What’s New

  • 12 October 2006

    Inter-American Court Finds Fundamental Right of Access to Information

    In the first decision of its kind from an international tribunal, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled yesterday that there is a fundamental human right to access government information. In the case of Claude Reyes and others vs. Chile, the Court found in favor of three environmental activists who in 1998 sought information from […]

  • 28 September 2006

    International Right to Know Day 2006

    International Right to Know Day was established to mark the founding on 28 September 2002 of the global Freedom of Information Advocates Network. The 4th International Right to Know Day is being celebrated in 2006. The aim of Right to Know Day is to raise awareness of every individual’s right of access to government-held information: […]

  • 22 September 2006

    Hungarian Government Releases NATO Secrecy Policy Document

    UPDATE – 11 OCTOBER 2006 In response to a subsequent HCLU request, the Hungarian National Security Superintendence recently released an additional, previously secret NATO document entitled “Directive on the Security of Information,” dated 2005. The directive, enacted in support of NATO Security Policy C-M(2002)49, contains mandatory provisions related to classification, marking and handling of sensitive information, […]

  • 7 September 2006

    Australia: High Court Sides with Bureaucrats, Rolling Back Right to Information

    The Australian High Court yesterday in a decision in McKinnon v. Secretary, Department of Treasury dealt a crushing blow to the country’s 24-year-old Freedom of Information Law, setting a precedent that permits government bureaucrats to deny public requests for information on the basis of broad claims of potential harm. The High Court found that Treasurer […]

  • 31 August 2006

    INDIA: Right to Information in Jeopardy

    Just six months after the Right to Information Act came into force, the bureaucrats in the Indian government are on the verge of rolling back the Act’s progressive access provisions. In July 2006, without any public consultation, the Cabinet approved amendments to the RTI that exclude from disclosure file notings contained in many of the […]

  • 18 August 2006

    In India, Right to Information in Jeopardy

    Just six months after the Right to Information Act came into force, the bureaucrats in the Indian government are on the verge of rolling back the Act’s progressive access provisions. In July 2006, without any public consultation, the Cabinet approved amendments to the RTI that exclude from disclosure file notings contained in many of the […]

  • 18 August 2006

    Mexican Newsweekly Asks for Access to Contested Ballots, Uses Access to Information Act to Request Independent Count

    By Emilene Martínez Morales and Jesse Franzblau, National Security Archive’s Mexico Project Editing Assistance Farrah Hassen and Michael Baney In the spirit of the right to know Mexican newsweekly Proceso has requested access to documents, tally sheets and ballots pertaining to the July 2, 2006 presidential elections via four different requests through Mexico’s Freedom of […]

  • 17 July 2006

    UNDP Seminar Spotlights Complexity of Expanding Right to Know

    By Toby McIntosh Fostering the right to know in developing countries requires multi-faceted, flexible strategies, according to the minutes of a May 2006 seminar sponsored by the United Nations Development Program. The 31 seminar participants, with practical experience in many parts of the world, reviewed the impediments to improving government transparency and shared insights on […]

  • 14 July 2006

    Using FOI Laws in Mexico in Defense of the Environment

    Español Environmental groups in Mexico, from the southern state of Chiapas to Coahuila on the U.S. border, are actively using access to information laws to directly impact ecological policies. Their work has shed light on the controversial La Parota Dam project in the state of Guerrero and uncovered irregularities in the administration of water services […]

  • 14 July 2006

    Documentos en Defensa del Medio Ambiente

    Emilene Martinez-Morales para freedominfo.org Coordinadora de Programas de Transparencia, Proyecto Mexico, National Security Archive, George Washington University Inglés Grupos ambientalistas en México, desde el estado de Chiapas hasta Coahuila, están utilizando exitosamente la leyes de acceso a información impactando directamente políticas relacionadas con la ecología. El trabajo de estas organizaciones ha arrojado información clave en […]

  • 27 June 2006

    Two Steps Forward, One Step Backwards: The Access to Information Campaign in Argentina

    By Martha Farmelo and Mariela Belski Martha Farmelo is Coordinator of the Freedom of Expression Program and Mariela Belski Coordinator of the Access to Public Information Program at the Buenos Aires-based Association for Civil Rights (www.adc.org.ar) Which is preferable, a severely flawed national access to information law, or no law at all? Freedom of information […]

  • 31 May 2006

    Info Commissioners Meet in Manchester: 4th International Conference Separates Officials, NGOs

    By Emilene Martinez-Morales for freedominfo.org Transparency Programs Coordinator, Mexico Project, National Security Archive, George Washington University Delegates from more than 40 countries participated this month in the 4th International Conference of Information Commissioners (ICIC), which took place in Manchester, United Kingdom, on May 22nd and May 23rd, hosted by the U.K. Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas. […]

  • 22 March 2006

    freedominfo.org Kicks Off Project on Legislative Transparency

    By Maria Baron, Argentina Introduction | Methodology | Glossary Legislatures are an essential pillar in a country’s struggle to promote transparency and good governance and to combat corruption: they are the only institution that represents the entire citizenry, have the ability to control other state agencies, and create norms and initiatives that prevent unethical practices. […]

  • 22 March 2006

    Open government advocates, media, public celebrate Sunshine Week in the United States

    During the week of March 12-18, the second annual Sunshine Week was observed in the United States, focusing national attention on the need for more open government and access to information. Sunshine Week was first celebrated in March 2005, when journalism groups, media companies, freedom of information and civil liberties advocates, librarians, civic groups, educators, […]

  • 22 March 2006

    Freedom of Information Laws Added to the Development Agenda

    By Toby McIntosh Riding a wave of transparency, the idea of encouraging Freedom of Information (FOI) laws as part of the development agenda is gaining currency, but slowly. With research and case studies increasingly identifying transparency as a key tool in fighting corruption and facilitating development, more attention is being paid to the development of […]

  • 17 March 2006

    Jamaican lawmakers debate sanctions for non-compliance with Access to Information Act

    During a hearing of the joint select committee of Parliament reviewing the success of the Access to Information (ATI) Act, Senator Trevor Monroe called attention to what he saw as a gap in the act: “we ought to plug the gap and apply exemplary sanctions to any authority that refuses to abide by this law […]

  • 10 February 2006

    New secrecy bill threatens to undermine Albanian Right to Information Act

    On February 10, 2006, the Open Society Justice Initiative and the Albanian group Center for the Development and Democratization of Institutions sent a letter to the Speaker of the Albanian Assembly, urging the Assembly to reject a new draft law on classified information. The Bill would create a new category of “restricted information,” which allows […]