What is the Association of Chief Police Officers
(ACPO)? It is a private company, financed by UK taxpayers, immune from freedom of information requests.
It dictates police operations and sells police national computer data.
It may also be engaged in covert domestic surveillance
of what it deems as extremists:
antiwar protesters, strikers, and others. According to an ACPO spokesperson ""there doesn't seem to be a single, commonly agreed definition."
A senator places a secret hold on a bill designed to counter secrecy in government
. The Society of Professional Journalists
, which supports the bill, smoked out Senator Jon Kyl
(R-AZ) as the source of the hold, one of the more obscure parliamentary tactics possible in the Senate. The bill in question is the OPEN Government Act of 2007
, which is an overhaul of the Freedom of Information Act. (See also.)
Kyl claims the bill would force the release of "sensitive information."
Kyl is also behind a measure that would criminalize the leaking of classified information
Mike Petrelis from 2000 through 2005 and found that major media have used the law on the DoD less than 50 times each in five years. E&P asks
if reporters are using the law enough and some think that points to the media's laziness
, others think they're missing the point
Department of Homeland Security to be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act and the Whistleblower Protection Act?
The last episode of NOW
ran a piece on the FOIA
which described how back in 1974 President Ford and his staff, which included Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, opposed Congress' strengthening of the FOIA, and Ford tried unsuccessfully to veto it. Now this new exemption looks like the continuation of a 28 year-old feud. Ridge says it is in order to not "draw a road map of critical infrastructure vulnerabilities,"
but are complete exemptions really necessary for that? The potential for abuse seems quite dangerous. (Some previous discussions of FOIA revelations here
The U.S. Department of Justice
issued a revised memorandum
for how to treat requests received under the Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA) that establishing a "sound legal basis" rather than the existing "foreseeable harm" standard for defending FOIA request refusals in court, John Ashcroft FOIA Memorandum, October 12, 2001. This was part of the EFF link below, but it's probably disturbing enough to have it's own discussion.