Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #foia

Most recents (24)

Lot of great takes on Glomar and police transparency under #FOIA / #FOIL in today's @NYCLU opinion, but I like the second half about bogus "trade secrets" exemptions even better
Even after finding NYPD invoked trade secrets wayyyyyyy too late, the Court went ahead to consider it on merits to make clear that pricing info is simply NOT a trade secret.
Particularly love this bit: NYPD's vendor whined that releasing pricing info would allow competitors "to undercut our prices." Welcome to the market, kiddos!
Read 5 tweets
Re: that NYT story, on August 11, 2016, I filed a #FOIA request with OF I and other govt agencies for any docs about the national security implications of a Donald Trump presidency. I did so based on a tip such docs existed.

Then in 2017, I filed another #FOIA request with ODNI for any docs re: damage to natsec or potential damage to natsec from Trump's tweets or via his discussions with foriegn dignitaries

Agency responded to both requests saying it could not locate any records 2/
And my former editor @KyHenderson reminded me of this story yesterday I wrote shortly after the 2016 election based on my/@_rshapiro #FOIA lawsuit:

The FBI may very well have been investigating Donald Trump prior to the election. 3/3
Read 4 tweets
NEW #FOIAFriday: 17 yrs ago today, a detention facility was opened at #Guantanamo to indefinitely detain "war on terror" captives. Yet, operations remain shrouded in secrecy

So, I sought ALL the recent SOPs in hopes of lifting that veil. Here they are:…
Included in this cache of #Guantanamo Standard Operating Procedures I obtained via #FOIA: The latest version (redacted) of the force feeding procedures for hunger strikers (who are called nonreligious fasters).

(I obtained a complete unredacted SOP about five years ago)
I've spent the better part of the past decade trying to pry loose documents out of #Guantanamo via #FOIA. Been a long, hard slog.
Read 3 tweets
1/ In this week’s episode: Officials from @NatlParkService heaped pressure on scientist @Dr_Caffrey to get her to remove all mentions of manmade climate change from a trailblazing scientific report.

It’s part of a larger pattern.…
2/ Maria Caffrey, a University of Colorado researcher under contract with the @NatlParkService, spent years calculating how much flooding 118 national parks should expect from sea level rise and storm surge.
3/ But after @realdonaldTrump took office, the release of Caffrey’s research was stalled. Officials began trying to censor it.

We reported that first, in April 2018:…
Read 21 tweets
THREAD: Over the holiday, @Interior quietly proposed a rule that would gut the Freedom of Information Act by making it more difficult for the American people to access public records and limiting transparency at the department...
(2/12) #FOIA has been a critical tool for holding @Interior and the Trump administration accountable and will continue to be essential for public oversight. Below are just a few examples that illustrate how vital FOIA is in ensuring a strong Democracy:
(3/12) @Interior emails allowed @Politico reporters @Nickjuliano and @bjlefebvre to expose that @RyanZinke met at DOI headquarters with Halliburton Chairman David Lesar and other developers about a real estate deal involving Zinke’s foundation.
Read 12 tweets
What could go wrong? #FOIA
You don't have to be like this, @FBIRecordsVault.

You choose this.
Read 4 tweets
Been a pretty shitty year for #FOIA. Govt agencies continue to thwart the release of records. But I was still able to pry loose a few gems.

Here's a thread to highlight all of the news stories I published at @BuzzFeedNews in 2018 based on docs I obtained via #FOIA ICYMI 1/
People Actually Complained That TV Networks Repeated Trump's "Shithole" Comment

After news networks quoted the president talking about "shithole countries," audience members complained to the FCC — and @BuzzFeedNews obtained their complaints. #FOIA 2/…
Trump Transition Records, A Source Of Friction With Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Were Almost Destroyed…

#FOIA 3/
Read 19 tweets
Awww just went out to the mailbox to pick up yesterday's mail and the US govt sent me a Christmas present

Christmas #FOIA UPDATE: The big envelope contains four pages of documents from Secret Service in response to my July 10, 2015 request for records on the Islamic State

Will post the four pages in a follow up tweet 1/
Here are the four pages on the Islamic State Secret Service sent me 3.5 years after I filed my request #Christmas #FOIA
Read 4 tweets
Thread on this investigative story @a_cormier_ and I reported Thursday about the dysfunction and chaos at Treasury's Financial crimes unit, FinCEN, which resulted in Russian agents seeking documents during 2016 campaign on Clinton backers and Kremlin enemies 1/
Thread on this investigative story @a_cormier_ and I reported Thursday about the dysfunction and chaos at Treasury's Financial crimes unit, FinCEN, which resulted in Russian agents seeking docs during 2016 campaign on Clinton backers & Kremlin enemies 1/…
When we first learned of the issue last year, which included a Gmail/Hotmail backchannel between Treasury and Russian financial crimes agents I/@BuzzFeedNews filed a #FOIA request for docs and then a lawsuit. We obtained 100s of docs that looked like this
Read 11 tweets
#FOIA response or awful Christmas sweater?
(It's a trick question, because the answer doesn't matter. Either would contribute equally to your understanding of what the government is doing.)
Trying to decide whether this is a better or worse #FOIA metaphor than the fact that an agency just mailed me a blank DVD.
Read 3 tweets
Trump: Day 696
-Under *17* Different Investigations
-Russia Targeted African-Americans
-Flynn's Business Partner Indicted
-Offers Farmers Extra $4.9B in Relief
-Student Loan Debt Reaches $1.47T
-Dow Plummets Another 507 Points
-Awarded "Golden Idiot" by Germans
Day 801 since Donald Trump admitted to sexual assault — yet he’s still in the Oval Office
Day 652 of NO EVIDENCE produced by Trump that his phones were tapped by Obama.

The FISA warrant Trump referenced targeted Carter Page. #TrumpLies
Read 77 tweets
We are currently suing Chicago Police for it's communications with an academic institution to create the "Strategic Subject List".

Over *half* of Chicago's African-American men between the ages of 20 and 29 are on it.

There are over 400,000 people on the "Strategic Subject List" which originally began with ~1,000 subjects. We call it a "mass surveillance system".
Chicago Police claim to do social outreach based on the Strategic Subject List (#FOIA…).

The reality is they charge people with the highest possible charges whenever possible.…
Read 4 tweets
Members of Congress sent @SecPompeo a letter requesting he brief them re #Assange, U.S. discussions with Ecuador about the #WikiLeaks founder's status, and details about visitors to the embassy, as well as #Manafort's discussions with Foreign Minister Valencia.
#WikiLeaks tweets are distorting what the letter says and what prompted it. The letter literally just asks for a briefing and says the situation should be resolved – something everyone agrees on, regardless of their view of #Assange.
Read 5 tweets
Finally tuning into legislative hearing on critical @CaHSRA audit report.
You can watch too!
Vince Fong asks auditor about finding that agency lowballed construction cost estimates

Auditor - doesn't know how @cahsra can defend them
Earlier, Elaine Howe stated that this project was bigger and needed better controls but had worse controls even with lots of audits and other oversight.

Committee chair asks why.

Elaine Howle says she can't explain it - maybe would be good question for @CaHSRA .

Read 60 tweets
If you want to find out about how CIA considers the propaganda value of a document when weighing it's declassification, sign up for the @MuckRock newsletter before it goes out tomorrow… #FOIA
Want to see a declassified document talk about CIA using #astrology for psychological warfare (no really)? There's still time to sign up for tomorrow's newsletter!… #FOIA
@MuckRock *its

Read 3 tweets
At the suggestion of @MarketUrbanism we will live tweet our perusal of the California state audit of high speed rail that concluded:

"Its Flawed Decision Making and Poor Contract Management Have Contributed to Billions in Cost Overruns and Delays in the System's Construction"
Some background: the California state auditors led by Elaine Howle is independent and does really good work - but the legislature has to request an audit.
There was an audit done in 2010 which warned that:

"High-Speed Rail Authority: It Risks Delays or an Incomplete System Because of Inadequate Planning, Weak Oversight, and Lax Contract Management*…
Read 77 tweets
THREAD ICYMI: We successfully sued the U.S. Department of Justice to obtain James @Comey's personal emails used to conduct official FBI business… #FOIA #transparency
Of the more than 500 documents reviewed, the FBI released only 156 pages and withheld 370 pages in full, with 7 emails withheld under #FOIA’s law enforcement exemption…
This exemption is used when the government can show (1) a law enforcement proceeding is pending or prospective, and (2) release of information about that proceeding could reasonably be expected to cause some articulable harm…
Read 7 tweets
Ask yourself a very simple question.
Why is the FAKE NEWS media continually expending resources to defame, debunk, and cast as a conspiracy, for, as they say, a nobody who started on 4chan?

Why did select senior members of the D party [6] send a letter to Don McGahn in early Oct. outlining 'Hatch Act' violations re: Q?
FOIA works in this situation.

There is a reason why we encourage 'Memes' so much.
There is a reason why we came here to drop.
There is a reason why they are all working overtime to build code to censor and defend against 'Memes.'
Re_read drops re: Memes

Read 9 tweets
contrariamente a quanto fatto da #CrownProsecutionService, #ScotlandYard NON si presenterà in aula a Londra per mio #FOIA su staff #WikiLeaks: Sarah #Harrison, @khrafnsson @SwaziJAF
non presentandosi in aula,i miei legali NON potranno interrogare #ScotlandYard su perché mi negano accesso ai documenti su Sarah #Harrison, @khrafnsson @SwaziJAF
ho ricevuto molti "consigli" di chiudere mia azione legale basata su #FOIA per difendere diritto stampa di accedere a tutti i documenti del caso Julian #Assange e #WikiLeaks. Molti mi hanno "consigliato" di lasciar perdere se non voglio veder distrutta mia professione
Read 3 tweets
CIA just published its 2018 #FOIA stats, they closed out the year with 2009 backlogged requests.

Their numbers from last year show that, at any given time, I make up about 10% of their backlog.
FBI closed out FY2018 with 5,534 #FOIA requests backlogged – I make up just over 7% of that. (Vexsome indeed)
BTW, if you haven't yet now's the time to file #FOIA requests with different agencies for their lists of vexsome/high volume requesters.
Read 3 tweets
Noting that DHS office of Intelligence & Analysis routinely (and controversially) monitors social media for domestic threats. In the past, I&A had largely been scouring social media for jihadist threats to US but since last yr has stepped up monitoring abt white supremacists 1/
For example, here are a couple of documents I obtained via #FOIA from DHS abt it. 1st doc from May 2017 is a joint intel bulletin: White Supremacist Extremism Poses Persistent Threat of Lethal Violence

Other doc is an open source intel report abt white supremacist violence 2/
These reports are sent to US govt agencies (FBI) and local law enforcement for any action they deem necessary. Question that remains unanswered is what action if any has been taken. Officials have told me they are reluctant to wade into 1A issues involving US persons 3/3
Read 6 tweets
In response to our #FOIA, USCIS has posted Zeresenay Ermias Testfatsion’s A file online. Much of it is redacted. I have a lot to say about this, but I can’t this evening. For now, here is his file:…. A few thoughts before I board this plane:
1. This young man served for 14 years involuntarily in the Eritrean military. Eritrea conscripts people to serve for life. It’s also illegal to leave Eritrea without permission. He says he was ordered to shoot a man who was fleeing the country to Sudan and he refused.
2. For refusing, Zeresenay was tortured for 1.5 years in a prison. Read the State Department’s human rights reports on Eritrea. All of this is consistent with current country conditions. A man at the prison was a friend and helped Zeresenay escape to Sudan.
Read 9 tweets

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