Freedom of Information

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  • FOIA Bill's Death - DOJ Role?

    The FOIA blog
    scott hodes
    18 Dec 2014 | 7:35 am
    Here's a report from boing boing discussing the death of the FOIA amendments in the House of Representatives.  The report discusses a Washington Post article that says that agencies, including the Department of Justice (DOJ) lobbied lawmakers to kill the bill because making the "foreseeable harm" test statutory would lead to more FOIA litigation.  This argument is merely that, an argument.  There is no proof that making the standard statutory would lead to more FOIA litigation.  FOIA litigation is expensive for requesters to bring - the cost of…
  • “The Interview”: Censorship prevails in withdrawal of film about North Korean leader

    FIRST AMENDMENT COALITION » News & Opinion
    donal brown
    18 Dec 2014 | 12:33 pm
    Theater chain owners are removing “The Interview” from their theaters concerned about the chance of terrorist attacks on their customers. The film depicts journalists assigned to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un portrayed in negatively. (The Los Angeles Times, December 16, 2014, by Richard Verrier and Ryan Faughnder) Steve Kovach of Business Insider, December 17, […]
  • Idaho cities, counties wary of proposed public-records review process

    IDOG
    IDOG
    16 Dec 2014 | 5:09 pm
    In Idaho, citizens are solely responsible for enforcing the state's public records laws. If an agency wrongfully denies access to a public record, a citizen's lone remedy is a lawsuit, which can be a costly and intimidating process. From the Idaho Statesman
  • Sony No Stranger to Hacks, Has Lobbied on Cybersecurity Since 2008

    OpenSecrets Blog
    John Sugden
    20 Dec 2014 | 7:00 am
    Sony Pictures has pulled its film The Interview after the hack and a series of threats.(Wikimedia Commons/Coolcaesar) The U.S. government Friday officially accused North Korea of being behind the recent, massive hack of emails and other confidential information at Sony Pictures, and the studio nixed its planned release of “The Interview.” But this isn’t the first time that Sony has been sweating an embarrassing data breach. In 2011, Tim Schaaff — then president of Sony Network Entertainment — sat before a House Commerce subcommittee and faced questions over the…
  • The Week on Politwoops: A regal Rep., Christmas is for kids and an error from a dog, staffer

    Sunlight Foundation Blog
    Nicko Margolies
    19 Dec 2014 | 2:22 pm
    Image via Politwoops. This week's roundup of deletions archived by Politwoops include a purple bedecked congresswoman, retaking a holiday from unknown detractors and a refreshing explanation on a bizarre deletion. We start with the image to the right of Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, that was shared from her official House Twitter account with the message, "Regality at its finest..straight from District 30." The oddly self-aggrandizing tweet was deleted after 21 hours and it's unclear if this tweet was a staffer logged into the wrong account, or if it originated from Johnson herself.
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    The FOIA blog

  • FOIA Bill's Death - DOJ Role?

    scott hodes
    18 Dec 2014 | 7:35 am
    Here's a report from boing boing discussing the death of the FOIA amendments in the House of Representatives.  The report discusses a Washington Post article that says that agencies, including the Department of Justice (DOJ) lobbied lawmakers to kill the bill because making the "foreseeable harm" test statutory would lead to more FOIA litigation.  This argument is merely that, an argument.  There is no proof that making the standard statutory would lead to more FOIA litigation.  FOIA litigation is expensive for requesters to bring - the cost of…
  • Press Shouldering Blame For FOIA Reform Failure

    scott hodes
    15 Dec 2014 | 6:50 am
    The Columbia Journalism Review has this on the mainstreams press abetting Congress in failing to pass FOIA legislation this session. Big media and the FOIA have always had a strange relationship.  They don't often use the FOIA because of time delays in getting information.  They don't often sue because of the perceived costs in the litigation (big media uses big law which costs more than those of us independent attorneys who regularly practice FOIA law).  Thus, big media generally isn't interested in FOIA issues which of course is not what logic tells you because…
  • FOIA Bill Likely Dead For Congressional Session

