Posts tagged 'open government'

Gun permits stoke debates over privacy, open government

Posted: Feb. 26, 2013 | Tags: open government

Shortly after the tragic massacre of school children in Newtown, Conn., in December, the Westchester, N.Y., Journal News got access to a list of all gun permit owners in Westchester and Rockland counties and made it available on its website.

The publication of the list, which was a public record, provoked an outcry from permit holders who said their privacy had been violated.

Within a few weeks, the New York legislature and governor agreed to a bill making the records off limits to the public for four months. The bill also includes a provision giving permit holders the power ...

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EPA, Commerce take lead in developing "FOIA Portal"

Posted: Feb. 16, 2012 | Tags: FOIA, Freedom of Information, Office of Government Information Services, OGIS, open government

A buzz is growing in the federal Freedom of Information community about a new $1.3 million “FOIA Portal” under development and slated for launch this fall. Thursday we got a chance to look under the hood a bit, as part of a group organized by the Office of Government of Information Services.

The system’s design and development is being led by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Commerce Department, and so far those are the only two agencies that have committed to implementing it. OGIS, housed in the National Archives, also is a partner in the portal project ...

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FOIA week in review: Supreme Court rejects corporate privacy claim

Posted: March 4, 2011 | Tags: Center for Public Integrity, Charles Grassley, FOIA, Freedom of Information, Medicare, open government, privacy, Ron Wyden, AT&T, Utah

It has been a pretty good week for those interested in Freedom of Information and open government issues.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled in a FOIA case that corporations don’t have “personal privacy” rights. On the surface, that hardly seems shocking.

But there had been concern the court would side with corporations, given last year’s Citizens United decision, which allowed corporations to spend their own money on political campaigns, citing First Amendment reasons and, to some extent, equating corporations with individuals.

As it turned out, there was little need to worry in the AT&T privacy case ...

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Introducing Exemption 10: How FOIA works

Posted: March 3, 2011 | Tags: FOIA, Freedom of Information, open government

The Investigative Reporting Workshop is launching “Exemption 10,” a new blog devoted to covering issues relating to freedom of information and open government. Our primary focus will be on FOIA at the federal level.

First, let’s explain the name, “Exemption10.” The Freedom of Information Act, first passed in 1966, contains nine exemptions that give agencies the power to withhold information. But 45 years of experience show that it often seems there is an unwritten 10th exemption, which can be broadly characterized as, “We don’t want to give it to you.”

As the name might imply, we are going ...

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