Bill to make federal data open, machine-readable reintroduced in both chambers

A bipartisan and bicameral group of lawmakers reintroduced Wednesday the OPEN Government Data Act — a bill that passed the Senate last year but stalled in the House.

The bill, which would set a presumption that federal data should be published online in a machine-readable format, has a broad support from open data advocates, government spending watchdogs and the technology industry.

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Why agricultural industry groups could soon be exempt from FOIA laws

After recent controversy, the US Congress has asked for Freedom of Information Act exemptions for organizations promoting agricultural products, including groups behind promotional campaigns such as “Pork, the other white meat.”

Although the US Department of Agriculture oversees advertising campaigns for different agricultural industries, which range from the meat and egg industry to Christmas tree organizations, the industries themselves pay for promotional campaigns.

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FBI accused of withholding information in congressional candidate Stearns probe

The congressional candidate who accused former Congressman Cliff Stearns of attempting to bribe him to bail on an election now accuses the FBI of taking a dive in revealing the truth about his allegation.

In court records filed last week, Jimmy Jett, who challenged Stearns in the 2012 Republican primary for Florida's redrawn 3rd Congressional District, maintains that the FBI was 'highly generalized and overly broad' in its rationale for withholding information its agents compiled during the investigation.

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The NSA Won’t Disclose What It Leaked To The Public

The NSA doesn't like leaks that much. But it does like leaks when it chooses to leak, as then it gets to exert influence over the media, and thus potentially shape the public narrative. And as we have variously learned, not everything initially marked TOP SECRET//COMINT//NO FORN needs to stay that way.

But that doesn't mean to say that the NSA, which has a requirement to inform Congress when it leaks certain information, wants you to know what it has leaked, and what has otherwise managed to find its way out on its own.

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Letters: Government shouldnít be afraid of transparency

Jason Grumet argued in ìGovernment wilting from the sunshineî [Washington Forum, Oct. 2] that transparency measures such as open meetings and records laws have a 'dark side,' one that is presumably responsible for the 77 percent of Americans who do not trust their government most of the time. Perhaps the fact that Congress has exempted itself from the Freedom of Information Act and has no requirements to hold all meetings in public might contribute to the mistrust that troubles Mr. Grumet.

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FL Congressman offers amendment to stop government from tracking private vehicles

Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL-03) offered an amendment to a bill that was accepted by voice, which would prohibit any money to be used to mandate any type of government GPS location device on personal vehicles.

The amendment was to H.R. 4745 – Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015 (THUD), in which Yoho voted in favor of. 


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