    scott hodes
    12 Dec 2014 | 7:42 am
    Assuming the House of Representatives doesn't have to come back to pass any budget related matters, it is likely that the FOIA bill is dead for this congressional session.  Newsweek has this on the bill. Advocates of the bill have been saying it is unlikely that the bill can pass during the next Congress, but I'm not entirely sure of that -- past FOIA bills have had to come up in multiple congresses before passing. Either way, the fact that the bill was very close and was tabled because of the influence of lobbyists that found a problem in the legislation that didn't even…
  • FOIA Legislation Update

    scott hodes
    11 Dec 2014 | 10:03 am
    It looks like a FOIA bill passing this session is a slim possibility.  OpentheGovernment.org has this update, in which they cite Speaker of the House Boehner (R-OH) saying "he has no knowledge of the plan" to pass the FOIA bill.  The best hope for this bill would be a government shutdown that causes Congress to stay in session - I'm not saying that is a good thing for the country overall, its just the only way a FOIA bill could pass.  Call it a FOIA hail mary.
  • Banking Lobbyists Holding FOIA Bill Hostage

    scott hodes
    10 Dec 2014 | 2:02 pm
    This is breaking - Freedominfo.org is reporting that unnamed anonymous banking lobbyists are urging certain House members to stop a vote on the FOIA amendments.  The bill needs to be placed on the schedule today or it dies for the year. A few points to ponder - the FOIA bill does absolutely nothing to change the way banking material is treated under the FOIA.  If anything, the bill is a lost opportunity to loosen up what is treated as bank information under FOIA exemption 8.  This exemption is used much more since the banks (who are the ones allegedly…
 
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    FIRST AMENDMENT COALITION » News & Opinion

  • “The Interview”: Censorship prevails in withdrawal of film about North Korean leader

    donal brown
    18 Dec 2014 | 12:33 pm
    Theater chain owners are removing “The Interview” from their theaters concerned about the chance of terrorist attacks on their customers. The film depicts journalists assigned to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un portrayed in negatively. (The Los Angeles Times, December 16, 2014, by Richard Verrier and Ryan Faughnder) Steve Kovach of Business Insider, December 17, […]
  • Free Speech: Supreme Court to decide thorny issue of messages on state license plates

    donal brown
    18 Dec 2014 | 12:13 pm
    The case before the U.S. Supreme Court on whether Texas can ban a license plate with the Confederate flag after the Fifth Circuit appeals court held that the specialty plates are private speech so can’t be restricted by the state. The appeals court found that the state was practicing viewpoint discrimination in banning the plate. […]
  • California: Police keep tech surveillance under wraps

    donal brown
    18 Dec 2014 | 11:27 am
    With scant transparency, California police departments are spending millions on surveillance technology including license plate readers. Reporters and civil rights groups are meeting stiff resistance when they try to learn the details of department policies, practices and expenditures. (Pasadena Weekly, December 11, 2014, by Andre Coleman) The Electronic Freedom Foundation and the American Civil Liberties […]
  • Mississippi student wins First Amendment case over his online rap criticizing coaches

    donal brown
    16 Dec 2014 | 10:58 am
    A federal appeals court ruled for a Mississippi high school student suspended for posting a rap about coaches who he said were acting inappropriately with female students. The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that the student could not be punished by the school since he wrote the rap off campus and posted in […]
  • Pressures on media over whether to publish hacked Sony data

    donal brown
    16 Dec 2014 | 10:38 am
    Variety Co-Editor-in-Chief Andrew Wallenstein concludes after extensive analysis that reporters should report information hacked from Sony. Sony lawyers have warned the press not to publish the hacked documents that include scripts, film budgets, financial statements and executives’ e-mails. (Variety, December 14, 2014, by Brent Lang with Ted Johnson) But UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, The […]
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    IDOG

  • Idaho cities, counties wary of proposed public-records review process

    IDOG
    16 Dec 2014 | 5:09 pm
    In Idaho, citizens are solely responsible for enforcing the state's public records laws. If an agency wrongfully denies access to a public record, a citizen's lone remedy is a lawsuit, which can be a costly and intimidating process. From the Idaho Statesman
  • Standing-room only for Sandpoint open government workshop

    IDOG
    15 Dec 2014 | 3:20 pm
    It was standing-room only in Sandpoint as 75-plus people filled the Sandpoint Library’s community room for a workshop on Idaho’s open meeting and public records laws on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014 – a record turnout for Sandpoint, which had half as big a crowd the last time IDOG’s open government sessions came to town in 2011.
  • Trio of takeaways from workshop

