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Groups Call on Holder to Follow Court Order, be Open about Targeted Killing Program

Thirty organizations representing a broad range of interests have joined to urge Attorney General Holder to decline to appeal a recent federal court ruling that would provide the public with critical information about the legal analysis underpinning the targeted killing program.

Revised USA FREEDOM Act Lacks Transparency and Strong Special Advocate

A weakened version of the USA Freedom Act unanimously passed through the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday and reportedly was approved today by the House Permanent Committee on Intelligence—clearing the way for the bill to be debated on the House Floor. But the bill omits critical government reporting requirements included in the original USA FREEDOM Act as introduced by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont).

Senators and Call for Greater Disclosure of OLC Drone Memos

David Barron, the author of a July 16, 2010 Office of Legal Counsel opinion on the legal basis for targeted killing of a United States citizen, has been nominated for a judgeship on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

USA FREEDOM Needs Its Transparency Provisions Back

The House Judiciary Committee will, after months of delay, mark up an amended version of the bipartisan USA FREEDOM Act tomorrow. But many of the original bill’s most important transparency provisions have been removed or modified.

Court Rules for Disclosure on Targeted Killing Program

On April 21, in New York Times Co. v. United States, the Second Circuit ordered the Executive Branch to make public crucial information about the targeted killing program. had signed an amicus brief spearheaded by the Electronic Information Privacy Center (EPIC) arguing for this outcome.

The court ordered:

Recent FOIA Response on OLC Memos Underscores Need for More Openness

Recently Ryan Reilly, a reporter at the Huffington Post, tweeted out a picture of a list of unclassified opinions by the Office of Legal Counsel in 2013 that he received in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The problem? The title of all but one of the memos listed was redacted using FOIA's Exemption 5, which (as we highlighted in recent testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee) is known among FOIA requester's as the "we don't want to give it to you exemption."

OTG at 10: Taking on Sensitive but Unclassified Information

In the video below, Executive Director Patrice McDermott discusses how the open government community took on the use of "sensitive but unclassified" information. 

Justice's Opportunities to Make FOIA Work Better for the Public

After our recent meeting with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to discuss the open government community's ideas for how to make the department more open and accountable, the Associate Attorney General, Tony West, invited us to speak with DOJ's FOIA Council. The Council is a group of agency officials from all of DOJ's components that meet on a quarterly basis to discuss how they can improve DOJ's processing of FOIA requests.

Statement from Senator John Cornyn on OTG's 10th Anniversary

Senator John Cornyn is a longtime supporter of open government. In the statement below, Senator Cornyn commemorates OTG's 10th anniversary.

Statement from Senator Patrick Leahy on OTG's 10th Anniversary

Senator Patrick Leahy is a longtime champion for open government and the Freedom of Information Act. His statement commemorating our 10th anniversary is below. 

The Classified Section

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

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