Category «Freedom of Information»

Trump wants the National Archives to keep his papers away from investigators – post-Watergate laws and executive orders may not let him

Professor Shannon Bow O’Brien is a presidency scholar who focuses upon rhetoric. She discusses how the National Archives usually goes on with its work with little attention, but that is now at the center of a political fight about the public’s access to the papers of former President Donald Trump.

Subjects: Archives, Criminal Law, Freedom of Information, Government Resources, Information Management, KM, Legal Research

RSS Feeds, PACER, and the Fight for Access to Federal Docket Information

What is RSS and how do federal courts use it? Rebecca Fordon informs us that courts vary in the types of documents they provide via RSS feeds – only about 70% of bankruptcy courts and 50% of district courts provide full feeds. The effort urging courts to fully enable RSS feeds has many advocates and would have a significant positive impact for legal researchers in all sectors.

Subjects: Court Resources, Courts & Technology, Freedom of Information, Government Resources, Legal Technology, Public Records, RSS Newsfeeds, United States Law

US takes tentative steps toward opening up government data

At the beginning of this year, President Trump signed into law the Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary Government Data Act, requiring that nonsensitive government data be made available in machine-readable, open formats by default. As researchers who study data governance and cyber law [Anjanette Raymond, Beth Cate and Scott Shackelford] we are excited by the possibilities of the new act. But much effort is needed to fill in missing details – especially since these data can be used in unpredictable or unintended ways. The federal government would benefit from considering lessons learned from open government activities in other countries and at state and local levels.

Subjects: Big Data, Civil Liberties, Congress, Cyberlaw, Digital Archives, Freedom of Information, Government Resources, Legal Research, Legislative, Privacy, Public Records

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues December 9 2018

Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and security, often without our situational awareness.Note – four significant highlights of this week’s column: The web really isn’t worldwide – every country has different access; Measuring the “Filter Bubble”: How Google is influencing what you click; Grandparents Increasingly Targeted By Impostors Who Know ‘Everything’ About Them; Who lives with you? Facebook seeks to patent software to figure out profiles of households.

Subjects: Big Data, Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, Freedom of Information, Internet Filtering, KM, Legal Research, Privacy, Search Engines

The Case of the Torn Presidential Record and the Future of Its Library

Brandon Wright Adler addresses the destruction of Presidential documents and records brought to our attention this past week in a rather startling article published by Politico – “The president’s unofficial ‘filing system’ involves tearing up documents into pieces, even when they’re supposed to be preserved.” As law librarians, we clearly understand the duty and responsibility to uphold the Presidential Records Act and to advocate that all such documents remain available to the public and researchers.

Subjects: Digital Archives, Freedom of Information, Government Resources, KM, Legal Research

Opening Government: On the Limits of FOIA and the Metaphor of Transparency

Professor Annmarie Bridy discusses the use of “transparency” as a metaphor for openness in government, the use of FOIA as a mechanism for ensuring such openness, and the ways in which proponents of greater public involvement in policy-making may disserve the cause by focusing too single-mindedly on access to information and the right to know, both of which are operationalized through FOIA.

Subjects: Features, Freedom of Information, Government Resources

Overview of all FOI Law Around the World – 2011 update

Forensic intelligence analyst, legal adviser, lecturer, FOIA and Web expert, and Publisher of the Fringe journals (Dutch), Roger Vleugels has published his Summary of 2011 Update indicating that 88 countries now have a FOIA in power. This reflects 7 more than in last year’s update: El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guinea-Conakry, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, Tunisia.

Subjects: E-Government, Freedom of Information, Government Resources, Internet Resources - Web Links, Legal Research

FOIA Facts – Ideas for Faster FOIA Processing

Scott A. Hodes notes that in the current Congress there are bills pending that would create a commission to come up with ideas for faster FOIA processing. He contends that by taking those ideas, along with a few days of congressional oversight hearings to solicit other opinions, Congress would have ample information to create an actual bill that would implement faster FOIA processing now rather than wait for a “commission” to come up with these same ideas.

Subjects: FOIA Facts, Freedom of Information, Legal Research