Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Latest in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Federal Law Enforcement

Getting to the Bottom of the (Attempted) McCabe Prosecution

One of the great political mysteries of the last few weeks involves what has happened to the possible criminal indictment of former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who is accused of having made false statements regarding his role in certain leaks to the media relating to the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal.

Secrecy: FOIA

Closing the Book on Spanberger’s SF-86

Last year, one of us filed a “meta-FOIA” request with Benjamin Wittes seeking information on how former CIA officer and then-congressional candidate (now congresswoman) Abigail Spanberger’s unredacted SF-86 form was released in response to a right-wing advocacy group’s FOIA request. We petitioned both the National Archives and Records Administrations (NARA) and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), each of which had played a role in the release.

Five Eyes

Newly Disclosed NSA Documents Shed Further Light on Five Eyes Alliance

In July 2017, Privacy International and Yale Law School’s Media Freedom & Information Access Clinic (MFIA) filed a lawsuit against the National Security Agency, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the State Department, and the National Archives and Records Administration seeking access to records related to the Five Eyes alliance under the Freedom of Information Act.

Scholarship

How, and How Often, Do Legal Academics Use FOIA?

Since its enactment in 1966, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has served as a significant source of transparency in government, allowing anyone to access official records that would otherwise be unavailable to the public. Legal academics have analyzed the statute in numerous law review articles, most of which seem to embrace FOIA’s underlying goals. Yet the actual use of FOIA and its state-law equivalents in legal academia has been quite limited.

Secrecy: FOIA

Someone at the Justice Department Wants Ethics Advice on Whitaker’s Supervision of the Mueller Investigation

Yesterday evening, we received a response to one of our FOIA requests asking whether anyone has sought or received internal ethics guidance on Whitaker’s involvement in the Mueller investigation.

FOIA

Has Whitaker Sought Ethics Advice on His Involvement with the Mueller Investigation? Inquiring Minds Want to Know

We’re using FOIA to find out whether the acting attorney general has consulted with career ethics experts on his involvement with the Mueller investigation. If not, that could be a major red flag.

Documents

Document: Privacy Oversight Board Report on Signals Intelligence Policy

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request from New York Times reporter Charlie Savage, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) has declassified its implementation report on Presidential Policy Directive 28: Signals Intelligence Activities (PPD-28). PPD-28 was signed by President Obama in January of 2014 and provides principles guiding “why, whether, when, and how the United States conducts signals intelligence activities.” The report was sent to Congress in early 2017.

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