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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.

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.

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.

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.

Partners Push SEC to Clarify Whistleblower Protections

More than fifty groups, including OpenTheGovernment.org, joined the Government Accountability Project in a letter to Mary Jo White, Chair of the Security and Exchange Commission expressing concern about retaliatory conduct against corporate whistleblowers. The groups recommend the SEC clarify protections for whistleblowers through rule-making, hold public hearings around the country, and form an Advisory Committee on Whistleblower Reporting and Protection.

Sunlight Simplifies Communications with Congress

The Sunlight Foundation expanded its OpenCongress tool to break down more barriers between the public and their representatives. Many Members of Congress wall off their web contact forms by requiring users to fill out zip code requirements and to decipher captchas. Now, direct emails are available through legislators’ OpenCongress pages. Learn more here.

CREW Calls for Congressional Investigation of Federal Record-Keeping

Deficient record keeping laws are an impediment to congressional oversight, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) said in a letter to Congress last week.

Stand with POGO to Protect VA Whistleblowers

Sign the petition today to urge the Veterans Affairs Inspector General (IG) to drop its demand that the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) turn over the names of VA whistleblowers.

Groups Urge White House to End Bulk Telephony Metadata Program

Twenty-six groups joined the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) to urge President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to not renew the Section 215 Bulk Telephony Metadata Program.

CNSS Makes First Push Against Surveillance in FISA Court

The Center for National Security Studies (CNSS) filed a friend-of-the-court brief in April, challenging the constitutionality of bulk data collection. CNSS’ amicus is the first time a formal challenge by a non-government entity has been permitted in the FISA Court.

The Classified Section

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

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