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AALL Publishes White Paper on Access to Justice

The American Association of Law Libraries’ Access to Justice Special Committee published a new white paper that examines the role of law libraries supporting the access to justice movement. Access to justice includes the ability of the public to receive affordable legal services, access legal information forms, and more. The paper is available here.

Partners Fight for Information Under FOIA

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is seeking information under FOIA on several fronts. EPIC filed a new case regarding the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s 2012 e-voting security report.

NFOIC, SPJ Honor New Jersey Open Government Champion

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) will induct John Paff to the State Open Government Hall of Fame next month. Paff serves on the board of trustees of the New Jersey Foundation for Open Government and also as Project Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party’s Open Government Advocacy Project.

Partners Share Input on Privacy Board’s Agenda

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) invited the public to submit comments on its future research agenda. OpenTheGovernment.org and several partners submitted comments.

Reporters Committee Shares iFOIA Tutorials

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP) launched iFOIA, a resource for journalists and the public to file and track state and federal FOIA and Privacy Act requests in 2013.

NFOIC Opens Registration for Annual Conference

The National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) will hold its annual conference at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies this year, from October 23rd to 24th. OpenTheGovernment.org co-founder and steering committee member Tom Blanton will keynote the conference. A limited number of travel scholarships are available. Learn more about the event here.

Presidential Libraries Donation Reform Act

The donations that fund Presidential Libraries are mostly hidden from public view. Giving to fundraising organizations for these libraries creates ample opportunities for influence peddling outside in the government’s highest office. The Presidential Libraries Donation Reform Act (PLDRA) would help remedy that. Under the PLDRA, presidential library fundraisers would submit quarterly reports to the National Archives and Records Administration making record of contributions reaching and exceeding $200.

Partners Respond to Leahy’s USA Freedom Act

The USA Freedom Act passed by the House was largely stripped of transparency provisions and meaningful privacy protections. The bill introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy greatly improves on that bill, including essential reporting requirements and responding to many privacy concerns. Twenty groups joined OTG’s letter supporting the Leahy’s transparency improvements.

Partners Celebrate Whistleblower Appreciation Day

Openness and accountability groups celebrated the first annual National Whistleblower Appreciation Day on July 30th. The Senate passed Resolution 202 last year to establish a day for recognizing the contributions of whistleblowers and informing workers about their right to blow the whistle.

First Amendment Foundation Fights for Access to Redistricting Records

The First Amendment Foundation (FAF) and several news organizations are seeking access to sealed records used to invalidate redistricting maps in two Florida districts. The court proceeding that tossed out the new maps was closed to the press and public. The groups argue that the process of redistricting should be open to the public.

The Classified Section

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

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