyists and PACs

    Zachary Sorenson
    24 Jul 2015 | 12:05 pm
    Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, speaks at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo credit: Christopher Dilts, Obama for America) As it gears up for an expensive election, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has decided to loosen its restrictions and start accepting contributions for its national convention and presidential campaign accounts from lobbyists and political action committees, lifting a ban that has been in place for the past two presidential elections. Donors who want to support a presidential candidate can only…
  • Despite earmark ban, local governments hope for help from highway bill

    Nick Judd
    24 Jul 2015 | 8:56 am
    (Photo credit: Taber Andrew Bain/Flickr) The death of earmarks might make it more difficult for federal lawmakers to introduce old school pork-barrel politics into the highway bill now being discussed in the U.S. Senate, but it also means that local officials have fewer ways to get help to fund big infrastructure projects of their own. Lawmakers are expected to work through the weekend on legislation that would refill the Highway Trust Fund and other vehicles for financing transportation infrastructure. In years past, these "highway bills" came complete with long lists of narrow-bore line…
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    WordPress Tag: Open Government

  • Stop CISA

    aallwash
    28 Jul 2015 | 10:12 am
    By Elizabeth Holland Today, AALL joins a number a number of privacy advocates, civil liberties groups, security experts, and technology companies for a Day of Action in opposition to the Cyber Information Sharing Act (CISA, S. 754). Our message is simple: CISA is a bad bill. While this legislation promises security, in actuality, it does more to increase surveillance, undermine transparency, and leave your personal information vulnerable to attack than it does to protect against cyber threats. With the Senate slated to consider it in the coming weeks – even as early as next week– we…
  • Taking a broad view of National Whistleblower Appreciation Day

    MaryTreacy
    26 Jul 2015 | 8:59 am
    Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’  And there comes a time when   one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but we must take it because our conscience tells us that it is right. —Martin Luther King, Jr. Historically and generally speaking, the term “whistleblower” is most often applied to employees sharing tales of malfeasance in government entities or corporations. In recent months…
  • Register for the Open Government Public Meeting on July 30

    Meredith Stewart
    24 Jul 2015 | 11:10 am
    Please participate in the upcoming public meeting to discuss the development of the third US Open Government National Action Plan. We need your suggestions to help strengthen open government. Open Government Public Meeting Thursday, July 30, 2015 2:00 – 4:00 PM National Archives and Records Administration 700 Pennsylvania Ave, NW William G. McGowan Theater Washington, DC 20408 Register to attend. Please use the Special Events entrance at the corner of 7th and Constitution Ave for this event. The event will also be live-streamed on Whitehouse.gov/live. The Public Meeting will include…
  • NARA Participation in New FOIA Pilot

    usnationalarchives
    21 Jul 2015 | 12:16 pm
    Today’s post comes from Joseph Scanlon, NARA’s FOIA Officer July 4, 2015 was the 49th anniversary of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the law that embodies the Federal Government’s commitment to public accountability through transparency. On July 10, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Information Policy announced the launch of a new pilot program at seven agencies designed to test the feasibility of posting online FOIA responses so that they are available not just to the individual requester, but to the general public as well. NARA is participating in the pilot…
  • ACOG Agenda for 7/21/15

    townofrollinsford
    21 Jul 2015 | 7:16 am
    Advisory Committee on Open Government Tuesday, July  21, 2015 6:30 pm Rollinsford Grade School Agenda Old Business   Review minutes of 3/17/15 Updates Google Apps (calendar, minutes) Audio recording New Business Comcast renegotiation Next Meeting 3rd Tuesday of last month of quarter:  September 15, 2015
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    Sunlight Foundation Blog

  • CISA is bad for accountability and transparency — and it must be stopped

    Sean Vitka
    28 Jul 2015 | 11:01 am
    (Image credit: Electronic Frontier Foundation) When someone shows up with a bill that promises to help secure America’s online infrastructure, it sounds like something we can all get behind. That was the idea behind the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA), but there are colossal problems with this bill, including significant issues with accountability and transparency. First, CISA carves out the sharing of “cyber threat indicators” and “defensive measures” pursuant to this bill from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Though it should be avoided if at all…
  • What is open design?

    Caitlin Weber
    27 Jul 2015 | 9:19 pm
    Designers, developers and communication staff collaboratively wirestorm for the landing page of a new tool. Open design is a means to producing a better product. It means sharing solutions, process and assets and gathering feedback from fellow designers, the design community and nondesigners alike. Sunlight has a long history as a proponent of open source technology. We use open source technologies to produce our tools, open source the code that we write for others to use and advocate for the same behavior from government. Open design aligns well with our organizational agenda for…
  • OpenGov Voices: More openness, less secrecy

    guest author Fritz Schwarz
    27 Jul 2015 | 9:24 am
    Fritz Schwarz, chief counsel of the Brennan Center Since the 1950s, America has slipped into more and more secrecy, a trend that was particularly exacerbated after Sept. 11. Of course, some government information is and should be secret. But far too much is classified as such and then kept this way for far too long. This shift undermines the pillars of American democracy. Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence said governments “deriv[e] their just powers from the consent of the governed.” In the Federalist Papers, Madison said that, through voting, the people are the “primary control…
  • DNC retreats, lifts ban on money from lobbyists and PACs

    Zachary Sorenson
    24 Jul 2015 | 12:05 pm
    Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, speaks at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo credit: Christopher Dilts, Obama for America) As it gears up for an expensive election, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has decided to loosen its restrictions and start accepting contributions for its national convention and presidential campaign accounts from lobbyists and political action committees, lifting a ban that has been in place for the past two presidential elections. Donors who want to support a presidential candidate can only…
  • Despite earmark ban, local governments hope for help from highway bill

    Nick Judd
    24 Jul 2015 | 8:56 am
    (Photo credit: Taber Andrew Bain/Flickr) The death of earmarks might make it more difficult for federal lawmakers to introduce old school pork-barrel politics into the highway bill now being discussed in the U.S. Senate, but it also means that local officials have fewer ways to get help to fund big infrastructure projects of their own. Lawmakers are expected to work through the weekend on legislation that would refill the Highway Trust Fund and other vehicles for financing transportation infrastructure. In years past, these "highway bills" came complete with long lists of narrow-bore line…
 
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    Federation Of American Scientists » Secrecy News Blog Posts

  • China’s Stock Market Volatility, and More from CRS

    Steven Aftergood
    28 Jul 2015 | 8:42 am
    Noteworthy new and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has withheld from online public distribution include the following. China’s Recent Stock Market Volatility: What Are the Implications?, CRS Insights, July 20, 2015 Can Military Servicemembers Carry Firearms for Personal Protection on Duty?, CRS Insights, July 17, 2015 Department of Defense Contractor and Troop Levels in Iraq and Afghanistan: 2007-2014, July 22, 2015 Microbeads: An Emerging Water Quality Issue, CRS Insights, July 20, 2015 OPM Data Breach: Personnel Security Background Investigation…
  • Crowd-Sourcing the Treaty Verification Problem

    Steven Aftergood
    23 Jul 2015 | 6:28 am
    Verification of international treaties and arms control agreements such as the pending Iran nuclear deal has traditionally relied upon formal inspections backed by clandestine intelligence collection. But today, the widespread availability of sensors of many types complemented by social media creates the possibility of crowd-sourcing the verification task using open source data. “Never before has so much information and analysis been so widely and openly available. The opportunities for addressing future [treaty] monitoring challenges include the ability to track activity, materials and…
  • The Dark Web, and More from CRS

    Steven Aftergood
    16 Jul 2015 | 7:29 am
    A new report from the Congressional Research Service introduces the “Dark Web” and its implications for law enforcement and security. “The Dark Web is a general term that describes hidden Internet sites that users cannot access without using special software. Users access the Dark Web with the expectation of being able to share information and/or files with little risk of detection,” the CRS report said. “This report illuminates information on the various layers of the Internet, with a particular focus on the Dark Web. It discusses both legitimate and illicit…
  • Pluto Flyby Mission Powered by Plutonium

    Steven Aftergood
    7 Jul 2015 | 7:18 am
    News of the Earth these days is such that one welcomes news from elsewhere, especially when it concerns a prospect as spectacular as the impending flyby of Pluto by the NASA spacecraft New Horizons that will take place on July 14. In reality, of course, New Horizons also represents news from Earth, having been built by humans and launched from Cape Canaveral in January 2006. Moreover, the New Horizons probe is not simply a technological artifact; it is the result of a political process and a policy debate. At issue were not only the parameters of the mission — its scope, timing, budget,…
  • Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and More from CRS

    Steven Aftergood
    7 Jul 2015 | 6:58 am
    New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service include the following. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative: Lessons Learned and Issues for Congress, updated July 2, 2015 Acquisition Reform in House- and Senate-Passed Versions of the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1735), July 2, 2015 Iran’s Foreign Policy, updated June 30, 2015 Iran: Efforts to Achieve a Nuclear Accord, updated July 1, 2015 Puerto Rico’s Current Fiscal Challenges: In Brief, June 30, 2015 Burma’s Parliament Defeats Constitutional Amendments, CRS Insights, June 30, 2015 Ex-Im…
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    Free Proxy

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    14 Jul 2015 | 11:21 am
    Si vous allez sur un site web français et que certains contenus sont bloqués parce que vous ne résidez ...source Les derniers articles publiés sur Proxy Liste de proxy gratuit - Centerblog http://ift.tt/1CEPPHs
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    Coding Defined

