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Twenty Open Government Groups Ask House Intelligence and Armed Service Committees to Support Targeted Killing Transparency

In an open letter to the House Armed Services Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, OpenTheGovernment.Org and nineteen other pro-transparency organizations asked Congress to support H.R. 4372, the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act.

Push Against Secrecy in the Pentagon’s Budget

More than half a trillion dollars of government spending is drafted and voted on by the Senate Armed Services Committee, almost entirely in secret. Forty-nine organizations including OpenTheGovernment.org joined the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) in its call for Congress to shine a greater light on the National Defense Authorization Act.

Groups Call for an Open Internet

Forty-one groups joined Free Press in a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler supporting net neutrality. The FCC must reclassify broadband access services as telecommunications services to ensure no government or corporate authority can hamper the public’s ability to access and publish information freely.

White House Review of Big Data Should Include Transparency, Oversight

In January, President Obama tasked the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology with reviewing the government’s use of big data and its impacts on privacy. John Podesta, a counselor to the President, described the aims of the review in a White House blog post.

CREW Leads Call For Restored Funding to Office of Technology Assessment

Sixteen groups dedicated to openness and accountability joined the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and OpenTheGovernment.org to ask the House and Senate Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittees to restore funding to the Office of Technology Assessment. The debates over surveillance and telecommunications policy make the need for Congress to have access to technological expertise more crucial than ever.

Partners Call for CIA Accountability on Senate Intelligence Spying

OTG joined the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) and 32 other organizations to call for the administration to expedite the declassification of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogation methods and to hold the CIA accountable for any obstruction of Congressional oversight.

Groups Support House Passage of FOIA Bill

More than two dozen organizations (including OpenTheGovernment.org) joined the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) in supporting passage of H.R. 1211, a bill to improve the government's processing of requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The House is expected to vote on the bill tomorrow afternoon (February 25). Click on "read more" to see the letter, and the signatories.

The Time is Ripe for Increased Access to Congressional Mandated Reports

Twenty organizations dedicated to transparency and accountability called on Congress to consider the bipartisan Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act (H.R. 1380). The legislation would require any congressionally mandated report that is releasable under the Freedom of Information Act be made available online by the Government Printing Office. The common-sense legislation would create one central and searchable repository for the reports, which are currently difficult to find.

Groups Ask House to Vote on Bill to Make Presidential Library Fundraising More Transparent

On February 6, more than 20 groups joined to urge the House Leadership to schedule time to debate and vote on H.R. 1133, the Presidential Library Donation Reform Act.

Currently, presidents raise funds privately to establish their presidential libraries. As these efforts often begin well before they leave office, and the system is completely unregulated and undisclosed, the fund-raising creates opportunities for, or the appearance of, influence-peddling.

Right to Know Preserved in Final Version of Farm Bill

After months of conference negotiations, the Farm Bill has moved forward without the provisions that would have cut of public access to information about agricultural and livestock information.  The language, originally in the House-passed bill, would have prohibited disclosure of information about any owner, operator, or employee of an agricultural or livestock operation. The public, particularly the neighbors of these operations, require access to information about the operations to ensure their health and safety.

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