    IDOG
    14 Dec 2014 | 3:26 pm
    Three things became clear in a hurry Wednesday night at the Coeur d'Alene Inn. One, Lawrence Wasden, Idaho's outstanding attorney general, missed his true calling. He should be in the movies. Editorial from the Coeur d'Alene Press
  • Workshops cover Idaho open government laws

    IDOG
    14 Dec 2014 | 3:23 pm
    It was standing-room only in Sandpoint late last week as 75-plus people filled the Sandpoint Library’s community room for a three-hour workshop on Idaho’s open meeting and public records laws. There were four such sessions in North Idaho in as many days, all sponsored by Idahoans for Openness in Government and featuring Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden. From The Spokesman-Review
  • Sandpoint bars the public from rail issues meeting

    IDOG
    12 Dec 2014 | 3:21 pm
    City of Sandpoint officials deny violating the state's open meeting law the same day Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden was in town to educate officials and the public on that very law. From the Coeur d'Alene Press
 
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    OpenSecrets Blog

  • Sony No Stranger to Hacks, Has Lobbied on Cybersecurity Since 2008

    John Sugden
    20 Dec 2014 | 7:00 am
    Sony Pictures has pulled its film The Interview after the hack and a series of threats.(Wikimedia Commons/Coolcaesar) The U.S. government Friday officially accused North Korea of being behind the recent, massive hack of emails and other confidential information at Sony Pictures, and the studio nixed its planned release of “The Interview.” But this isn’t the first time that Sony has been sweating an embarrassing data breach. In 2011, Tim Schaaff — then president of Sony Network Entertainment — sat before a House Commerce subcommittee and faced questions over the…
  • Dems Won’t Be Missing Cuban Money They Weren’t Getting

    Russ Choma
    19 Dec 2014 | 9:58 am
    Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush speaking at a fundraiser for the U.S.-Cuba Democracy PAC that raked in $200,000 in November. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter) Wednesday’s decision by President Barack Obama to normalize relations with Cuba left many Cuban-Americans and their political allies seething. Obama cited a number of reasons for his move, but one he didn’t menton is likely that the group of wealthy Cuban-Americans who have played such an active role in supporting politicians who opposed normalizing relations simply aren’t viewed as the political threat they once were.
  • New Cuba Policy Strikes Blow to Anti-Castro Lobby

    John Sugden
    17 Dec 2014 | 1:37 pm
    This screen shot taken from live video from the TN channel shows President Barack Obama, right, and Cuba’s President Raul Castro addressing their nations at the same time, from Washington D.C. and Havana, on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Obama announced the re-establishment of diplomatic relations as well as an easing in economic and travel restrictions on Cuba Wednesday. (AP Photo) The Obama Administration dealt a major blow to the anti-Castro Cuba lobby today, announcing the United States and Cuba would engage in a regular diplomatic relationship for the first time in more than 50 years.
  • Jeb Bush’s Rivals Already Running

    Russ Choma
    17 Dec 2014 | 12:03 pm
    Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz share the podium in July 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File) Former Florida Governor and ex-First Brother Jeb Bush announced his plans to start a fundraising committee next month, and immediately some big names in GOP money — such as Florida developer Mel Sembler — got behind him. Bush has recently proven his ability to raise big bucks, but some of Bush’s likely competitors for the 2016 GOP nomination already have a head start. Three of them — Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Ted Cruz (Texas) — have the advantage of a…
  • Club for Growth Names New President After Lackluster Returns in ’14

    John Sugden
    16 Dec 2014 | 9:51 am
    McIntosh will officially become president Jan. 1.(Flickr/Mark Kimpel) Following mixed results in the 2014 midterms, Club for Growth last week announced a change of leadership. As of Jan. 1, former Indiana Rep. David McIntosh (R) will replace current Club president Chris Chocola, whose tenure saw the group go through ups and downs. Club chairman Jackson T. Stephens Jr. praised the outgoing president in a statement, saying “under Chris Chocola’s leadership, the Club for Growth made tremendous gains in the fight for economic freedom and individual liberty.” The group’s…
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    Sunlight Foundation Blog

  • The Week on Politwoops: A regal Rep., Christmas is for kids and an error from a dog, staffer

