The NFOIC open government blog is a compendium of original concepts and analysis as well as ideas, edited excerpts and materials from a variety of sources. When the information comes from another source, we will attribute it and provide a link. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited; we will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

For Advocate posts prior to July, 2011, visit

July 5, 2016 12:26 PM

View the highlights from the blog and news feed June 30, 2016 from CFOIC...continue...


July 5, 2016 12:21 PM

View the June 2016 report from the New England First Amendment Coalition...continue...


June 29, 2016 1:09 PM

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) turns 50 years old on July 4, 2016. The landmark bill, signed into law by a reluctant Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966, gave the public unprecedented access to government documents. Like many great American contributions to democracy, it was the project of a lone crusader, opposed by the leading politicians of the day until it finally became law, then fully embraced on paper but never more than half-realized in reality.

And the Swedes beat us to the idea by 200 years. Continue...


June 29, 2016 12:55 PM

Last year, The Oregonian/OregonLive requested an electronic database of property recorded into evidence by the Portland Police Bureau. The estimated cost of making those public records public?


It was a bit out of our price range. Continue...


June 29, 2016 12:48 PM

Today, the ACLJ filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. State Department, demanding that it follow the law and provide key records shedding light on its cover-up of the Obama Administration’s Iran lie.

It started last month, when the ACLJ announced it had filed requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain government records showing who in the Obama Administration was involved in censoring an official State Department press briefing video to delete an embarrassing admission that the Administration lied about its Iran deal negotiations. Continue...


June 29, 2016 12:17 PM

A liberal advocacy group has no right to record public meetings of Missouri Senate committees, a state appeals court ruled Tuesday.

The Missouri Western District Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit filed by Progress Missouri that argued the state Senate violated the Sunshine Law when it repeatedly blocked the group from recording public committee hearings. Continue...


June 28, 2016 10:21 AM

A small town library in New Hampshire is having a big impact on discussions of privacy and freedom of information. The Kilton Public Library in the town of Lebanon, New Hampshire, population 13,000, withstood requests from Homeland Security to shut down their Tor internet browser-equipped PCs, and continues to allow identity-masked internet searches and traffic despite the concerns of local law enforcement, according to ABC News.

The library is running a pilot project for Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Library Freedom Project. The project chose the Kilton Public Library for the pilot partly because library staff had a history of protecting information freedom rights and personal privacy and also because the Project personnel believed the library had the technical know-how to install and maintain the systems used in the pilot. U.S. libraries have a long and storied tradition of defending freedom of speech and personal privacy. Continue...


June 28, 2016 10:16 AM

A state senator wants Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris to tell the Legislature how to deal with what he called a “prevalent crisis” in the public trust of law enforcement.

“It is impossible to deny the growing number of incidents involving peace officer misconduct, violence and deadly events,” Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) wrote in a May 27 letter to Harris. “There is clearly a grave problem not only in California but throughout the nation.” Continue...


June 28, 2016 10:08 AM

Knight News has joined a group of local and national media outlets–including the Orlando Sentinel, Associated Press and New York Times–in a lawsuit against the City of Orlando related to the release of 911 calls made during the Pulse shooting.

After the tragic massacre that left 49 victims dead and 53 wounded at Pulse early in the morning of June 12, several media outlets requested the release of 911 calls made by victims inside Pulse, 911 calls made by the shooter, and dispatch/scanner communication between departments responding to the shooting. Continue...


June 27, 2016 11:28 AM

More bad news for Hillary Clinton and her ill-advised personal email server. Another set of emails released by the State Department shows the government agency had to disable several security processes just to get its server to accept email from Clinton's private email address. Continue...


June 27, 2016 11:14 AM

The Environmental Protection Agency won’t release memos and other documents to another federal agency on the latest Rosemont Mine mitigation plan and on the mine’s general impacts.

It’s citing a federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemption, to protect what it calls the integrity of the deliberative process. But the University of Arizona’s journalism school chief, David Cuillier, says the agency’s action raises questions about what it’s trying to hide. Continue...


June 27, 2016 11:08 AM

The Legislature has missed another chance to make government more accessible and open to the people it serves.

Forget the critics who contend changes in the S.C. Freedom of Information Act are championed by the press because they primarily are applicable to reporters in their daily jobs. Legislation aimed at strengthening FOIA is about access for every South Carolinian every bit as much as for the journalists whose mission it is to inform the people of the state. Continue...


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