NFOIC’s FOI Friday for February 10, 2012

A few open government and FOIA news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier:

CIA's Covert Operation Against Declassification Review

This very important Document Friday features a very obscure document, just two pages (59033 and 59034) that the Central Intelligence Agency printed in the Federal Register on Friday, 23 September 2011 –without a notice for public comment.  These regulations, which the CIA began enforcing in December, are a covert attack on the most effective tool that the public uses to declassify the CIA’s secret documents, Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR).

Opinion from National Security Archive blog.

Business and Media Interests in Dispute over 'Secret Court'

The decision by the Delaware Court of Chancery to establish what some see as a "secret court" for business has set up a showdown between the court, the national media and top business interests. This month, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press joined an October federal lawsuit filed by the Delaware Coalition for Open Government against the Court of Chancery and the state of Delaware.

Visit Delaware Online for the rest.

Open Gov Advocates Say Maryland Does a Poor Job Putting Data Online

Maryland lags behind other states in making government information easy for citizens to access online, open government advocates said, despite Gov. Martin O'Malley's push to make Maryland more digitally transparent. O'Malley is well known for using data to measure the effectiveness of government programs and policies.

Visit Southern Maryland Onlinet for the rest.

Michigan State Football Player Files Complaint Against Police Department

Michigan State senior Trenton Robinson has filed a citizens complaint against a local police department, saying that the officer who stopped him used “unnecessary force to command my body in motions that I was uncomfortable with,” according to the complaint obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the Bay City Times in Bay City, Mich.

Visit Sporting News for the rest.

How Open Society Grantees Are Advancing Access to Public Information in Latin America

Since the landmark legal decision Marcel Claude Reyes and Others v. Chile of the Inter-American Human Rights Court in 2006, the right to access public information has increasingly been recognized by Latin America’s governments as a human right.  Fourteen of the region’s nineteen countries have access to public information laws, more than any other developing region in the world.  Most of these have been passed in the past decade with the support of the Open Society Foundations' Latin America Program and partner civil society organizations.

Visit Open Society Foundations for the rest.

New York City Transparency Project Will Open-Source a Look Inside the City's Checkbook

The office of the New York City Comptroller has begun coding up a revamp to a site that already gives a comprehensive look, updated daily, at nearly every check issued by the city. For the first time, the city will also offer software developers direct, programmatic access to a comprehensive trove of information about New York's fiscal health. And within a few weeks after the updated site launches, city officials say, the source code will be released online under an open-source license.

Visit Tech President for the rest.

'Transparency Camp 2012' is Open for Registration

Transparency Camp is an “unconference” for opengov: an event where, each year, journalists, developers, technologists, policy-makers, government officials, students, academics, wonks, and everyone in between gather to share their knowledge about how to use new technologies and policies to make our government really work for the people — and to help our people work smarter with our government.

Visit Transparency Camp for the rest.

Turning Government Data into Private Sector Products is Complicated Business

The government launched its massive data set trove in 2009 with a clear mission: to put information the government was gathering anyway into the hands of private sector and nonprofit Web and mobile app developers. Once that data was out, the White House imagined, developers would set about turning it into useful products–optimizing Census Bureau statistics for marketers; Commerce Department data for exporters; and Housing and Urban Development Department information for building contractors, mortgage brokers and insurance adjusters.

Visit NextGov for the rest.

Citizens Love Transparency

Citizens are demanding more accountability and openness, and new technologies are making it easier to share data and information more freely. There are also sound reasons for doing this as experience indicates that having a more informed citizenry improves services, and open data has the potential to generate a host of new services and businesses.

Read the opinion for the rest.