Latest Features

  • 11 September 2014

    Praise for New Access Law in Mexican State of Coahuila de Zaragoza

    The following report on the new law in the Mexican state of Coahuila was prepared by the state information commission.  Along our history and mainly in the last decade, the Mexican society is fighting to demonstrate its indeclinable will of progressing in our country’s democratic life, developing and strengthening the fundamental principles of plurality, freedom of expression […]

  • 10 September 2014

    Why FOIA’s Loophole Needs Legislative Suture

    By Lauren Harper The author is a research assistant at the National Security Archive focusing on FOIA advocacy and open government, as well as on U.S.-Iraq relations. This article originally appeared in The Brechner Report. The Tampa Tribune reporter Howard Altman submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Veterans Affairs earlier this year to learn the […]

  • 28 August 2014

    Mexican Migration Agency Makes First Disclosure on Massacre

    By  Jesse Franzblau This report first appeared in Migration Declassified on Aug. 20. Franzblau is a policy analyst working on freedom of information projects in an independent capacity. He specializes in the use of FOI laws in Latin America, and is a regular contributor to the Migration Declassified project.  Mexico’s federal migration agency has for the […]

  • 28 August 2014

    How to Appoint a New Indian Chief Information Commissioner

    By Shailesh Gandhi The author served as a Central Information Commissioner in India from Sept. 18, 2008, to July 6, 2012. This commentary appeared Aug. 27 in RTI India.  A Committee comprising PM and the Leader of Opposition, recommends CICs names. Since, at present there is no Leader of Opposition, a recently-retired CIC has not […]

  • 21 August 2014

    Bangladesh Needs Transparency in Picking New Commissioners

    By Suchismita Goswami The author is Project Officer, Access to Information Programme, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. This article appeared The Daily Star Aug. 21. Two out of three posts at the Bangladesh Information Commission are lying vacant for the past month. The government knew they were falling vacant when information commissioners Sadeka Halim and MA […]

  • 21 August 2014

    Network Rail to Be Blocked From UK FOI

    By Mathew Burgess The author writes the blog FOI Directory where this article first appeared Aug. 15. Since publication, the Train Drivers’ Union issued a statement. Network Rail is due to be reclassified as a public body on 1st September however it is being reported that David Cameron will block its inclusion in the Freedom […]

  • 20 August 2014

    How Serious Were Japan’s Information Leaks?

    By Lawrence Repeta The author teaches law at Meiji University and is a regular FreedomInfo.org contributor. Japan in 2013 passed an Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets and is now developing the implementing regulations. The law was recently critiqued by the United National Human Rights Committee. (See Freedominfo.org report.) Does Japan really have an information security problem? […]

  • 20 August 2014

    The CIA Resisting Disclosure About Policy Change

    By Nate Jones The author is a staff member at the National Security Archive, the parent organization of FreedomInfo.org, and writes the blog Unredacted where this article appeared Aug. 19 under the title “The CIA Misapplies FOIA Exemptions to Continue its Covert Attack on Mandatory Declassification Review. And Why it Matters.”   On Friday September 23, […]

  • 14 August 2014

    Making Progress on Freedom of Information in Africa

    By Chidi Odinkalu and Maxwell Kadiri    The authors are with the Open Society Justice Initiative. This article was published Aug. 13. Odinkalu is senior legal officer for the Africa regional work of the Open Society Justice Initiative. Kadiri is associate legal officer on the Africa regional work of the Open Society Justice Initiative. In the decade […]

  • 14 August 2014

    Court Finds No Need
 to Clarify Scope of Request

    By Harry Hammitt The author is the publisher of Access Reports, a biweekly newsletter on US and Canadian FOI developments. While disposing of most issues left outstanding in a series of lawsuits brought by University of Virginia graduate student Katelyn Sack, Judge Emmet Sullivan has inadvertently exposed the difficulty in making FOIA amendments designed to […]

  • 7 August 2014

    Australian Commissioner Exempts Incoming Government Briefs

    By Peter Timmins The following article appeared Aug. 4 in Open and Shut, Timmins’ blog about FOI in Australia. The decisions by Australian Information Commissioner Professor McMillan in Parnell &  Dreyfus, and Crowe on the exempt status of incoming government briefs (IGB) under the Freedom of Information Act will please those in government who argue […]

  • 24 July 2014

    The In ‘t Veld Ruling: Raising the Bar for Denying Access to EU Documents

    By Helen Darbishire and Pamela Bartlett Quintanilla The authors — Darbishire, Executive Director, and Quintanilla, Researcher and Campaigner, at Access Info Europe — analyze the wider consequences of the recent European Court of Justice ruling (See previous FreedomInfo.org report). The July 3, 2014, pro-transparency ruling by the European Court of Justice in the legal battle for access to negotiations […]

  • 23 July 2014

    Will Aquino Deliver on Vow to Pass FOI?

    By Nepomuceno Malaluan  This article was first published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on July 22 and it reprinted with  permission  Malaluan is co-convenor of the Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition, a network of more than 100 organizations from different sectors that is at the forefront of the campaign for the passage of an FOI Act. He […]

  • 23 July 2014

    The Next Step for Nigerian FOIA: Compliance/Enforcement Stupid!*

    By Oluwasegun Obebe The Records, Information & Privacy Officer with the Department of Corrections, Washington, D.C., Obebe previously wrote an article for FreedomInfo.org about the Nigerian FOI law in August 2013.  Obebe argues against automatic application of the federal law to the states.  FreedomInfo.org has written about a trend toward such application in the courts […]

  • 18 July 2014

    Audit Indicates Weaknesses in Some Brazil Jurisdictions

    By Gregory Michener Dr. Gregory Michener is Associate Professor of Public Administration and Politics at the Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration, Fundação Getúlio Vargas, Rio de Janeiro (EBAPE/FGV). He also directs the incipient Transparency Audit Network based at the FGV Rio de Janeiro’s School of Law and EBAPE. This article appeared on the Open Government […]

  • 18 July 2014

    Connecticut Court Wrongly Reduces Access to Information

    By James H. Smith This article was first run July 15 in the Journal Inquirer and other Connecticut newspapers. Smith, a retired newspaper editor, is president of the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information. For more not the ruling see article in The Day. Why would seven judges decide that the police can keep information about crime […]

  • 7 July 2014

    Irish FOI Proposals Still`Timid’

    By Richard Dowling The following commentary is from RTÉ News. Rowling is the RTÉ North East Correspondent. The decision of the Government to do a U-turn on the issue of upfront fees for FOI requests has been widely welcomed. It is a small but important step forward in making FOI more accessible to the citizens of Ireland. […]

  • 7 July 2014

    Freeing the US Freedom of Information Act

    By Nate Jones This article first appeared in the Detroit News July 3. Jones is the FOIA Coordinator for the National Security Archive.  Earlier this year, the Veterans Affairs Administration denied the Tampa Tribune’s Freedom of Information Act request for the names of VA hospitals where veterans died because of delays in medical screenings. To […]

  • 1 July 2014

    When Open Data Isn’t Enough

    By Júlia Keserű This article was published July 1 on the Sunlight Foundation blog. Keserű is Sunlight’s International Policy Manager. As part of our thinking about how open data relates to government transparency, we at Sunlight have been writing and speaking a lot about why we think open data by itself does not automatically produce the transparency that allows us to […]

  • 1 July 2014

    Germany Failing on RTI in Five States

    By Walter Keim The following is the text of a letter sent June 27 by RTI activist Keim to Frank La Rue, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression 5 German states fail to respect human right of access to information, found for 84% of the worlds population. EU, CoE, OSCE and […]