Arkansas lawmakers are considering new secrecy provisions for the State Capitol Police, some attorney-client relationships and Arkansas Community Correction.
The Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee approved the proposals Thursday, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. The bills are among at least 10 removing coverage of records under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.
Transparency concerns have been raised by the Arkansas Press Association, which represents the Democrat-Gazette and newspapers across the state.
Read More… from Proposed bills offer secrecy provisions in Arkansas
While much media attention is focused on federal government secrecy, secretive practices of state and local governments often get less scrutiny but frequently have a more immediate impact on communities.
Read More… from Local governments hide public records, face few consequences
President Barack Obama recently signed a law to improve the Freedom of Information Act, but the Senate Judiciary Committee heard Tuesday that the all-time low for unfulfilled requests occurred just last year.
The committee chaired by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, convened this morning to look at FOIA 50 years after its adoption by President Lyndon Johnson. Continue…
Read More… from Culture of Secrecy in Federal Government Increasingly Undermines Freedom of Information Act
A state appellate court hinted Wednesday that it had little interest in expanding government secrecy in a case involving the public's right to know who supplies the lethal drugs Texas uses to execute convicted criminals.
A decision in favor of openness by the state's 3rd Court of Appeals could a have limited effect because the Texas Legislature passed a law last year requiring state prison officials to keep the identities of the drug makers secret.
Read More… from Texas court weighs secrecy exemption for execution drugs
From Rapid City Journal: House and Senate conferees are continuing to meet to resolve the differences between the House and Senate versions of the 2013 Farm Bill. We received a copy of a letter to the conferees from the National Freedom of Information Coalition, calling attention to a provision in the House bill that would undermine the Freedom of Information Act.
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From NFOIC: Open government groups, including NFOIC members and allies, are urging House and Senate conferees to remove provisions from the Farm Bill that provides for increased government secrecy regarding agricultural and livestock operations.
Read More… from Open government groups urge government to reject farm bill that could keep agriculture information secret
From Courthouse News Service: (CN) – President George W. Bush’s presidential directive on cybersecurity is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act, a federal judge ruled.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center had filed the FOIA request in June 2009, seeking information related to National Security Presidential Directive 54.
Visit Courthouse News Service for more.
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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.
Read More… from US government secrecy making historical research difficult
From The Washington Post: WASHINGTON — It’s as if the United States has two governments, one open and one very much not. President Barack Obama leads both, trying not to butt heads with himself.
Read More… from Pillars of secret government stand as vows to make government more accountable are put to test
Editorial from Columbia Journalism Review: Despite the recent blockbuster leaks about spying on the phone records of millions of Americans, and President Obama’s stated willingness to discuss the issues they raise, a front-page New York Times article on Tuesday asserted that “legal and political obstacles” make a vigorous public debate about sur […]
Read More… from The case for a secrecy beat