Politically Diverse Organizations Call for Reforms to Reduce Government Secrecy Following Nunes Memo

Organizations across the political spectrum called on Congress today to adopt key measures to reduce secrecy and create more accountability in government. A joint letter was sent to Speaker Paul Ryan, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, recommending meaningful reforms to our intelligence services that would further protect civil liberties and privacy rights.

Open the Government's 2017 Year End Report

As we look back to the successes we had in 2017, we are inspired to continue our fight for a transparent and accountable government, creating a more informed electorate that can demand respect for and adherence to democratic fundamentals.

OTG’s Executive Director Condemns Reported Trump Decision to Keep Guantanamo Prison Open

Open the Government Executive Director, Lisa Rosenberg, condemned the Trump Administration’s shortsighted decision to sign an Executive Order reversing Barack Obama’s policy to close the Guantanamo facility “as soon as practicable.” Politico reports “Trump is expected to announce plans to sign the order during his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, or in the days before or after the address.”

Nunes Alleges FISA Abuse in Secret Memo; Yet he and Others Voted for Reauthorization of the Most Unregulated Area of the Law Without Protections for Americans

Open the Government Executive Director, Lisa Rosenberg, says that a new secret memo by Rep. Devin Nunes, (R-CA) that claims the Obama Administration abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to target Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, raises serious questions about why lawmakers voted last week for reauthorization immediately after rejecting an amendment to fix the parts of the law most subject to misuse and interference with Americans’ privacy.

Travel Ban Report Released by Homeland Security Watchdog after Groups File Records Appeal

Open the Government (OTG) and the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) applauded the release today of a report by the Homeland Security Administration’s Inspector General that critiqued the Trump Administration’s handling of its controversial travel ban that caused chaos and protests across the nation in January 2017. The release of the redacted report came just two days after OTG and POGO filed an appeal after their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to access the report it was blocked. “This is a huge win for transparency and for the public’s right to know about how the travel ban was implemented on the ground,” said Open the Government’s Executive Director Lisa Rosenberg.

Dangerous Provision Slipped into the Continuing Resolution Allows Secret Transfer of Intelligence Funding without Congressional Oversight

Open the Government Executive Director, Lisa Rosenberg, called on the House today to reject a disturbing provision in the budget bill that would permit President Donald Trump and intelligence agencies to covertly reallocate money to from one intelligence program to another without first notifying Congress. “Congress must remove this intelligence provision and remind itself that it has a duty to serve as a check on Executive Branch overreach,” said Open the Government Executive Director Lisa Rosenberg

Trump Administration Blocks Access to Report on Handling of the Travel Ban; Open Government Groups Appeal Decision

Today, two open government organizations called on the Trump Administration to immediately release an Inspector General’s report detailing how the administration carried out its controversial travel ban issued in January 2017. Open the Government and the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) were alarmed after their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to access the IG report was blocked by the Trump Administration, and today filed an appeal challenging the decision.

Senate Abdicates Leadership on FISA, Opening the Door to Targeting Americans with Abusive Surveillance Tactics

The Senate failed to protect the American people from a bill that poses an enormous risk to accountability, civil liberties and privacy rights. This is a bad gamble that was sold as making us safe, when it has the potential downside of making us very sorry. We have already seen disturbing glimpses of FISA 702 abuses, with warrantless surveillance that has upended the lives of Americans.