The prolific public radio show On The Media last week explored how open records laws are used to disrupt public interest research at public universities and examined the challenges of creating laws that allow for scrutiny while protecting free speech. The reporter, Alana Casanova-Burgess, treated the issue with the complexity it deserves, and in the days since, I’ve heard from several professors around the country by email and phone. Read more >
May 21, 2019 4:28 PM EDT
February 22, 2019 4:39 PM EDT
Corporations and activists from the left and the right are abusing open records laws to harass public university researchers. A growing body of analysis shows that these attacks are growing both in number and severity. Fortunately, some states have begun to clarify how these laws apply to university researchers, both through courts and state legislatures. Read more >
April 21, 2018 11:20 AM EDT
On April 17th, the Union of Concerned Scientists obtained EPA records through three separate Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests demonstrating that a proposed Trojan horse “transparency” policy that would restrict the agency’s ability to use the best available science in decision-making is driven by politics, not science. The records also embarrassingly showed EPA officials were more concerned about the release of industry trade secrets than they were about sensitive private medical information.
June 15, 2016 11:07 AM EDT
Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. But this year, it’s extra special. This July 4th marks the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Freedom of Information Act, also known as FOIA. The bedrock transparency law essentially allows citizens to know what their government is up to. This year, we will have even more reason to celebrate. Read more >
March 25, 2016 6:34 AM EDT
There’s so much bad news about partisan gridlock on Capitol Hill, it’s refreshing to have some good news to report.
When it comes to improving the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), fifty years old this year, Republicans and Democrats are working together to achieve reform. Indeed, both the House and the Senate have passed bills that would significantly strengthen FOIA. The bills had overwhelming bipartisan acceptance. No Senator objected to the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, S. 337. The House FOIA Oversight and Implementation Act, H.R. 653, bill passed by voice vote. Read more >