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Electronic Frontier Foundation: Law Enforcement’s Secret “Super Search Engine” Amasses Trillions of Phone Records for Decades

December 1 -- Although the government still hides too much information about a secret telephone records surveillance program known as Hemisphere, we have learned through EFF’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits that police tout the massive database of private calls as “Google on Steroids." Continue...

Medical Innovation Bill Would Water Down Disclosure of Industry Payments to Doctors

December 1 -- This week, Congress is expected to consider a bill promoting biomedical research and innovation that would also weaken requirements on pharmaceutical and medical device companies to disclose certain payments to doctors. Continue...

Virginia Coalition for Open Government: 2016 Open Government Award Winners

December 1 -- The Virginia Coalition for Open Government is pleased to announce the winners of its 2016 open government awards. Continue...

IA Gov: Review of open records laws 'appropriate' after shooting

November 30 -- Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday that a review of the state's open records laws is "appropriate" following disagreements about whether video of a Cedar Rapids officer-involved shooting should be made public. Continue...

ProPublica/Sunlight Foundation: House Office Expenditure Data

November 30 -- Members of the House of Representatives get an annual budget for their Washington and district offices, but how they spend it is up to them. There are some rules: It can’t be used for personal or campaign expenses, and there is no reserve source of money if lawmakers spend all of their allowances. Continue...

From MJS: Open records laws across the nation

November 30 -- With state and local government secrecy on the rise in many U.S. jurisdictions, this database offers a view of state open records and open meetings laws, and provides information about how to get what you are looking for, as well as ensure that government is operating in the sunlight. Continue...

NYPD's Property and Evidence Tracking System doesn't keep detailed records of property seized during arrest

November 29 -- The NYPD does not keep detailed data explaining how or where property is seized during arrests, city lawyers say in court documents obtained by the New York Daily News. Continue...

NARA names new FOIA ombudsman

November 29 -- The office within the National Archives and Records Administration tasked with overseeing Freedom of Information Act activities across government has tapped Alina Semo as its new director. Continue...

Boston police set to buy social media monitoring software

November 29 -- The Boston Police Department is on the verge of buying new software that will scan social media and the Internet for criminal activity and threats to public safety — a step that civil liberties groups say is a worrisome risk to free speech and privacy. Continue...

CT: Hearing officer says state police policy on arrest records violated FOI law

November 28 -- An attorney for the Freedom of Information Commission has tentatively ruled that state police violated the state’s Freedom of Information Act when the agency required written permission from a prosecutor for the release of documents while a case was pending prosecution.  Continue...

IL: Naperville residents can track police, fire calls via new online map

November 28 -- As part of an "open data" initiative enacted earlier this month by the Naperville City Council, residents will be able to learn when, where and why police officers or firefighters were sent out on emergency calls, courtesy of a daily "public safety incident map" making its formal debut Monday on the city's website. Continue...

MuckRock: Take a minute to thank a FOIA officer who helped open up government

November 28 -- This holiday, MuckRock asks you to take a moment and say thanks to a public records officer who has gone above and beyond in helping process a request. Continue...

Emails Released by Mayor de Blasio’s Office Detail Reliance on Outside ‘Agents’

November 25 -- After months of wrangling with reporters and in court over the disclosure of emails, the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday released a third batch of its correspondence with outside advisers that it has designated as “agents of the city.” Continue...

FOIA expansion among things to watch during Michigan's lame-duck session

November 25 -- The House passed laws in September that would expand the state's Freedom of Information Act, which allows citizens to access records, to the governor's office. The bills would also subject the legislature to a separate Legislative Open Records Act. Continue...

Court: Missouri Corrections Department ‘Knowingly Violated’ Sunshine Law

November 25 -- The Missouri Department of Corrections knowingly violated the state’s Sunshine Law when it refused to provide records about applicants who sought to witness Missouri executions, an appeals court ruled. Continue...

