FOI Advocate Blog

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 http://foiadvocate.blogspot.com/.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

August 28, 2012 8:46 AM

From Sunlight Foundation:

Ad Hawk is our new iPhone and Android app that empowers you to identify political ads as they air and immediately learn about the secretive groups spending money to influence your vote. Simply activate the app on your phone when you hear a political ad on TV or radio and we'll return results within seconds. We paired powerful open-source audio fingerprinting technology to work in concert with our comprehensive data on campaign finance to bring you the best way to stay informed while you endure the onslaught of ads throughout the 2012 election season.

From ABC News:

By its title alone you’d think the Super PAC App was just a boring digital list of all the Super PACs or the groups supporting this years’ presidential candidates. (Although this list of these oddly named Super PACs is far from boring.) But no, the app is like the Shazam (the popular music recognition app) for political attack ads.
Download the app, which is available for the iPhone and iPad only, hold it up to the TV when an attack ad is playing, and using audio fingerprinting it will pull up information about the ad, including what super PAC paid for it, how much money it has raised, how much the super PAC has spent, and information about the claims in the ad. You can then vote on the ad yourself.

March 21, 2012 2:59 PM

From ProPublica:

Every local broadcast station has a repository of documents about political advertising that you have a legal right to see but can do so only by going to the station and asking to see “the public file.”

These paper files contain detailed data on all political ads that run on the channel, such as when they aired, who bought the time and how much they paid. It’s a transparency gold mine, allowing the public to see how campaigns and outside groups are influencing elections.

But TV executives have been fighting a Federal Communications Commission proposal to make the data accessible online. Since TV stations won’t put it online themselves, we decided to do it ourselves — and we want your help.

March 9, 2012 4:39 PM

Sunshine Week 2012 Events

Events around the country have been posted and we encourage you to not only add yours to the list, but also send photos, links, PDFs and other coverage. Federal, state and local lawmakers, as well as open government experts have contributed opinion columns on topics relevant to Sunshine Week. Editorial cartoons donated by the artists can be used by anyone for free in relation to their Sunshine Week coverage. Also posted is an infographic created by McClatchy-Tribune Graphics for anyone to use March 11-17.

Visit Sunshine Week for the rest.

Are you a 'Ray of Sunshine'?

The popular Sunshine Week Ray of Sunshine game is back with all-new questions for 2012. Take the quiz and wear the victory badge on your own site and Facebook page. You also can use the game button in your own pages with a link to the game to encourage others to test their open government knowledge.

Visit Sunshine Week for the rest.

Who is buying elections?

Welcome to a new era of exponentially more unlimited and undisclosed campaign spending. This is the first presidential election since game-changing rulings by the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and a federal district court in SpeechNow.org v. FEC paved the way for a small group of elites to spend unprecedented sums — with little or no transparency — to influence voters. Since then, outside groups often called “super PACs” have proliferated, stimulating new ways for big donors to influence elections — often in secret.

Visit B.R. Hook for the rest.

Arkansas AG, journalists urge court to uphold FOI, reverse judge’s ruling

The state Supreme Court today granted requests from Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and two journalists’ organizations to submit briefs in support of a challenge to a ruling that portions of Arkansas’ open government law are unconstitutional. McDaniel, the Arkansas Press Association and The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press argue in their briefs that a Sebastian County Circuit judge erred in the ruling he made in a lawsuit alleging the city of Fort Smith violated the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

Visit Arkansas News for the rest.

Former Wisconsin supervisor honored for openness effort

A Wisconsin village president who resigned his county board seat rather than stay silent about an open records issue was one of several people honored Thursday by the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council. Hilbert Village President Ken Stenklyft was one of eight winners in six categories of the council's Openness Awards, or Opees. The winners were announced ahead of Sunshine Week, an annual national effort to draw attention to the public's right to know that begins Sunday.

Visit wisconsinrapidstribune.com for the rest.

Mayor unveils San Francisco open data cloud

Mayor Lee unveiled data.SFgov.org, a cloud-based open data site and the successor/replacement to DataSF.org. The city is adopting cloud services, “social citizen interfaces,” and APIs to power its new open data site, all in an effort to provide a more robust, technologically sound infrastructure that can drive innovation, access to information, engagement, and government efficiency.

Visit TechCrunch for the rest.

CIA claims that torture technique is an "intelligence method" exempted from FOIA

The CIA’s characterization of torture as an “intelligence method” is shameful, and at bottom it is simply another effort to prevent the public from learning the full scope of the torture program. We know from documents the government has already released that the CIA’s use of waterboarding violated even the minimal guidelines established by its legal memos. The Obama administration should fulfill its commitment to transparency and release these additional documents.

Visit ACLU Blog of Rights for the rest.

Syndicate content