    Nicko Margolies
    19 Dec 2014 | 2:22 pm
    Image via Politwoops. This week's roundup of deletions archived by Politwoops include a purple bedecked congresswoman, retaking a holiday from unknown detractors and a refreshing explanation on a bizarre deletion. We start with the image to the right of Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, that was shared from her official House Twitter account with the message, "Regality at its finest..straight from District 30." The oddly self-aggrandizing tweet was deleted after 21 hours and it's unclear if this tweet was a staffer logged into the wrong account, or if it originated from Johnson herself.
  • OpenGov Voices: How California's putting big local government data online

    guest author Marc Joffe
    19 Dec 2014 | 8:00 am
    Marc Joffe, founder of Public Sector Credit Solutions. Image credit: Public Sector Credit Solutions Many state governments in the U.S. collect and report local government data. These data compilation efforts are often many decades old and deeply rooted in the hardcopy delivery methods that prevailed before the digital age. Recently, the California State Controller’s Office (SCO) has started to replace its traditional reports with big, open, machine-readable and visualizable data sets. In California, state reporting on local government can be traced all the way back to a 1911 law that…
  • A holiday surprise from our friends at Cards Against Humanity

    Gabriela Schneider
    19 Dec 2014 | 7:46 am
  • In Japan, "fair" elections breed apathy and destroy competition

    Lindsay Ferris
    19 Dec 2014 | 6:00 am
    Photo of Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe Information about money in elections needs to be open and transparent -- this is a mantra you’ve heard before. But, here’s something new: in Japan, there may not be enough money in elections to make them competitive. In Sunday’s elections, the Liberal Democrats (LDP) retained their majority in parliament by a landslide, securing another four years in office for Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. However, the sweep of the self-proclaimed referendum of the current economic policy, “Abenomics,” doesn’t necessarily indicate a glowing endorsement of either…
  • Major updates to bulk legislative data announced

    Matthew Rumsey
    18 Dec 2014 | 2:40 pm
    Photo credit: Architect of the Capitol. Today's meeting of the Legislative Branch Bulk Data Task Force produced some major news. Specifically, there will be a lot of new bulk legislative data in the new year. The newly renamed Government Publishing Office (GPO) has been making bills from the House of Representatives available for bulk download in XML format for nearly two years. Now it appears the Senate will finally be joining the fun. Even better, both chambers are closer than ever to releasing bill status information in XML. That addition was promised sometime next year. Not to be out…
 
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    Deeplinks

  • It Doesn't Matter Who Does the Lobbying: Trade Agreements Aren't the Place for Internet Regulations

    Maira Sutton
    19 Dec 2014 | 2:22 pm
    The Associated Whistleblowing Press released portions of draft text proposed by the United States for the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) this week, revealing some alarming provisions that indicate how tech companies have been involved in influencing a secret international deal. The language of the leaked treaty shows provisions that could impact privacy online, and net neutrality—with no public consultation or opportunities for open debate. What is dispiriting is some of the language of these Internet regulations almost certainly comes from tech companies, who have joined the many other…
  • As Hollywood Funds a SOPA Revival Through State Officials, Google (And The Internet) Respond

    Parker Higgins
    19 Dec 2014 | 11:10 am
    Almost three years ago, millions of Internet users joined together to defeat the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a disastrous bill that would have balkanized the Internet in the name of copyright and trademark enforcement. Over the past week, we've been tracking a host of revelations about an insidious campaign to accomplish the goals of SOPA by other means. The latest development: Google has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block enforcement of an overbroad and punitive subpoena seeking an extraordinary quantity of information about the company and its users. The subpoena, Google warns, is…
  • Crossword Puzzle 2014: The Year in Copyright News

    Dave Maass and Parker Higgins
    19 Dec 2014 | 10:52 am
    Over the last 12 months, IP spectators saw a lot of action in the arena of copyright and related law. We would tell you all about it, but that would be cheating. Instead, we'll leave you to test your knowledge on Crossword Puzzle Day, December 21. Download a printable PDF here, or play an unofficial interactive version hosted on GitHub by The Dod. ACROSS 2. Zoe ______,  member of Congress who received one of EFF’s 2014 Pioneer Awards, in part for her commitment to reforming the Digital Millennium Copyright Act 7. First name of the fictional detective who—thanks to the Supreme Court's…
  • EFF Asks Federal Circuit to Strike Down Overbroad Software Patents