The Daily Tar Heel files lawsuit against UNC to obtain campus sexual assault records

November 23 -- The Daily Tar Heel filed a lawsuit against UNC on Monday for access to public records regarding sexual assault cases on campus. The Daily Tar Heel requested the records Sept. 30 and set a deadline of Oct. 28 which the University did not meet. Continue...

Texas blows bid for funds to combat opioids, tries to keep records secret

November 23 -- The Texas Department of State Health Services hired an outside grant writer to begin drafting a proposal, which was due at the end of the month. As the deadline drew closer, outside researchers and public health workers were brought in to help. But state officials never submitted the application. Continue...

CFOIC President: Why Colorado needs a uniform standard for sealing criminal court records

November 23 -- Colorado has had its share of high-profile criminal cases. In each case, a judge entered an order severely restricting the public’s right to inspect records kept in court files, largely out of concern that seating an impartial jury would be more difficult if the records were widely disseminated. Continue...

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FOI Summit Wrap-up and All Things Summit

2015 FOI Summit from Denver

NFOIC and co-sponsor Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition convened the 2015 FOI Summit on Friday, October 9th, and Saturday, October 10th in downtown Denver, Colorado. The FOI Summit features ideas, experiences and discussions about the latest issues and trends around freedom of information laws, policies and practices at the state and local levels across the nation. Continue>>>


Knight FOI Fund

About the Knight FOI Fund

The Knight FOI Fund offers financial support in open government lawsuits, fueling and assisting the pursuit of important FOI cases. The need arose from the realization that the economic crisis and the evolution of the news media has resulted in declining levels of FOI advocacy. Continue > >


About NFOIC

We are a nonpartisan alliance of state and regional affiliates promoting collaboration, education & advocacy for open government, transparency and freedom of information. We award grants, publish FOI and FOIA news, provide transparency education and support to state and local governments, supply state sample FOIA request letters and Federal FOIA request letters. Continue >>

Your NFOIC

Knight FOI Litigation Fund

Having your FOI request denied may leave no other option than pursuing legal action against the rejecting public agency or official. NFOIC offers financial support to litigate open government lawsuits through the Knight FOI Litigation Fund. Backed by a generous grant from the Knight Foundation, the fund helps to defray upfront costs such as filing fees, depositions, court costs and other expenses associated with legal actions. Applications may be submitted through your state FOI coalition or directly to NFOIC. 

2016 FOI Summit - Washington, D.C. 

The annual two-day FOI Summit convened in Washington, D.C. and featured presentations on policing transparency, open data, proactive disclosure, attorney fees, FOI litigation and advocacy campaigns. The continually growing challenge for government to manage, and for open records petitioners to obtain public information in an increasing digital age was a recurring theme throughout the summit. Learn more...

About Your NFOIC

The National Freedom of Information Coalition protects the right to open government. We are a national, nonpartisan nonprofit 501(c)3 organization consisting of more than 40 state and regional affiliates, with a membership representing journalists and news media organizations, attorneys and law firms, educators, watchdog groups and individuals.

Our mission is to ensure openness, accessibility and transparency in government and public institutions.  Our primary focus is at the state and local levels.

NFOIC exercises advocacy, education and resolve. We are keenly aware of the challenges to access information in an increasingly digital world.

We strive to bridge the gap between the public and the written, verbal and increasingly digital information held by public officials that citizens are entitled to in our democracy.  NFOIC works as an intermediary to resolve conflicts between the public and their public institutions through collaboration and understanding of the challenges that create them and the solutions to resolve them.

We welcome your involvement and financial support as a member or donor to help advance our mission. We encourage you to also support your NFOIC state affiliate. Opinions, comments, suggestions and questions are always welcome. Please follow us on Twitter and “like” the cause of open government on Facebook. Read more about NFOIC...


  File and track FOI requests at NFOIC state and regional coalition sites using FOIA Machine

The National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) and FOIA Machine (FM) have teamed to help people file and track their FOI requests online through select NFOIC state and regional member web sites. Visitors to  NFOIC coalition web sites will be able to use FOIA Machine's technology to prepare, file and track their FOI request to public agencies at the local, state, or federal levels. More...



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