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Reducing Secrecy

Excessive secrecy has long been a problem in the fields of national and homeland security because it limits information sharing and leaves us less safe as a nation. Both the 9/11 Commission and the congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11 recommended reforms to reduce unnecessary secrets. OpenTheGovernment.org works with our partners, the Administration, and Congress to put policies in place that both protect constitutional rights and ensure national security by better protecting real secrets and improving information sharing.

Flint water crisis resurfaces familiar federal transparency problems

As the devastating full story of the Flint water scandal unfolds, it has become clear that the Flint city and Michigan state governments were not alone in covering up crucial public health information.

Death toll from violent cops is a guessing game

By: Patrice McDermott

Originally published by USA Today

Add two more killings to the Chicago police death toll from this weekend in a familiar story. Unarmed people, mostly black men, shot by police. People, mostly black, dying in police custody. Over the past year, the consciousness of the American public has been seared with these stunning facts and shocking images. The deaths, and other instances of police violence that disproportionately target African-American communities, have fueled demands for greater transparency in reporting by police forces nationwide.

New Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act being drafted in secret

Background: Over the past year, the openness community has joined privacy and civil liberties groups in fighting the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), legislation that undermines transparency and enhances surveillance while doing little to improve the government’s ability to combat cyber threats.

OpenTheGovernment.org Challenges Ongoing Classification of the CIA Torture Program

Earlier this week, OpenTheGovernment.org filed a detailed complaint with the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), arguing that even after the release of the Senate torture report’s

Administration Must Address Restrictive Media Policies and Practices

OpenTheGovernment.org joined the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and 51 other groups in a second letter urging President Obama to address the White House and agencies' restrictive public information policies.

The Classified Classification Guidance on Torture, and President Obama’s Legacy

This June, OpenTheGovernment.org filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the classification guidance that now governs the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation (RDI) program, to see precisely how it had changed after the release of the Senate torture report’s Executive Summary last December.

OpenTheGovernment.org's Statement on the McCain-Feinstein Anti-Torture Amendment

OpenTheGovernment.org strongly supports passage of Amendment 1889 to the NDAA, the McCain-Feinstein amendment. The amendment would seek to prevent the United States government from ever again engaging in torture, by requiring that:

--All interrogations by the United States government, including by the CIA, must comply with the standards in the Department of Defense’s Field Manual on Interrogation

OpenTheGovernment.org Statement on the Passage of The USA Freedom Act

Yesterday the Senate passed the USA Freedom Act by a 67-32 vote, after rejecting several attempts to weaken it. President Obama signed the bill into law last night.

ACLU v. Clapper Shows that Secret Courts are No Substitute for Real Judicial Review

A unanimous panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday ruled that the NSA’s nationwide collection of Americans’ phone records is illegal, unauthorized by section 215 of the PATRIOT Act or any other statute.

The Classified Section

Check out our new blog, The Classified Section, for analysis of national security secrecy.

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