    Daniel Nazer
    19 Dec 2014 | 9:47 am
    There are many reasons software patents cause so much trouble. The Patent Office does not do a good job reviewing software patent applications to see if they are claiming something new. And these patents often describe the purported invention with highly vague and ambiguous language. Software patents also tend to claim every way to solve a problem, rather than the particular solution developed by the applicant. This is known as functional claiming. While it may seem like an arcane legal dispute, functional claiming is a key feature of overbroad software patents. The Patent Act already…
  • EFF 2014 Holiday Wish List

    Eva Galperin
    18 Dec 2014 | 4:02 pm
    For the last three years, EFF has greeted the holiday season by publishing a list of things we'd like to see happen in the coming year. Sometimes these are actions we'd like to see taken by companies, and sometimes our wishes are aimed at governments, but we also include actions everyday people can take to advance our digital civil liberties. This year has seen great progress in areas such as transparency reports and encrypting digital communications. We want to build on that progress in 2015. Here are some of the things we're wishing for this holiday: News organizations and individual…
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    The Fine Print: blog posts from Center for Effective Government

  • Beef Industry Groups Meet to Discuss Sustainability but Leave with a Marketing Plan

    kvann
    19 Dec 2014 | 7:04 am
    A coalition of beef producers and major food companies met last month in Brazil to address an issue of increasing importance: the significant, harmful environmental impact of raising beef cattle in a world with a growing population and declining resources. Instead of developing a workable blueprint for sustainability, they walked away with a marketing manual. The meeting came shortly after the release of a recent United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that concluded that if humans chose to eat less meat, it would have a greater impact on reducing greenhouse gas…
  • New York State Moves to Ban Fracking, Citing Health Concerns

    afrank
    18 Dec 2014 | 9:27 am
    New York State officials gave residents an early Christmas present when they moved to ban high-volume hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) within state lines. The decision followed the release of a long-anticipated public health study that found many potential negative impacts from the natural gas drilling method. The announcement comes as a relief to state advocates who have been urging officials to ban fracking for years due to its environmental and public health risks. New York State has had a de facto ban on fracking since 2008 while officials awaited the release of an environmental impact…
  • Flow of Illicit Money Undermines Governments and Impedes Development

    jschieder
    16 Dec 2014 | 11:19 am
    A lack of transparency in the global financial system hinders the ability of governments worldwide to stop the flow of illicit money that comes from crimes like tax evasion, money laundering, and bribery. These illegal flows rob many poor nations of their opportunity to develop and thrive. Between 2003 and 2012, more than $6.6 trillion in illegal funds flowed out of developing nations, according to a new report by Global Financial Integrity (GFI). These illicit financial flows are growing at 9.4 percent, roughly twice as fast as global gross domestic product (GDP). The latest data reveals…
  • Congress Slashes EPA Budget Again Despite Strong Public Support for Strengthening Health Protections

    rwhite
    12 Dec 2014 | 9:23 am
    In a continuing effort to dismantle the ability of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to protect public health and the environment, Congress is poised to adopt a fiscal year 2015 budget that would reduce the agency's funding for the fifth year in a row. The $60 million cut in EPA’s budget, which builds on previous reductions, will bring the agency's staffing to its lowest level since 1989. These funding cuts are not surprising, given that anti-regulatory forces in Congress have made clear their intent to use the budget process to block EPA’s work.
  • Environment, Workers, and Financial Protections Among the Hardest Hit in 2015 Spending Bill

    jschieder
    11 Dec 2014 | 8:00 am
    UPDATE (12/17/14): The spending bill passed the House on Dec. 11 and the Senate on Dec. 13. President Obama signed the legislation on Dec. 16. With just two days remaining to avert another government shutdown, congressional leaders released a much-anticipated $1 trillion funding package on Tuesday night, setting spending levels for the vast majority of federal agencies through Sept. 30, 2015. The legislation delivers big blows to critical public protections and the resources we need to make investments in infrastructure and public protections. The priorities included in the bill reflect…
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    Local Open Government Blog

  • Washington Supreme Court Orders Attorney Fees And Costs To Requester For Agency's Violation Of PRA's "Brief Explanation" Requirement

