Senator Rockefeller May Effectively Kill Freedom of Information Act Improvement if He Doesn’t Lift Hold Today

By: Monday December 8, 2014 12:53 pm

UPDATE – 6:00 PM EST: West Virginia Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller stopped blocking the bill and the Freedom of Information Act Improvement legislation passed in the Senate. The groundswell of opposition to Rockefeller certainly played a role in forcing Rockefeller into the tenuous position of having to defend his position. When the White House and [...]

When Journalists Oppose Using Leaked Documents But Favor Relying on Statements from Anonymous Officials

By: Wednesday May 7, 2014 12:47 pm

According to the survey by David Weaver and Lars Willnat, “The percentage of US journalists endorsing the occasional use of ‘confidential business or government documents without authorization’ dropped significantly from 81.8 percent in 1992 to 57.7 percent in 2013.” The survey was conducted online between August and December. That, perhaps, makes the findings even more remarkable: journalists [...]

Obama Administration, Despite Pledges, Still Resists Release of Secret Legal Opinions on Surveillance

By: Friday May 2, 2014 10:12 am

Over the past months, President Barack Obama’s administration, especially Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, have postured themselves as being committed to some newfound level of government transparency in the aftermath of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s disclosures. The administration has significantly sought to downplay the fact that the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) sued the government [...]

US Drops in Press Freedom Ranking as Result of Interfering with Reporting on National Security Issues

By: Thursday May 1, 2014 3:10 pm

While the United States government is not shooting and killing journalists, routinely withholding visas to foreign journalists or severely clamping down on online media, press freedom in the US has been declining, according to an annual report on global press freedom by Freedom House. The report indicates that the “open media environment” in the US [...]

Clapper, Senators & Obama Administration Favor Transparency on Drone Strikes—If It Makes Them More Defensible

By: Tuesday April 29, 2014 11:38 am

At the request of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and the wider executive branch, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which is chaired by Senator Dianne Feinstein, agreed to remove a provision in an intelligence bill that would have required the president to release an annual report on casualties from drone strikes launched by [...]

US Military Now Keeping All Information on Hunger Striking Prisoners at Guantanamo Secret

By: Thursday December 5, 2013 10:48 am

For over eight months, more than ten prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have been on hunger strike. The hunger strike steadily grew to include over 100 prisoners until July, when the number involved in the strike started to drop. It may have been a result of forced feeding with a tube which the facility was using [...]

Justice Department Sued for Refusing to Release Secret Legal Opinions

By: Wednesday August 28, 2013 11:01 am

A nonprofit organization has sued the United States Justice Department in order to force the release of legal opinions that have been used to justify a number of questionable policies, but which the Department has refused to release. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), an organization that describes itself as being committed to [...]

Obama Admits 4 US Citizens Killed by Drones, Deaths of Those Not Targeted Left Unexplained

By: Wednesday May 22, 2013 6:11 pm

(update 1 & 2) Ahead of a major speech on counterterrorism policies tomorrow, the administration of President Barack Obama has officially declassified information related to drone strikes against four American citizens and also acknowledged for the first time that they were killed by the United States. A letter sent to members of the Senate Judiciary [...]

Supreme Court Affirms Constitution Doesn’t Guarantee Citizens Access to Public Information

By: Tuesday April 30, 2013 10:57 am

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Monday that Virginia did not have to grant access to public records in the state to non-residents of Virginia under the state’s freedom of information law. The decision, according to SCOTUSblog, did not break any new ground. It did not “rely upon any sweeping new legal declaration, but simply [...]

Court Rejects Justice Department Effort to Enshrine Catch-22 into Freedom of Information Law

By: Wednesday April 3, 2013 11:19 am

A federal appeals court in Washington, DC, rebuffed a clear attempt by the United States Justice Department to further pervert the Freedom of Information Act process. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sued the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on May 24, 2011, when it failed to produce documents on individuals at the FEC, [...]

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