The UK Government has published extracts from COINS, the Combined Online Information System
used by the Treasury to track all public spending by the Government. Together, the files
constitute about 11Gb of data in delimited text format containing consolidated financial information for each department and account type. [more inside]
posted by Electric Dragon
on Jun 4, 2010 -
FBI Papers Indicate Intelligence Violations
...Records turned over as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit also indicate that the FBI has investigated hundreds of potential violations related to its use of secret surveillance operations, which have been stepped up dramatically since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks but are largely hidden from public view...
posted by Postroad
on Oct 24, 2005 -
A just released report [pdf]
from the organization OpenTheGovernment.org
states that the federal government has been classifying records at an astonishing rate. An example from the report: "The 'state secrets' privilege allows the sitting U.S. president to nearly unilaterally withhold documents from the courts, Congress, and the public. At the height of the Cold War, the administration used the privilege only four times between 1953 and 1976. Since 2001, it has been used 23 times." Lots more numbers like that in the report. A newspaper summarizes the report here
posted by marxchivist
on Sep 4, 2005 -
Freedom of Information
The Department of Defense has released a training video for teaching its staff how to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests. Oddly enough, we can't get a look at it because its classified. "It seems ironic, very ironic," says Mike Ravnitzky, a writer for American Lawyer magazine. Ravnitzky's request for the video was turned down twice, with the Defense Department citing the Freedom of Information Act's trade secret exemption. These government people are a laff riot.
posted by The Raven
on Feb 13, 2003 -
U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher On Why The DMCA Sucks
has a Great Editorial
by Rick Boucher
who says traditional "fair use" rights are at the foundation of the receipt and use of information by the American people, and those rights are now under attack.
He goes on to say Congress agreed to a fundamentally flawed bill, which created the new crime of circumvention--a crime divorced from over a century and a half of respect for the fair-use rights of consumers. The DMCA, as enacted, quite clearly tilted the balance in the Copyright Act toward complete protection and away from information availability.
"Consider the implications. A time may soon come when what is available for free on library shelves will only be available on a pay-per-use basis. It would be a simple matter for a copyright owner to impose a requirement that a small fee be paid each time a digital book or video documentary is accessed by a library patron. Even the student who wants even the most basic access to only a portion of the book to write a term paper would have to pay to avoid committing a crime."
posted by Blake
on Jan 29, 2002 -
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.
posted by rhyax
on Oct 26, 2001 -
Is The Media's "Whining" About Access Justified?
A journalist criticizes his colleagues: "The disconnect between the U.S. media and the public they purport to serve has turned into a virtual chasm in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks."
What are/should be the limits on the ability of the press to obtain unfettered information in sensitive times?
posted by pardonyou?
on Oct 17, 2001 -