    Adrian Urquhart Winder
    15 Dec 2014 | 1:14 pm
    The Public Records Act (PRA) requires that when an agency withholds or redacts records, its response “shall include a statement of the specific exemption authorizing the withholding of the record (or part) and a brief explanation of how the exemption applies to the record withheld.”  RCW 42.56.210(3).  In a 5-4 decision, the Washington Supreme Court held in City of Lakewood v. Koenig that an agency’s violation of this requirement entitles the requester to attorney fees and costs, regardless of whether the records were properly withheld. In this case, David Koenig…
  • Everett Herald Reports on PRA Records Dating Before there was a United States!

    Steve DiJulio
    25 Nov 2014 | 2:23 pm
    On November 25, 2014, the Everett [WA] Herald reported that a man has requested records from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office dating to July 4, 1776.  Perhaps the requestor was not much of a student of history, as Snohomish County was created by the Washington Territorial Legislature on January 14, 1861 (out of Island County).  Click here for the story. Unfortunately, the Washington Public Record Act (PRA) does not provide ready relief to public agencies facing such absurd requests.  Only if the requester is an inmate is there opportunity for relief.  See…
  • Appellate Court Holds the Wisconsin Counties Association Not Subject to Public Records Law

    Steve DiJulio
    11 Nov 2014 | 2:15 pm
    The Wisconsin Counties Association (WCA)  is an unincorporated not-for-profit association of that State’s counties.  The Wisconsin Professional Police Association submitted two requests for records to the WCA under the Wisconsin Public Records Law.  Wisconsin courts previously recognized that under a ”totality of the circumstances” test an entity may be a quasi-governmental organization that resembles a governmental corporation and  subject to the Public Records Law.  That holding even applied to a private corporation.  This is similar to the…
  • Washington Appellate Court Addresses, Again, PRA Statute Of Limitations For Single Production Responses - Is The Air Clearing?

    Adrian Urquhart Winder
    4 Nov 2014 | 2:37 pm
    In 2005, the Washington Legislature amended the Public Records Act to shorten the statute of limitations from five years to one year.  See Laws of 2005, ch. 483, § 5; former RCW 42.17.410.  Actions for judicial review under RCW 42.56.550 now “must be filed within one year of the agency’s claim of exemption or the last production of a record on a partial or installment basis.”  RCW 42.56.550(6).  Since this amendment, however, appellate courts have given the statute inconsistent treatment in cases involving single productions where no exemptions were…
  • Recent PRA Litigation Missteps: Abandoned Claims, False Starts

    Foster Pepper
    22 Oct 2014 | 4:33 pm
    By Milt Rowland and Lee Marchisio Abandoned Claims.  In West v. Gregoire, Division II of the Court of Appeals held that a PRA requestor who moves for a show cause order under RCW 42.56.550(1) abandons any claims he or she does not either (1) address in briefing, (2) mention in oral argument, or (3) otherwise specifically preserve for judicial review.  Arthur West submitted a public records request to Governor Gregoire’s office.  After providing West an initial five‑day letter, the Governor’s office did not further communicate for several…
 
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    Sunlight Foundation Blog

  • The Week on Politwoops: A regal Rep., Christmas is for kids and an error from a dog, staffer

    Nicko Margolies
    19 Dec 2014 | 2:22 pm
    Image via Politwoops. This week's roundup of deletions archived by Politwoops include a purple bedecked congresswoman, retaking a holiday from unknown detractors and a refreshing explanation on a bizarre deletion. We start with the image to the right of Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, that was shared from her official House Twitter account with the message, "Regality at its finest..straight from District 30." The oddly self-aggrandizing tweet was deleted after 21 hours and it's unclear if this tweet was a staffer logged into the wrong account, or if it originated from Johnson herself.
  • OpenGov Voices: How California's putting big local government data online

    guest author Marc Joffe
    19 Dec 2014 | 8:00 am
    Marc Joffe, founder of Public Sector Credit Solutions. Image credit: Public Sector Credit Solutions Many state governments in the U.S. collect and report local government data. These data compilation efforts are often many decades old and deeply rooted in the hardcopy delivery methods that prevailed before the digital age. Recently, the California State Controller’s Office (SCO) has started to replace its traditional reports with big, open, machine-readable and visualizable data sets. In California, state reporting on local government can be traced all the way back to a 1911 law that…
  • A holiday surprise from our friends at Cards Against Humanity

