FOIA requesters who relied on lists of classified directives published by both the Defense Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff to know what documents to file FOIA requests for may now be out of luck. In a transparency backslide, both the DOD and JCS websites no longer publish lists of classified directives and instructions, making it impossible to know what to FOIA.
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In the summer of 1949, special military investigators and Maryland state troopers descended on an old tobacco farm in Glen Burnie and discovered something bizarre in a rundown barn: "prototypes" of a flying saucer.
The rudimentary flying machines were determined to have human origins — the work of an eccentric designer who had disappeared — but their discovery nonetheless was outlined in classified Air Force documents as part of a secret program to track sightings of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, across the country.
Read More… from UFO investigations in Maryland get second life in online trove of Air Force documents
In 2007, Jeffrey Scudder, a veteran information technology specialist at the Central Intelligence Agency, came across the archives of the agency's in-house magazine, Studies in Intelligence. The catch: They were classified. So Scudder filed a Freedom of Information Act request. And then things got messy. "I submitted a FOIA and it basically destroyed my entire career," he told the Washington Post.
Read More… from 10 Fascinating Articles From the CIA’s Secret Employee Magazine
From Watchdog.org: A special committee ordered by President Obama to review the legality of the National Security Agency’s spying programs will not be subject to government transparency laws.
The president created the NSA review group in August and publicly promised it to be an “independent review” of NSA programs revealed by leaks from whistleblower Edward Snowden. Obama promised that the committee would be a “high-level group of outside experts to review our entire intelligence and communications technologies.”
Read More… from ‘Independent review’ of US spying policy not subject to open-records law
From The New York Times: WASHINGTON — Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, said in an extensive interview this month that he did not take any secret N.S.A. documents with him to Russia when he fled there in June, assuring that Russian intelligence officials could not get access to them.
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From Huffington Post: NEW YORK — Since at least 2003, the New York Police Department has been labeling some of its internal documents “Secret,” a designation that has baffled government secrecy experts, journalists and civil liberties lawyers.
Read More… from NYPD ‘secret’ classification for documents ‘means diddly’ in eyes of legal experts
From latimes.com: The budget ax has fallen on a CIA office that focused on declassifying historical materials, a move scholars say will mean fewer public disclosures about long-buried intelligence secrets and scandals.
The Historical Collections Division, which has declassified documents on top Soviet spies, a secret CIA airline in the Vietnam War, the Cuban missile crisis and other major operations, has been disbanded. The office that handles Freedom of Information Act requests will take over the work.
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