On May 15th, a broad coalition of open government and accountability organizations and media outlets are launching a “50 Days of FOIA” campaign -- counting down the days to the 50th anniversary of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on July 4, 2016. The campaign aims to highlight the importance of the FOIA, while promoting the passage of meaningful reform legislation that now has the potential to become law by the time the statute turns 50 in less than two months.
The Senate Judiciary Committee held an open hearing on Tuesday on Section 702, a legal provision of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) allowing warrantless acquisition of the communications of foreigners outside the U.S. The hearing marked the first formal review by the Senate of potential changes needed to Section 702 of the law, which is set to expire in December 2017.
In a show of bipartisan and bicameral support for greater access to information, Congressional leaders have requested the Government Accountability Office conduct a comprehensive review of federal agency compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
UPDATE: April 25, 2016 – Today, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) issued a revised rule that amends excessive fee provisions that would have restricted the ability of the public to request the declassification of classified ODNI records. The new rule reflects the joint comments submitted by OTG and 15 other organizations, as well as the comments submitted by Federation of American Scientists.
Prior to the city of Ferguson’s public fairness hearing on their consent decree with the Department of Justice, OpenTheGovernment.org Executive Director Patrice McDermott submitted comments on the need for more robust transparency provisions in the agreement.
Recommendations for the Justice Department’s 2016 Open Government Plan: Enhance data collection and reporting standards for law enforcement agencies
Today, OpenTheGovernment.org submitted recommendations for the Justice Department’s 2016 Open Government Plan, outlining commitments that would enhance data collection and reporting by police departments and federal law enforcement agencies.
WASHINGTON, April 7, 2016 – Today, more than 30 organizations committed to government openness, personal privacy, civil liberties and human rights, are calling for the halt to proposed policy changes that could allow domestic law enforcement and intelligence agencies to circumvent constitutional protections and pose new threats to the privacy and civil liberties of ordinary Americans.