  • [Solved] Duplicate collection role mapping in NHibernate

    Hemant Joshi
    29 Jul 2015 | 8:43 am
    In this post we are going to discuss about solving Server Error in '/' Application - Duplicate collection role mapping in NHibernate. This is a very common error in NHibernate which happens because two persistent classes with the same unqualified name is specified in your application. This exception will arise if you are attempting to assign two classes to the same name.The Stack Trace will read like[DuplicateMappingException: Duplicate collection role mapping ...]   NHibernate.Cfg.Mappings.AddCollection(Collection collection) +157 …
  • HTML5 Syntax's Simplicity

    Hemant Joshi
    25 Jul 2015 | 9:26 pm
    In this post we are going to discuss about the simplicity of HTML5 syntax's. The changes done to the elements in HTML5 goes towards a greater simplicity. In this post we are going to look at some examples highlighting the improvements done to these elements like doctype definition, optional type attribute in <link> and <script>, uppercase tag names, attributes values are optional etc.Simpler DOCTYPE declarationNow in HTML5 you do not have to write a complicated DOCTYPE declarations. DOCTYPEs in older version was complicated and longer because HTML language was SGML based and…
  • Introducing Bootstrap Forms

    Hemant Joshi
    22 Jul 2015 | 7:35 am
    In this post we are going to discuss about bootstrap forms and how easy is to create forms using Bootstrap. Bootstrap offers great support for collecting information from users, as well as providing feedback. You can create forms by adding the appropriate classes and HTML structure to your pages.Bootstrap provides you with Vertical Form, Inline Form and Horizontal Form. By default, forms in Bootstrap are displayed vertically.Creating Form ExampleStep 1 : Creating the form element. The first step of creating form in bootstrap is to add a form element. By default it will be vertical form. If…
  • Enhance Data Display using Carousel in Bootstrap

    Hemant Joshi
    19 Jul 2015 | 3:21 am
    In this post we are going to learn about enhancing data display using carousel in Bootstrap. In our previous posts we have seen that how we can enhance data display using Tabs, using Accordion and using Scrollspy. A carousel is a paging data display which is ideal for looping through group of photos or advertisements.Lets say you want to display a group of photos or a group of advertisements through scrolling one at a time, then you can use bootstrap Carousel. The carousel control is divided into four parts. The first part is the container for the carousel. Second part is…
  • Edit Server Files without Restarting Server in NodeJS

    Hemant Joshi
    16 Jul 2015 | 8:56 am
    In this post we are going to learn about how to edit server files without restarting nodejs server and see the changes live. Lets say you are doing some live testing of your application and wanted to edit the server file to see the changes without restarting the server every-time then you can use 'node-supervisor' or 'nodules' modules.Node-SupervisorAccording to node-supervisor, it is a little supervisor for nodejs. It runs your program and watches for code changes, so you can have hot-code reloading-ish behavior, without worrying about memory leaks and making sure you clean up all the…
 
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    FOIA Advisor

  • FOIA News: DHS proposes revisions to FOIA regulations

    Allan Blutstein
    29 Jul 2015 | 5:56 am
    Per today's notice in the Federal Register, the Department of Homeland Security has proposed to revise its FOIA regulations in order to "eliminate the provision for 'brick and mortar'’ public reading rooms, amend DHS rules for third-party requests for records, and add information about proactive DHS disclosures."
  • FOIA News: State Dep't proposes amendments to FOIA regulations

    Allan Blutstein
    28 Jul 2015 | 4:10 am
    The Federal Register notice published today is available here.  Comments may be submitted by September 28, 2015.   
  • Q&A: access to names of federal job applicants

    Allan Blutstein
    27 Jul 2015 | 6:58 pm
    Q.   Can a requester request the names of candidates that were interviewed for a position/job in the federal government? I know that when a requester requests the names of individuals who are on the job certificate, they only see their name/information and no one else.  A.  Courts consistently have found that agencies may withhold information about unsuccessful applicants on the grounds that their privacy interests outweigh the public interests in disclosure.  See, e.g., Neary v. Fed. Deposit Ins. Corp. (D.D.C. 2015) (ruling that agency properly…
  • Q&A: bid information from University of Florida

    Allan Blutstein
    26 Jul 2015 | 11:28 am
    Q.   I  requested bid information from the University of Florida and received no response within the time limit.  What are my options?A.    As you may know, the Florida Public Records Act does not identify the specific number of days within which a public entity must respond to a public records request.   If a response in unreasonably delayed, however, you may seek mediation through the Office of the Attorney General Open Government Mediation Program, file a complaint with your local state attorney, or file a lawsuit in court.Please note…
  • Court opinion issued July 23, 2015

    Allan Blutstein
    25 Jul 2015 | 11:14 am
    Skrzypek v. Fed. Bureau of Investigation (N.D. Ill.) -- granting FBI's unopposed motion for summary judgment and dismissing claim concerning the adequacy of agency's search.Summaries of all cases since April 2015 are available here
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