The Farm Bill—and Its Strike at FOIA—Fail. For Now – June 25, 2013 Newsletter

In This Issue:
News from Coalition Partners & Others
I. The Farm Bill—and Its Strike at FOIA—Fail. For Now
II. Join us and FOIA on the Fourth!

News from Coalition Partners & Others


Partners Call on Privacy Board to Urge Disclosure of Surveillance Legal Authorities

Thirty-three groups joined the Center for National Security Studies in a letter to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), thanking the board for their attention to the recent revelations regarding the scope and extent of the National Security Agency's (NSA) surveillance programs. The letter highlighted the need for comprehensive disclosure to facilitate an informed public debate on government surveillance.


Cause of Action Obtains FOIA Memo

Cause of Action reported obtaining a copy of the 2010 Department of Treasury Inspector General report, which showed that the IRS subjects responses to some types of "major media" requests to extra editorial review. The document can be found here.

I. The Farm Bill—and Its Strike at FOIA—Fail. For Now

We previously sounded the alarm on attempts to add amendments to the Senate’s Farm Bill undermining the Freedom of Information Act. The Senate’s version passed without the dangerous amendments. Last week, a similar amendment from Congressman Rick Crawford was added to the House version of the bill. The bill ultimately failed in the House. When the next version of the House Bill arrives, we will be on alert for another attempt to cut off public access to information that is important for public health and safety.

II. Join us and FOIA on the Fourth!

The public’s right to know is at the heart of the United States’ founding. Without knowledge of government practice, how can there be public debate? Without transparency, how can there be informed dissent?

On the Fourth of July we celebrate the independence of the United States, and the 1966 signing of the Freedom of Information Act. Before the fireworks burst this Fourth of July, we’ll be wielding one of the most powerful tools available to the public. Will you join us? Find suggestions for FOIA topics and grab your “I FOIA’d” badge here: http://www.openthegovernment.org/node/4022

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