Coalition Expresses Opposition to Bill that would Drastically Expand Authority of Department of Homeland Security

Open the Government led a coalition of government accountability groups in a statement expressing opposition to the SECURE ACT of 2017. The groups were concerned that the bill, if passed in its current form, would severely undermine oversight of the Department of Homeland Security by allowing the DHS Secretary to waive any legal requirement deemed necessary to facilitate border security programs. “This bill gives the Department of Homeland Security enormous power to do as it pleases, at the expense of openness and transparency,” said Open the Government’s Executive Director Lisa Rosenberg.

Advocates look to deepen FOIA collaboration to combat surveillance secrecy

The secrecy surrounding government surveillance has been a long-standing challenge for those working to defend against threats to Americans’ privacy, civil liberties and civil rights. Under the Trump Administration, advocates working on these issues have identified a growing need for greater transparency and accountability relating to government surveillance practices. There is a strong need to know, for example, how intelligence agencies are sharing information with the FBI and domestic law enforcement agencies, and the impact this has on the criminal justice system.

OTG, coalition support bill to make reports to Congress public

On Monday, OpenTheGovernment joined 37 other open government and accountability groups in supporting the Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act (ACMRA), H.R.4631. The ACMRA, which was introduced in the House and Senate this week, would require all agency reports submitted to Congress to be catalogued and published in a central repository. This repository would also track the progress of agency reports required by Congress.

OTG calls on Congress to protect anti-corruption transparency law

OpenTheGovernment is urging members of Congress to vote “No” on legislation that would repeal a critically important anti-corruption law that requires oil, gas and mining companies to disclose their payments to governments. The law, known as the “Cardin-Lugar transparency provision” or Section 1504, has been a crucial tool in U.S. efforts to combat corruption abroad, as well as to secure U.S. national and energy security interests.

OTG's Lisa Rosenberg on The Bill Press Show

Open the Government's Lisa Rosenberg was on The Bill Press Show today. She spoke about the problem of warrantless government surveillance. Lisa also discussed the FBI’s use of the new “Black Identity Extremist” (BIE) label, which has raised a number of accountability issues regarding the disproportionate impact it has on communities of color, religious minorities, and activists. You can check out the Bill Press Show daily at Billpressshow.com.