CIA cleared on answer to telepathy FOIA demand

From Courthouse News Service: SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) – The CIA properly handled a man’s demand for records on his 1966 interrogation regarding telepathy and espionage, a federal judge ruled.

Phillip Mosier had sued the agency in San Francisco under the Freedom of Information Act last year, but his case was removed this past April to the Eastern District of California.

The complaint is sparse on details about the nature of the CIA’s alleged interview with him nearly 50 years ago in Lebanon, Mo.

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COMPLY-Investor advocates push to see trove of arbitration records

From Reuters: Dec 5 (Reuters) – A long-running battle over whether the top U.S. securities regulator should release records about its supervision of Wall Street’s arbitration process is about to go another round, this time with input from a vocal consumer advocate.

For nearly four years, a group of lawyers has been pushing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to release documents about its oversight over how the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority selects arbitrators who hear legal disputes between brokerages and investors.

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Booz Allen Hamilton and the “trade secrets” FOIA exemption

From MuckRock: MuckRock is in the middle a massive project looking into Edward Snowden’s former employer, mega-contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. After reviewing some redactions from responsive contracts received from the FCC, MuckRock’s Michael Morisy was curious about the consultation process on exemption 4 (trade secrets) redactions. So he filed another FOIA for processing notes and emails.

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Policy changes on fee waivers

From NFOIC: COLUMBIA, Mo — If President Obama and leaders in Congress are serious about strengthening the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), they would do well to strip away some of the discretion agencies have to determine which requesters seek information “in the public interest “ and are “likely to contribute significantly to public understanding.”

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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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Want a file from the NSA? You can ask, but you might not get it

From Delmarva Public Radio: Since former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked classified information about the agency’s intelligence-gathering activities last summer, the NSA has been bombarded with requests for its records.

USA Today this week said the agency received more than 2,500 requests for records from July to September, compared to about 250 from January to March.

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Obama transparency edict gets lost in the fog

From The Washington Post: In his first inaugural address, President Obama said that “those of us who manage the public’s dollars” will “do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.”

And he issued a memo to all department and agency heads instructing them that “my administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government.”

But maybe the message hasn’t quite sunk in everywhere.

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IRS hands over tax-exempt training materials to nonprofit publisher

From Accounting Web: The congressional committees investigating the Tea Party scandal – including the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chaired by Darrell Issa (R-CA) – aren’t the only ones trying to get their hands on sensitive IRS documents. In response to a lawsuit initiated by Tax Analysts, a nonprofit publisher of tax information and expert analysis, the IRS has released almost 3,000 pages of training materials used by its Exempt Organizations (EO) division, most of them dating from 2012.

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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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Homeland Security must disclose ‘Internet Kill Switch,’ court rules

From The Washington Times: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must disclose its plans for a so-called Internet “kill switch,” a federal court ruled on Tuesday.

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia rejected the agency’s arguments that its protocols surrounding an Internet kill switch were exempt from public disclosure and ordered the agency to release the records in 30 days. However, the court left the door open for the agency to appeal the ruling.

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