No, those Fauci emails weren’t leaked; Yes, they were obtained using FOIA

After several media outlets published thousands of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s emails, some public figures claimed the emails had been “leaked.” The Washington Post and BuzzFeed News say they used the Freedom of Information Act to request and obtain the emails of the White House’s chief medical adviser. Niquelle M. Allen, the director of the District…

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Police body-camera footage: Too redacted, too costly, too delayed, transparency experts say

Body-cameras, heralded as a technology to enhance police transparency, haven’t done enough to ensure the public’s right to know, because agencies often heavily edit the footage. Not only does such editing obscure the footage, it also adds substantial costs and delays. That’s according to transparency experts and advocates who spoke to the Daily Memphian for…

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New England coalition supports Massachusetts bills to keep remote access to public meetings

The New England First Amendment Coalition testified June 2, 2021, in support of Massachusetts legislation that would preserve the ability of people to attend public meetings either remotely or in-person. “The legislation will make permanent one of the few silver linings of the ongoing pandemic: remote access to public meetings and the increased engagement between…

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News site examines dozens of transparency proposals swirling in Michigan

Dozens of government transparency and ethics bills are circulating in Michigan, the state that received an “F” grade and ranked 50th in the nation in a 2015 integrity investigation. Steve Delie, executive director of the Michigan Coalition for Open Government, told Michigan Advance that the state is stuck in “a culture of non-transparency.” In a…

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‘Antidote for the distrust in law enforcement is transparency,’ California coalition leader writes

Opening police records to routine and systematic public scrutiny is the way to stop officer misconduct, argues First Amendment Coalition Executive Director David Snyder in an op-ed published in The Mercury News. Snyder wrote in support of California bills to enhance police transparency, including SB 16, which would require disclosure of records related to misconduct….

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NFOIC signs brief, urging access to opinions of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

The National Freedom of Information Coalition, along with 30 other organizations, signed a Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press amicus brief in support of greater access to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court opinions and orders. Several organizations in recent years have sought access to the specialized court’s opinions. In April 2021, the American Civil Liberties…

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Planning boards across New York State violate open meetings law, coalition’s study finds

In a March 2021 study of 20 town planning boards in New York State, only 25 percent posted meeting documents online as required by the New York Open Meetings Law. The New York Coalition for Open Government reviewed town websites across the state to determine if meeting documents were posted online before the meeting. The…

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Learn more about misunderstood law during ‘HIPAA and Public Records’ online lesson

Learn about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, one of the most misunderstood laws, with instructor Adam A. Marshall, a senior staff attorney with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “HIPAA and Public Records” is hosted by the New England First Amendment Coalition, as part of its 30 Minute Skills…

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Texas legislators pass transparency bills, but open government work remains unfinished

Texas lawmakers approved two transparency measures to ensure greater access to public records after some governments closed off information during the COVID-19 pandemic.   “We are certainly glad lawmakers made these important improvements to Texas open government laws,” said Kelley Shannon, executive director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. “And a number of legislators…

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