30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Secrecy and FOIA

May 3, 2018 | Blog Post
Mulvaney Moves to Hide Important Consumer Complaint Database Mick Mulvaney, acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is trying to take a database intended to hold financial institutions accountable offline, ending the public’s ability to file and view complaints. The database (tagline: “How one complaint can help millions”) is currently available here. Americans have […]

Apr 26, 2018 | Blog Post
Gina Haspel’s CIA Torture File The Trump administration’s nominee to be CIA director, Gina Haspel, personally supervised the torture of a CIA detainee in 2002 leading to at least three waterboard sessions, subsequently drafted the cable that ordered destruction of the videotape evidence of torture, and served as a senior CIA official while the Agency […]

Apr 19, 2018 | Blog Post
FOIA Federal Advisory Committee Recs Will Help Agency FOIA Shops Pass “Common-Sense Test” An incredulous Senator Chuck Grassley told the Justice Department Office of Information Policy’s Melanie Pustay this Sunshine Week that her defenses of lackluster government-wide FOIA performance didn’t pass “the common-sense test.” OIP’s support of agencies who claimed 508 compliance concerns were a valid […]

Apr 17, 2018 | Blog Post
By Michael R. Lemov* & Nate Jones** This article originally appeared in the Southwestern Journal of International Law, Volume 24. INTRODUCTION John Moss was an obscure Congressman from a newly created district in northern California when he arrived in Washington D.C. in 1953.1 He had survived a razor-thin general election victory (by about 700 votes), […]

Apr 12, 2018 | Blog Post
FOIA Shows Steep Rise in Military Aviation Crashes A six-month Military Times FOIA investigation shows an alarming trend – accident rates are soaring among the military’s manned warplanes. Specifically, the Times found “that accidents involving all of the military’s manned fighter, bomber, helicopter and cargo warplanes rose nearly 40 percent from fiscal years 2013 to […]

Apr 5, 2018 | Blog Post
Judge Finds No Legal Basis for Commerce Dept. Attempt to Charge Hundreds of Thousands for Two Data Sets A federal judge has ruled against the Commerce Department and in favor of reporter David Yanofsky in a FOIA lawsuit targeting the agency’s attempt to charge exorbitant FOIA fees. Specifically, the court found no legal basis for […]

Apr 4, 2018 | Blog Post
To celebrate Sunshine Week 2018, the National Security Archive’s FOIA Project director Nate Jones talks to the Export Import Bank about the Freedom of Information Act from a requester’s perspective.  Watch the video below:

Mar 29, 2018 | Blog Post
NARA Publishes First Unauthorized Destruction Chart This week the U.S. National Archives published its first “unauthorized disposition of federal records” chart. The chart – which includes both open and closed cases and will be updated monthly –  catalogs all of the cases NARA investigated in Fiscal Year 2017 concerning the “actual, impending, or threatened unlawful […]

Mar 22, 2018 | Blog Post
Presidential Records Act Case Draws Attention to White House’s Disappearing Messaging Apps The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia’s Judge Christopher Cooper ruled against Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and the National Security Archive in our Presidential Records Act lawsuit targeting the Trump administration’s use of disappearing messaging apps. The […]

Mar 15, 2018 | Blog Post
OIP’s Position Doesn’t Pass the “Common-Sense Test” This week the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on “The Freedom of Information Act: Examining the Administration’s Progress on Reforms and Looking Ahead.” The hearing consisted of one panel, all government witnesses – the Justice Department Office of Information Policy’s Melanie Pustay, the Office of Government Information […]