Growing Old With FOIA

The U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which is 40 years old, "is plagued by chronic backlogs, unjustified rejections and inconsistent responses, according to interviews with open government advocates and lawmakers and a new study by the National Security Archive," reports the Austin American-Statesman. The oldest outstanding FOIA request is from law professor William Aceves who, sixteen years ago, requested information on a defense program that monitors international waterways.


U.S. Spy Agencies Disappear History

"In a seven-year-old secret program at the National Archives, intelligence agencies have been removing from public access thousands of historical documents that were available for years." Since 1999, more than 50,000 once-declassified pages have been reclassified as secret. Intelligence historian Matthew Aid said some of the decades-old documents are "mundane, and some of it is outright ridiculous." The New York Times reports, "While some of the choices made by the security reviewers ... are baffling, others seem ...


Preventing Embarrassing Information Becoming Public

Guidelines issued by the Australian government's Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet advise public servants on how to avoid personal notebook comments being disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act.


Spotlight on Philippine Government PR Contracts

In the wake of the Philippine government's cancellation of the $75,000 per month contract with the Washington D.C. law firm and lobbyshop Venable, Malou Mangahas from the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism has shifted the spotlight onto other contracts.



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