Must read FOI stories – 7/11/14
- A CIA employee with the highest level of security clearance tried to get the agency to release info that was a decade old. They told him no, so he submitted a FOIA request and it “destroyed his entire career.”
- Residents of Ann Arbor, Mich., submitted more FOIA requests than their own local news media.
- How the FOIA Improvement Act of 2014 would help ordinary requesters.
- California has a decades-old law that restricts public access to viewing records of water wells.
- The Center for Investigative Reporting is collecting ideas on how to improve the FOIA request process. Have ideas? Fill out the form here.
- Two local activist groups file suit against a Florida county claiming that the commission skirted state open-government laws in allowing a controversial business park to go forward.
- Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council is reviewing each one of its 100 plus exemptions in its states FOI act to determine whether or not it is needed.
- After FOIA suffers setback due to South Carolina Supreme Court ruling, editorial urges public officials not to use FOI ruling as a means to shut the public out of government affairs.
- 20-year-old Rwandan genocide documents withheld under B(5) FOIA exemption forces researchers to look abroad for transparency.
- Illinois High School Association resists calls for greater transparency in its handling of extracurricular activities and the millions of dollars they generate each year.
- North Carolina State University official claims the state’s open records law is costing them opportunities for research contracts.
- An Oklahoma city, which was ordered to pay attorneys’ fees in an Open Records Act case last year, is again facing another lawsuit over its alleged failure to provide documents under the law.
- U.S. federal judge orders the Internal Revenue Service to explain how it “lost” two years worth of a former IRS official Lois Lerner’s emails.
- Why I love FOIA: Department of Homeland Security released hundreds of pages of documents not related to original request for “Operation Aurora attack on Google,” but instead provides info on the Aurora project run at Idaho National Lab years earlier in which engineers destroyed a generator with a cyber attack as a demonstration
- Which U.S. agencies sprung for the extra legroom provided by first class? MuckRock obtained Agency Premium Travel Reports, which show how millions in upgrade fees were spent from 2009-2013.
- In case you missed it, FBI released documents in May showing they had spied on Nelson Mandela during his first trip to the United States in 1990, four months after his release from 27 years in prison. Now, new documents show that Mandela’s release triggered FBI anti-communist paranoia.
David Schick is the summer 2014 Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information intern for SPJ, reporting and researching public records and FOI issues. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or interact on Twitter: @davidcschick