    Gabriela Schneider
    19 Dec 2014 | 7:46 am
  • In Japan, "fair" elections breed apathy and destroy competition

    Lindsay Ferris
    19 Dec 2014 | 6:00 am
    Photo of Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe Information about money in elections needs to be open and transparent -- this is a mantra you’ve heard before. But, here’s something new: in Japan, there may not be enough money in elections to make them competitive. In Sunday’s elections, the Liberal Democrats (LDP) retained their majority in parliament by a landslide, securing another four years in office for Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe. However, the sweep of the self-proclaimed referendum of the current economic policy, “Abenomics,” doesn’t necessarily indicate a glowing endorsement of either…
  • Major updates to bulk legislative data announced

    Matthew Rumsey
    18 Dec 2014 | 2:40 pm
    Photo credit: Architect of the Capitol. Today's meeting of the Legislative Branch Bulk Data Task Force produced some major news. Specifically, there will be a lot of new bulk legislative data in the new year. The newly renamed Government Publishing Office (GPO) has been making bills from the House of Representatives available for bulk download in XML format for nearly two years. Now it appears the Senate will finally be joining the fun. Even better, both chambers are closer than ever to releasing bill status information in XML. That addition was promised sometime next year. Not to be out…
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    Federation Of American Scientists » Secrecy News Blog Posts

  • Dept of State Delays Release of Iran History

    Steven Aftergood
    18 Dec 2014 | 6:45 am
    The U.S. Department of State has blocked the publication of a long-awaited documentary history of U.S. covert action in Iran in the 1950s out of concern that its release could adversely affect ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. The controversial Iran history volume, part of the official Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series, had been slated for release last summer. (“History of 1953 CIA Covert Action in Iran to be Published,” Secrecy News, April 16, 2014). But senior State Department officials “decided to delay publication because of…
  • CRS Resources on Detention and Interrogation

    Steven Aftergood
    16 Dec 2014 | 12:55 pm
    New products from the Congressional Research Service obtained by Secrecy News include the following. Selected CRS Materials on Detention and Interrogation of Terrorist Suspects and Enemy Belligerents, CRS Legal Sidebar, December 16, 2014 The SSCI Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program: Issues to Consider, CRS Insights, December 16, 2014 Big Deal? U.S. Changes Stance on Cruelty Prohibition, CRS Legal Sidebar, December 16, 2014 Special Prosecutors: Investigations and Prosecutions of Police Use of Deadly Force, CRS Legal Sidebar, December 12, 2014 The post CRS Resources on…
  • Set Priorities for Declassification, Study Urges

    Steven Aftergood
    15 Dec 2014 | 7:48 am
    Each year millions of pages of government records are declassified that few if any members of the public will ever look at. This is an awkward fact which is not often discussed because it might call into question the whole declassification enterprise. “Statistical Records Relating to Ship Stability, 1918-67,” anyone? A new collection of declassified records on that subject was among those processed for release recently by the National Declassification Center. Like too many other such records, it seems unlikely to generate or to justify much public attention. In response to this…
  • Cybersecurity Information Sharing, and More from CRS

    Steven Aftergood
    15 Dec 2014 | 7:28 am
    New products from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has withheld from online public distribution include the following. Legislation to Facilitate Cybersecurity Information Sharing: Economic Analysis, December 11, 2014 FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act: Selected Military Personnel Issues, December 11, 2014 Analysis of H.R. 5781, California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014, December 11, 2014 Addressing the Long-Run Budget Deficit: A Comparison of Approaches, December 9, 2014 Cost-Benefit and Other Analysis Requirements in the Rulemaking Process, December 9, 2014…
  • CIA Torture Report: Oversight, But No Remedies Yet

    Steven Aftergood
    10 Dec 2014 | 7:49 am
    The release of the executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA’s post-9/11 interrogation program is, among other things, an epic act of record preservation. Numerous CIA records that might not have been disclosed for decades, or ever, were rescued from oblivion by the Senate report and are now indelibly cited and quoted, even if many of them are not yet released in full. That’s not a small thing, since the history of the CIA interrogation program was not a story that the Agency was motivated or equipped to tell. “The CIA informed the Committee that…
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    Free Proxy

