FOIA

Policing Political Speech or Just Sex Under the Magnolia Tree?

In response to local Occupy protests, Tennessee Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons said in October that “we don’t have the resources to go out and, in effect, babysit protesters.” But as the Nashville Scene recently reported, that’s exactly what pol

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The 'Mugshot Racket': Paying to Keep Public Records Less Public

It used to be that mugshots were kept well out of the view.  Despite being public records in many states, walls of bureaucracy and simple physical inaccessibility (due to the photos being locked in a police station somewhere) kept them largely out of the public eye.

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Keeping 911 Recordings Public and Online

When a grizzly bear mauled bicyclist Petra Davis two years ago in an Anchorage park, she called 911 from her cell phone, barely able to speak: "Please help ... bear," she struggled to say. "I can't talk." A fellow biker quickly came to her rescue, grabbing her cell phone and calling again for help: "I have a young girl here who was mauled by a bear and who is in pretty bad shape," Peter Bassinger told the operator.

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The Catsouras Photos: Will a Family's Privacy Interest Impede Press Access?

The tragic story of Nikki Catsouras continues. I considered not giving yet more attention to the horrific accident photos she is now most known for, but the case still elicits a great deal of emotion and for that very reason it's important to address the law that is being decided in California. 

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What’s in the Box?! Piercing the Pointless Secrecy of ACTA

I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you. – Tom Cruise, Top Gun

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FOIA Ombudsman Moves One Step Closer to Reality

Last month, we reported that President Obama had begun making good on his promise of reinvigorating the federal Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA").  One of the first tangible steps involved Attorney General Eric Holder instructing government a

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Attorney General Holder Puts Freedom Back In FOIA

Making good on President Obama's early prioritizing of the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"), Attorney General Eric Holder officially instructed government agencies to favor release of documents to the public.  CBS New

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Citizen Journalist's Guide to Open Government

J-Lab, the Institute for Interactive Journalism at American University's School of Communication, just announced the launch of "The Citizen Journalist’s Guide to Open Government," an extensive multimedia module to help citizen media creators understan

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Obama Moves Quickly to Increase Government Transparency

Well, that was quick.  Just a day into his new administration, President Obama issued a pair of memos and an executive order all aimed at increasing government openness.  The Washington Post reports:

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