Comey memos will stay with Mueller, not be released, judge rules

A federal judge ruled Friday that memos written by former FBI Director James Comey, detailing his “conversations” with President Donald Trump, will not be made public. Releasing the Comey memos would “likely interfere with special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into the 2016 presidential race,” U.S. District Judge James Boasberg wrote. Comey was fired last…

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Sunlight Foundation: The FBI shouldn’t restrict the public’s right to know about our data

As The Washington Post reported this week, the FBI wants to exempt its growing database of fingerprints and photographs from Privacy Act rules. The Privacy Act of 1974, which was enacted as a way to ensure that federal agencies protected the expanding amount of private information that federal agencies held about the American people from inadvertent exposure, includes provisions that require agencies to tell individuals if their information is in a system and empower citizens to ensure that that information is correct.

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EFF: FBI should release surveillance justification document

From PC World: The Federal Bureau of Investigation should make public a legal opinion it used to justify a past telephone records surveillance program because other agencies may still be relying on the document for surveillance justifications, the Electronic Frontier Foundation argued in court Tuesday.

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The FBI doesn’t want you to know why it won’t tell you its secrets

From Huffington Post: The FBI is going long to keep its secret files on animal rights activists a secret: It is fighting public records requests about why it keeps denying public records requests.

It’s a deeply meta strategy that’s also like the set-up for an Abbott and Costello routine — but to Ryan Shapiro, the MIT doctoral candidate profiled in Mother Jones on Wednesday as “the punk rocker who can liberate your FBI file,” it’s nothing new.

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US government secrecy making historical research difficult

From Al Jazeera America: While much has been made of the government’s current penchant for secrecy, few have noticed that this atmosphere now shrouds government history as well.

Working on a biography of a noted Washington journalist, I placed a routine Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in 2011 for her FBI file. The timing of my application seemed propitious. Two years earlier, President Barack Obama had signed an executive order to speed declassification of materials and had issued an encouraging FOIA memorandum.

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Declassified FBI files detail secret surveillance team

From RT: The Federal Bureau of Investigation has turned over new documents detailing how the FBI collects cell phone location information about criminal suspects, but most of the secretive program will remain under wraps for now.

The latest trove of documents was published this week by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a DC-based public interest research group that specializes in issues involving surveillance and security.

Visit RT for more.

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Globe’s request for FBI records regarding probe was filed in ’12

From The Joplin Globe: JOPLIN, Mo. — The Joplin Globe filed an open records request more than a year ago to try to determine whether a Joplin City Council member or any other public officials were involved in a five-year gambling and public corruption probe conducted by the FBI.

The Globe also sought the FBI documents under the Freedom of Information Act to determine whether the probe shed any light on the disappearance of $63,000 from the Jasper County Drug Task Force and files missing from the Joplin Police Department regarding that case.

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‘Other guy’ theory won’t win FOIA production

From Courthouse News Service: WASHINGTON (CN) – A death row lawyer who says police got the wrong guy cannot access law enforcement records on the supposed true culprit, a federal judge ruled.

Blythe Taplin, a lawyer with the nonprofit Capital Appeals Project in New Orleans, had asked the FBI on behalf of her client Rogers Lacaze to release such documents.

Visit Courthouse News Service for more.

 

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Judge orders FBI to speed up tracking info release

From Courthouse News:

The FBI can’t delay releasing information on its controversial cellphone-tracking technology, a federal judge ruled, nixing concerns over the size and sensitivity of the request.

The Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center, or EPIC, claims that federal agents have been using StingRay technology to locate, interfere with and intercept communications through cellphones and other wireless technology since at least 1995.

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