To ensure accountability for use of lethal force, advocates look to Congress

So far, the Trump Administration has shown a willingness to accelerate the use of military force overseas, while continuing and sometimes expanding on the excessive secrecy of its predecessors.  As the number of civilian casualties from U.S. strikes grows at a shocking pace, government transparency and Congressional oversight may be the surest way to advance accountability in U.S. use of military force.

FBI’s limited restrictions on biometrics data sharing raises secrecy and privacy concerns

In the latest threat to individuals’ right to privacy, the FBI will no longer be required to inform you if your photographs, fingerprints, iris scans, and other records are being stored in the government’s largest existing biometrics database – the FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) system. Last year, OpenTheGovernment and our partners submitted comments to the Department of Justice

OTG Supports the Promoting Transparency in Trade Act

OpenTheGovernment is pleased to support the 2017 Promoting Transparency in Trade Act (H.R. 3339), introduced Thursday by Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) with 16 co-sponsors.

Rep. Dingell also introduced a version of the bill in 2016, which failed to advance. OTG and several of our partners supported the bill then, and the 2017 bill goes even farther toward making U.S. trade negotiations more open and inclusive.

CIA must not be given broad discretion to destroy its historical records

OpenTheGovernment is joining calls to halt the CIA’s proposal to destroy records it considers historically “insignificant.” The CIA’s proposal, submitted to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) last month, could give the agency broad authority to destroy crucial documentary evidence of the CIA’s activities, including information from the CIA’s investigative files, counterintelligence records, documents on CIA assets (spy files), as well as CIA investigations int

The next FBI Director should commit to transparency and accountability

During its recent confirmation hearing for Christopher Wray to succeed James Comey as the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Senate Judiciary Committee properly focused on whether Wray would be independent enough to withstand potential political pressure on the agency. Noting that he would resign if asked by the president to do anything “illegal, unconstitutional or even morally repugnant,” Wray’s answers reassured Committee members, and he seems headed toward a smooth confirmation. But before the final vote, Senators should demand that Wray commit to fostering openness and accountability at the FBI, and put in the record the nominee’s positions on warrantless surveillance, the use of cell phone interception technology, and police data collection.

Join OTG for a Town Hall on Advancing Accountability for the Use of Military Force

Excessive secrecy has been a hallmark of the use of lethal force by the United States since the September 11th attacks, both in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and in drone strikes and other operations outside areas of active hostilities. The Trump Administration has so far continued to reject transparency around military actions, in some ways further shrouding the military and the drone program in secrecy.