  • Proxy Highly Anonymous Chine

    1 Dec 2014 | 1:53 am
    Comme chacun le sait Internet est très surveillé en Chine. L'Assemblée nationale populaire de la République ...source Les derniers articles publiés sur Proxy Liste de proxy gratuit - Centerblog http://ift.tt/1ytjUEi
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    18 Nov 2014 | 2:23 am
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    12 Nov 2014 | 2:38 am
    Liste de proxy IP Venezuela pour avoir une nouvelle adresse IP au Venezuela. Mais c'est quoi un serveur ...source Les derniers articles publiés sur Proxy Liste de proxy gratuit - Centerblog http://ift.tt/1wkre1d
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    27 Oct 2014 | 2:05 am
    Comment avoir Internet mobile en Italie ? En Italie, comme en France, il est parfois confus pour comprendre ...source Les derniers articles publiés sur Proxy Liste de proxy gratuit - Centerblog http://ift.tt/1rJMmfF
 
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  • Send email comfortably using Mailman in nodejs

    Hemant Joshi
    19 Dec 2014 | 7:53 pm
    Recently we got a mail seeking information about sending email in nodejs so in this post we will discuss about a new module called Mailman, where you can send emails in a comfortable way via models. It is developed by Vadim Demedes, you can find the source code here.PC : https://www.npmjs.com/package/mailmanThe features of mailman includes :It uses nodemailer to send out emails and uses consolidate.js to render email templates. As it uses consolidate.js thus supports a lot of templates. It is clean, simple and lightweight code base.It is very comfortable as it is…
  • Node for Android

    Hemant Joshi
    18 Dec 2014 | 9:12 am
    Yes, you heard it right, Node js is rewritten for Android. In this post we will discuss about the features included and provide you link for download as zip and tar.gz.According to InstantWebP2PNode.js rewrite for Android with the compatible API, where third party are libuvpp, libuv-java JNI code by Oracle.Features of Node-android are :Node.js 0.10.x compatible APIlibUV native supportTimer, set/clear Timeout/IntervalEventEmitterHttpParserHTTPHTTPPTCPUDTDNSURLIPv6WebSocket/WebSocketServer supportedConnect middlewareJS Runtime and JS Usage are :PC…
  • Check which button is clicked in Asp Net Web Application using jQuery

    Hemant Joshi
    16 Dec 2014 | 9:00 am
    In this post we will show you how to check which button is clicked in Asp Net web application using jQuery. On every web page you might have number of buttons and each button is dedicated for some jobs. In order to take the correct action, you need to know which button has been clicked.In this post we will assume we have two buttons (Button 1 and Button 2).<asp:Button Class="Class1" runat="server" Text="Button 1"/><asp:Button Class="Class2" runat="server" Text="Button 2"/>Now we will add a jQuery API or else we can also download jQuery file and add in our application.<script…
  • How to remove Text Area or Text Input Glow

    Hemant Joshi
    14 Dec 2014 | 1:26 am
    As now we have a number of browsers and all browsers are different from others in some aspect. Now to control user experience, developers have to hack their code to make their website look alike in all the browser. In this post we will show you a hack or you can say a CSS tip to remove Text Area or Text Input Glow in chrome.Sometimes you will find that buttons, input fields and drop down boxes look different in different browser. Text Area in Chrome looks like below when comes in focus.What we can see is a big bold glow effect around the real input area. Thus we will show you how to fix this…
  • Resharper 9 released with support of Visual Studio 2015

    Hemant Joshi
    13 Dec 2014 | 9:14 pm
    JetBrains released RTM version of ReSharper 9.0, a very popular tool for productivity in Visual Studio IDE. According to JetBrains ReSharper makes Microsoft Visual Studio a much better IDE.What's New in ReSharper 9According to Features of ReSharper 9 PC : http://www.jetbrains.com/resharper/whatsnew/Support for Visual Studio 2015 Preview : Resharper 9 has support for 2010, 2012, 2013 as well as Visual Studio 2015 Preview. However support of 2005 and 2008 has been discontinued.Support for C# 6.0 : Although the features of C# 6.0 is not yet publicly finalized but ReSharper 9…
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