How to strap a body cam to a polar bear2/12/18 – Scientists outfit nine female bears with high-tech collars made of leather and plastic that recorded activity levels and location. But these bear necklaces also held small cameras that, for the first time, afforded a polar bear’s view of their icy world. The resulting footage is remarkable.
Read more | Washington post
Kentucky Governor fights release of Facebook filter1/10/18 – Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin is fighting to keep his office from being forced to disclose keywords used to filter comments posted to his Facebook page, after the state’s attorney general ordered him to hand over the list. Read more | Courthouse News
Why was Richard Nixon’s FBI application rejected?1/8/18 – Richard Nixon’s unsuccessful 1937 application to be a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation is a fairly well-known bit of presidential trivia. But as the Bureau’s own records show, answering the obvious corollary – why wasn’t Nixon FBI material? – isn’t so easy. Read more | MuckRock
Thanks to FOIA, you can (kinda) play the CIA’s collectible card game12/06/17 – The agency’s “Collection Deck” game is ready for you to print out and play – it’s just that some of the cards are a matter of national security. Read more | MuckRock
Randy Travis loses legal bid too keep DUI footage private11/30/17 – A federal judge has denied a request by country singer Randy Travis to stop the state of Texas from releasing footage of him naked and ranting during a 2012 DUI arrest. Read more | Associated Press
Here are copies of NSA’s internal grammar advice column11/27/17 – The Government Attic, a website that publishes documents released through FOIA requests, recently published 29 editions of Grammar Geek, a grammar advice column in an internal NSA newsletter. The published columns offer an intriguing glimpse into the culture of the secretive intelligence agency. Read more | Motherboard
‘Anonymous’ $50,000 donation to Orange County, CA sparks debate over public’s right to know11/13/17 – An “anonymous” $50,000 donation to the county to improve an archery range at Mile Square Park is sparking debate over whether government agencies should keep donors’ names secret and whether it could become a way for people with business before the county to secretly curry favor with the elected officials who make decisions. Read more | Voice of OC
The cost of FOIA in the United Kingdom10/30/17 – An overview of surveys and other investigations into the costs of FOIA request in the United Kingdom provides interesting insights, but former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s opinion of FOIA is out of the ordinary. Read more | Lexology
New documents shed light on Steve Jobs’ interesting connection to the Clinton administration10/24/17 – A recently granted FOIA request sheds some interesting light on Jobs’ connection to the Clinton administration. Read more | Sling
Scuffle follows Knox FOIL kerfuffle10/13/17 – Verbal and physical conflicts occurred at the Oct. 10 Town Board meeting in Knox, NY; when both sides of an argument over a Freedom of Information Law request grew increasingly incensed, escalating into a fight between the supervisor’s wife, Anna Lefkaditis, and the co-chair of the town’s Democratic committee, Dee Woessner. Read more | The Altamonte Enterprise
New security protocols cause legal snafu in Pittsylvania County10/10/17 – A new security protocol at the Pittsylvania County Courthouse might have violated the state’s freedom of information laws — at least for a brief time. It seems that bailiffs blocked people from bringing cellphones into the courtrooms when doubling as meeting space for the county’s planning commission, where the law allows recording devices. Read more | GoDanRiver.com
A nationwide reporting adventure tracks improbably frequent lottery winners9/15/17 – Seeking information about frequent lottery winners, the authors submitted more than 100 public records requests to lotteries across the country, and outline how nearly identical public records requests can be handled differently from state-to-state. Read more | Columbia Journalism Review
These Scientists Got To See Their Competitors’ Research Through Public Records Requests9/2/17 – Over the past decade, scientists or universities have used the Freedom of Information Act to get thousands of competitors’ grants proposals. And many of the targeted scientists are upset.
Read more | BuzzFeed News
Port Huron City Clerk Epitomizes Good Service, Transparency8/28/17 – A recent FOIA request unveiled the contents of the Guantanamo Bay library. An interview with a prison librarian highlights what makes the collection notable. Read more | The Times Herald
Why Is There So Much Dan Brown at Guantanamo Bay?8/22/17 – A recent FOIA request unveiled the contents of the Guantanamo Bay library. An interview with a prison librarian highlights what makes the collection notable. Read more | Pacific Standard
Someone has filed a Freedom of Information request to find a secret hot fishing spot8/04/17 – On occasion, it is very clear a requester is only interested in “fishing,” submitting broad requests in hopes of finding a bit of information leading to a larger story. An Ontario requester took a more literal approach. Read more | CBC News
FOIA Complaint Explores Use of Social Media3/29/17 – The Freedom of Information Commission is close to deciding whether a former top banking official violated Connecticut’s open record laws when he deleted social media posts about the Otoe-Missouria Tribal Nation. Read more | CT News
USDA Forced to Repost Animal Welfare Records2/13/17 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture removed inspection reports and other animal welfare records from its website due to court rulings and privacy concerns. The records will now be accessible only via FOIA requests.
Read more | Science Magazine