On May 2, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released its annual surveillance report, revealing that the National Security Agency (NSA) collected 151 million phone records on Americans in 2016.
On April 24, the Supreme Court declined to hear ACLU v. CIA, ending the ACLU’s attempt to have the report from the Senate’s investigation into the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program (the “Torture Report”) deemed subject to FOIA and marking a significant defeat for government openness and transparency.
Updated: OTG and more than 50 organizations call on ICE to comply with FOIA, release data on immigration enforcement cooperation
Update: on May 9, the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) filed a FOIA suit charging Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with unlawfully withholding information related to ICE's immigration enforcement actions and its interaction with other law enforcement agencies.
We’ve started compiling resources on access to information issues in the Trump era, from our own site and around the web. We’ll keep updating as we go, so please let us know if there’s anything that we’ve missed.
At today's House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the FBI’s use of facial recognition technology, serious secrecy and privacy concerns were raised about the collection, sharing and use of such biometrics data. Greater oversight and transparency, areas of serious concern for open government groups and civil rights advocates alike, are critical to ensuring the public’s right to know about the expanding collection and use of such data.
WASHINGTON, March 21, 2017 – Today, a coalition of organizations dedicated to government openness and accountability, privacy, human rights, civil rights, and immigrant rights wrote to the Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security to urge them to address concerns stemming from recent executive actions on immigration and refugees.
OpenTheGovernment.org (OTG) is pleased to announce its new Executive Director, Lisa Rosenberg. Lisa joins OTG today, March 20, 2017. She succeeds Patrice McDermott, who is retiring after more than a decade leading the organization.
Lisa Rosenberg , Incoming OTG Executive Director, said:
“I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to lead OTG’s engaged community of organizations working to make the government more open and accountable. This work is more important than ever and I look forward to getting started.”
In the spirit of Sunshine Week, and National Freedom of Information Day, Senators Feinstein, Leahy, Cornyn, and Grassley sent letters to the Trump Administration on March 15, 2017, calling for full compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and strong implementation of the 2016 FOIA reforms. The letters request information on the specific steps that are underway to carry out the reforms passed last year, and to improve proactive disclosure of information.
On March 3, Senators Claire McCaskill and Tom Carper wrote to White House Counsel Donald McGahn, voicing their concern about reports of White House officials using personal electronic messaging accounts while conducting official business, and asking that he ensure that President Trump and his staff are complying with the Presidential Records Act (PRA).