Senator Rockefeller May Effectively Kill Freedom of Information Act Improvement if He Doesn’t Lift Hold Today

By: Monday December 8, 2014 10:04 am

West Virginia Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller has placed a last-minute hold on critical Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) legislation. Open government advocates involved in developing the legislation believe if Rockefeller does not lift his hold today his act could effectively kill reform. The bill’s sponsor, Vermont Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, stated on December 5 that [...]

 

ALEC has “No Comment” on Free Markets Contradiction

By: Monday August 11, 2014 1:15 pm

The American Legislative Exchange Council doesn’t like clean energy. And ALEC doesn’t care about free markets.

Like most of its operations, ALEC won’t talk about these realities in an open way. I tried at ALEC’s recent Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas, but ALEC staffer John Eick stood by his organization’s reputation for secrecy and deflected my questions.

OK and MO Governors Win Golden Padlock for Unwavering Commitment to Secrecy in Executions

By: Wednesday July 2, 2014 3:30 pm

This weekend, the prestigious national journalism organization Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) awarded its annual “Golden Padlock” award to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon for their commitment to government secrecy surrounding state executions.

Congress Moves To Remove Disclosure For Privately Funded Trips

By: Wednesday July 2, 2014 8:57 am

Congress seems intent on getting its public approval rating even lower and destroying what little trust it has left. After hollowing out the reporting mechanism for disclosing insider trading by staffers for members of Congress, those guardians of the republic have decided to remove the rule that requires publicly disclosing privately funded trips.

TISA: Secret Agreement Further Deregulates Wall Street

By: Wednesday June 25, 2014 10:46 am

Thanks to Wikileaks the world now knows about the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). The agreement was so secret that it was not only meant to be kept from the people of the participating countries during negotiations but for five years after going into effect. TISA is perhaps the most anti-transparent trade agreement ever proposed with Professor Jane Kelsey of the University of Auckland calling the agreement a reversal of the trend for disclosure in international agreements.

When Journalists Oppose Using Leaked Documents But Favor Relying on Statements from Anonymous Officials

By: Wednesday May 7, 2014 11:56 am

According to the survey by David Weaver and Lars Willnat, “The percentage of US journalists endorsing the occasional use of ‘confidential business or government documents without authorization’ dropped significantly from 81.8 percent in 1992 to 57.7 percent in 2013.”

Obama Administration, Despite Pledges, Still Resists Release of Secret Legal Opinions on Surveillance

By: Friday May 2, 2014 8:31 am

Over the past months, President Barack Obama’s administration, especially Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, have postured themselves as being committed to some newfound level of government transparency in the aftermath of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s disclosures. The administration has significantly sought to downplay the fact that the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) sued the government and a court ordered the release of key Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) opinions and other documents.

US Drops in Press Freedom Ranking as Result of Interfering with Reporting on National Security Issues

By: Thursday May 1, 2014 2:08 pm

While the United States government is not shooting and killing journalists, routinely withholding visas to foreign journalists or severely clamping down on online media, press freedom in the US has been declining, according to an annual report on global press freedom by Freedom House.

Clapper, Senators & Obama Administration Favor Transparency on Drone Strikes—If It Makes Them More Defensible

By: Tuesday April 29, 2014 9:48 am

At the request of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and the wider executive branch, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which is chaired by Senator Dianne Feinstein, agreed to remove a provision in an intelligence bill that would have required the president to release an annual report on casualties from drone strikes launched by the United States.

It’s Time for Transparency in U.S. Drone Strikes

By: Thursday March 27, 2014 6:00 pm

Three years ago last week, a U.S. drone strike hit the small town of Datta Khel in Pakistan. Local business owners and leaders were in the midst of a two-day tribal council meeting, called to address a dispute regarding a chromite mine in the area. Local authorities had been notified about the meeting, which is a traditional forum employed to resolve community conflicts.

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