From The Blog of Legal Times:
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled today that records of visitors to the White House were off limits to requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Allowing public access to the information would circumvent Congress' intent to give the president discretion to keep his appointments calendar secret, the court said.
DOJ ordered to turn over documents in Ensign probe
From TheHill.com: The Justice Department is being forced to hand over an index of every document amassed in its criminal investigation of former Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.).
The federal court decision will grant the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) watchdog group a broad list of what documents the DOJ possesses and the reasons why Justice is arguing to withhold them from the public.
Michigan ACLU denied request for FBI records on race, ethnic data use
From MLive.com: A federal appeals panel denied a request by the Michigan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union for information on the FBI's use of data on race and ethnicity in targeting investigations.
CIA refuses to acknowledge drone targeted killings
From Wired: Months after a federal appeals court reinstated a lawsuit seeking Central Intelligence Agency documents outlining the government’s drone targeted killing program, the President Barack Obama administration is again claiming that acknowledging if it has such paperwork could disclose classified secrets concerning whether it even carries out targeted killings.
All the while, a federal appeals court ruled in March that everybody knows the government performs targeted killings.
EPA may have tried to evade FOIA request, judge says
From WashingtonPost.com: A federal judge said Wednesday that the Environmental Protection Agency may have tried to evade a Freedom of Information Act request and added that “numerous inconsistencies” in the agency’s court filings “undermine confidence in their truthfulness.”
As a result, Judge Royce C. Lamberth granted the conservative Landmark Legal Foundation, which filed the request for e-mails of current and former top EPA officials, the right to question them in person and in writing.
CIA memo confirms snooping file on Noam Chomsky
From journalgazette.net: For years, the Central Intelligence Agency denied it had a secret file on MIT professor and famed dissident Noam Chomsky. But a new government disclosure obtained by FP reveals for the first time that the agency did in fact gather records on the anti-war iconoclast during his heyday in the 1970s.
Judge rejects bid to FOIA National Security Council
From Politico: A federal judge in New York has rejected a bid to restore access to National Security Council records under the Freedom of Information Act. U.S. District Court Judge Eric Vitaliano, who sits in Brooklyn, said in a ruling dated Tuesday that he saw no reason to depart from a 1996 D.C. Circuit ruling that found files beyond the reach of FOIA on the grounds that the NSC's primary role is to advise the president.
The 95 media-worthy FOIA requests flagged for Pentagon approval
From Jason Leopold at The Public Record: A few weeks ago, the nonpartisan organization Cause of Action posted a story on its website about a secret Pentagon policy that calls for certain Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests that may generate media attention to first be approved by the Pentagon.
Naturally, I was eager to find out what FOIA requests analysts believed would be of interest to the Pentagon. So, I filed a FOIA for a copy of the list of those FOIAs.
NSA says it can’t search its own emails
From ProPublica: The NSA is a "supercomputing powerhouse" with machines so powerful their speed is measured in thousands of trillions of operations per second. The agency turns its giant machine brains to the task of sifting through unimaginably large troves of data its surveillance programs capture.
Should open-government violators go to jail?
Opinion from Donald Meyers at Salt Lake Tribune: