Press Releases

OTG Releases New Report Highlighting Challenges to Transparency in Washington, a Growing Surveillance State, and Attacks on Press Freedoms

Open the Government (OTG) released a new report, Closing Democracy’s Window: The Growing Culture of Secrecy in Washington and the Erosion of the Public’s Right to Know. To document the first year of the Trump Administration, the report closely reviews transparency and openness in the White House, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security; agencies selected for their high profile and their impact on important public policies.

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.

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.

OTG's Lisa Rosenberg on The Bill Press Show

December 6, 2017

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

Groups: Focus on Problem at Hand Needed in Post-WikiLeaks Assessments of Classified Information Procedures

Washington, DC, January 28, 2011- A variety of government openness, national security, and civil liberties organizations released a letter to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Jack Lew, to urge him to conduct the President's called-for review of the implementation of safeguarding procedures for classified information in the wake of the WikiLeaks disclosures in a manner that is targeted to the problem at hand and does not sweep so broadly as to infringe on protected constitutional rights and privacy interests of employees. The groups were prompted to write by troubling questions in a questionnaire OMB circulated as a guide to agencies in preparing an initial assessment of their classified information procedures.

Open Government Advocates Welcome New Limits on Information Markings

Washington, DC, November 4, 2010 - Organizations working on government openness and accountability welcome the release of the Executive Order on Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). The Order rescinds the Bush Administration CUI memorandum, which was intended to create "a tiered system of designations and establish a framework for designating, marking, safeguarding, and disseminating designated information." Instead, the Order simply standardizes and limits the use of control markings on unclassified information.

Report: Secrecy Ebbs From Bush Administration High Water Marks, Backlogs in Declassification System

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7, 2010 - The 2010 Secrecy Report Card released today by - a coalition of more than 70 groups advocating for open government - chronicles a continued decrease in most indicators of secrecy since the end of the Bush Administration and growing backlogs in the declassification system as old secrets move through the system. The report covers the first 9 months of President Obama's Administration, which he pledged would be the most open, transparent and accountable in history.

Revised Plans Raise the Bar on Open Government: Agencies Respond to Feedback

Washington, DC - An updated ranking of agencies' Open Government Plans compiled during an independent audit reveals that 10 agencies joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the list of strongest plans, due to new plan versions created since the initial releases on April 7. The updated plans also decrease the wide variation in the strength of plans noted earlier this year. The response by so many agencies is very encouraging and truly in the spirit of the Open Government Directive.

Most Agencies Improve Open Government Plans Before Deadline

Washington, DC, June 28, 2010 - Twenty-two of 39 federal agencies responded to the call from to issue revised Open Government Plans by last Friday's deadline. will work with volunteers to re-evaluate the strength of the plans, and provide feedback on the changes. The organization will release updated findings in July.