30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

Secrecy and FOIA

Mar 15, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., March 15, 2018 - A US Foreign Service officer warned that “blatantly illegal” Congressional requests, including the use of a diplomatic pouch to smuggle gemstones and utilizing embassy employees for the “soliciting of female companionship,” were harming “the personal integrity of employees of the Department of State,” according to a Dissent Channel cable newly released to the National Security Archive after a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

Mar 12, 2018 | News, Rosemary Award
Washington, D.C., March 12, 2018 - The Secret Service and the White House have emerged as the dubious winners from the hard-fought competition for the National Security Archive’s infamous Rosemary Award for worst open government performance of 2017.

Mar 8, 2018 | News, FOIA Audit
Washington, DC, March 8, 2018 – Two out of five federal agencies claimed that they were either unable or not required to respond to a targeted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for agency emails submitted by the National Security Archive.

Mar 8, 2018 | Blog Post
New FOIA.gov for Sunshine Week The Justice Department just launched the new FOIA.gov to inaugurate Sunshine Week –  the national celebration of open government and freedom of information. Sunlight Foundation’s Alex Howard has a positive review of the new site (which Archive staff contributed comments and feedback for during its alpha phase), concluding “FOIA.gov is […]

Mar 7, 2018 | Blog Post
Just over a year ago, a Freedom of Information Act release by the National Park Service demonstrably proved that the President of the United States was lying about the size of his inauguration crowd.  That he was even elected president was, in part, because his opponent had improperly stored federal records on a personal server […]

Mar 1, 2018 | Blog Post
Agencies Still Trying to Weaken the FOIA Federal agencies are still trying to restrict access to information and weaken the Freedom of Information Act in a variety of ways. With Sunshine Week – the annual, week-long celebration of access to information – around the corner, I wanted to highlight some of the most egregious ways […]

Feb 22, 2018 | Blog Post
Federal Response to Hawaii Missile False Alert  Emails released through the FOIA give a detailed look at how the military responded to the false alert – sent by a Hawaii state official unaware that a drill was being conducted – that warned Hawaiians that a ballistic missile attack was imminent. The emails show the false […]

Jan 24, 2018 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., January 24, 2018 - On the day before September 11, 2001, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld believed the gravest threat to American national security was Pentagon bureaucracy, according to “snowflakes” he wrote that were released by the Defense Department after a five-year Freedom of Information Act fight and lawsuit by the National Security Archive.

Dec 14, 2017 | Blog Post
Video Won Through FOIA Shows AG Sessions Spar with DOJ Interns Over Marijuana, Gun Control A video obtained by ABC News through the FOIA shows Attorney General Jeff Sessions taking pointed questions from Justice Department interns during a June 22 department event. While Sessions spent most of his time explaining his policies, the question and […]

Dec 11, 2017 | Blog Post
This article originally appeared in Bloomberg.  A Q&A with Tom Blanton, director of the National Security Archive, on the historical value of Hillary Clinton’s emails, the sins of Julian Assange, and what national secrets are really worth keeping. How much does it cost to keep a secret? Well, the U.S. government sort of has an […]