Letters

Openness groups call for removal of new FOIA exemption from NDAA

Wednesday, OpenTheGovernment.org joined 38 organizations and individuals in calling on Congress to remove a new FOIA exemption from the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act (FY 2017). The new exemption would seriously undermine recent FOIA reforms, and create a broad and unnecessary secrecy provision for the Department of Defense.

Read the full letter here.

 

OTG joins groups to call for PCLOB chair with civil liberties background

Today, OpenTheGovernment.org joined 28 other openness, civil liberties, and privacy groups in calling on President Obama to quickly appoint a Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) chair who has a strong background in privacy and civil liberties. The letter emphasizes the importance of the PCLOB as the only independent agency in the executive branch that serves to protect privacy and civil liberties in counterterrorism programs.

Final FOIA Reform Bill on Brink of Passage

S. 337 (FOIA Improvement Act of 2016) will be voted on today in the House under Suspension of the Rules. When it passes, FOIA reform legislation will be ready to go to the President for his signature--as promised by his press secretary. OpenTheGovernment.org joined 27 open government groups in a letter expressing support for the legislation, addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. The letter emphasized that S. 337 would codify the presumption of openness, curb the overuse of FOIA Exemption 5, and promote greater proactive disclosure.

Coalition urges World Bank not to abandon global right to information agenda

Yesterday, OpenTheGovernment.org joined 133 other networks, organizations, and individuals around the world in a letter calling on the World Bank to continue its important work pursuing a global right to information agenda. The letter, sent to World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim, addressed recent news that the Bank would be significantly reducing its capacity to work on right to know issues.

OTG pushes Archivist to preserve Senate torture report

Following reports that the CIA inspector general's office had "mistakenly" destroyed it's only copy of the Senate torture report, OpenTheGovernment.org sent a follow-up to the April 28th letter in which groups called on the Archivist of the United States to ensure the preservation of the report.

Coalition expresses support for DNI James Clapper in classification review

Today, OpenTheGovernment.org joined 11 organizations in a letter expressing support for Director of National Intelligence James Clapper's approach to the upcoming Fundamental Classification Guidance Review (FCGR) process. The letter commends DNI Clapper for his March memo to the heads of major intelligence agencies, stating that his hands-on approach promises a successful review. The groups also made two recommendations for how the FCGR could be even more effective in reducing the problem of overclassification: