30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Secrecy and FOIA

May 3, 2019 | News
Washington, D.C., May 3, 2019 - The National Security Archive, along with 15 other media organizations, filed a “friend of the court” brief on April 29 in the lawsuit Barr v. Redacted challenging the FBI’s authority to issue national security letters (NSLs) without any judicial oversight and under indefinite gag orders.

May 2, 2019 | Blog Post
FOIA Reporting Shows Serious Problems in Michigan Prisons   Indefatigable FOIA reporting from the Detroit Free Press reveals several alarming trends in Michigan’s state-run prisons – a spike in death rates, reporting misleading statistics to the state legislature, and shoddy records-keeping. The ratio of deaths in Michigan prison’s is now 348 deaths per 100,000 prisoners, […]

Apr 25, 2019 | Blog Post
Exemption 4 Scope Awaits SCOTUS Ruling On Monday the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media. The case, which is the first the justices have heard “to address the meaning of a Freedom of Information Act exemption used to decide when information businesses give the government is […]

Apr 22, 2019 | News
Washington D.C., April 22, 2019 - Black blotches mar the surface of the Mueller Report like measles cases tracked on a map of Brooklyn.  Some 176 of the 448 pages feature at least one redaction, according to the Washington Post count, and 10 pages are blacked out in full.

Apr 19, 2019 | Blog Post
FOIA Request Shows Al-Nashiri Trial Judge Secretly Sought DOJ Position   In a remarkable turn of events, the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit “threw out every single pre-trial order issued over the past three-and-a-half years in the case of Abd Al-Rahim Hussein Muhammed Al-Nashiri,” the alleged USS Cole bomber currently being tried by […]

Apr 18, 2019 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., April 18, 2019 – The National Security Archive has published hundreds of examples over the years of “dubious secrets” where U.S. government censors blacked out documents that had already been released in full – or redacted entirely different parts of the same document at different times.  This surprisingly common occurrence throws into relief how subjective the classification process is and how often agency declassifiers opt for the most sweeping rulings that wind up denying the public reasonable access to their government’s information.

Apr 12, 2019 | Blog Post
Declassification Diplomacy: Trump Administration Turns Over Massive Collection of Intelligence Records on Human Rights and Argentina Today in a diplomatic ceremony hosted by U.S. Archivist David Ferriero at the National Archives, U.S. officials completed the turnover of some 7,500 CIA, FBI, DOD, NSC and State Department records—47,000 pages in total—to Argentina’s Minister of Justice and […]

Apr 4, 2019 | Blog Post
Bicameral, Bipartisan Letter Seeks GAO Review of FOIA Compliance   Representatives Elijah Cummings and Jim Jordan were joined by Senators Dianne Feinstein, Patrick Leahy, Chuck Grassley, and John Cornyn in sending a letter to the Comptroller General at the Government Accountability Office requesting the GAO “conduct a comprehensive review of agency compliance with the Freedom […]

Mar 28, 2019 | Blog Post
Archivist Bill Burr Wins Dubious Honor of Oldest Pending FOIA Request  The Archive’s latest FOIA Audit showed that the oldest pending FOIA request government-wide is 25-years-old, that’s old enough to rent a car! Curious to see who it belonged to (and with a strong suspicion it was ours), we filed a FOIA request with the […]

Feb 21, 2019 | Blog Post
For Better or Worse, The Obama Library to Depart From Status Quo The National Archives and Records Administration has released its agreement with the Obama Foundation that outlines how the Foundation’s plan to depart from the traditional NARA-run presidential library model – in favor of digitizing all of Obama’s 30 million unclassified paper records – […]