OTG held a community Town Hall event yesterday featuring speakers with years of experience promoting public access to information on U.S. security and development aid.
By Patrice McDermott & Jesse Franzblau*
The President’s pledge issued on his first day of office to usher in a “new era of openness” stands in stark contrast to his Administration’s secretive approach to trade negotiations. Most alarmingly, the public has been denied critically important information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations while representatives from over 500 business interests have had direct access to the texts and the ability to influence the agreement.
Department of Commerce
Department of Defense
Department of Energy
Department of Transportation
Environmental Protection Agency
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Federal Housing Finance Agency
Goverment Publishing Office
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Social Security Administration
This September’s Town Hall will feature dynamic speakers who will engage in a lively discussion about government and civil society initiatives underway to make available information on foreign aid and security assistance, and impediments that remain for the public to access such information. The speakers have years of experience engaging in efforts to improve public access to information on U.S. security and development aid.
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.
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.
On July 30th, the White House hosted a public meeting on open government. The meeting was intended to inform the administration's next National Action Plan (NAP) for open government. The Plan will be published in late October 2015.
Congress Should Not Use Cybersecurity Legislation as a Pretext to Weaken FOIA
As the U.S. Senate prepares to take up the Cybersecurity Information Sharing (“CISA”) Act, S. 754, open government organizations, privacy and civil liberties defenders, security experts, and tech companies are mobilizing to voice opposition to the bill.