This week’s FOIA round-up: Millions spent protecting Confederate landmarks, conservation officials instructed to withhold records, and cops caught driving drunk allowed to Uber home

This week’s FOIA round-up: Millions spent protecting Confederate landmarks, conservation officials instructed to withhold records, and cops caught driving drunk allowed to Uber home

In this week’s FOIA round-up, public records show massive federal spending on protecting Confederate cemeteries post-Charlottesville, the Trump administration’s policy of withholding documents requested with FOIA at the Fish and Wildlife Service, and police fraternity allowing cops to escape DUI charges in Illinois. Also, an extensive FOIA-focused report details systemic flaws in the Illinois state FOIA process.

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Join our project to track the CIA’s official contacts with other agencies

Join our project to track the CIA’s official contacts with other agencies

Last week, MuckRock asked for your help going extracting names and affiliations from Central Intelligence Agency’s list of official contacts and liaisons with other government agencies. Since then, MuckRock users have combed through half the list, producing names, affiliations and other leads. The response has been strong enough that we’re launching a new project for the effort.

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FBI’s predecessor once tried to keep the ACLU off the airwaves

FBI’s predecessor once tried to keep the ACLU off the airwaves

When we last wrote about the Federal Bureau of Investigation file for former head of the American Civil Liberties Union Roger Baldwin, we looked at one of many instances in which Baldwin butted up against Director J. Edgar Hoover on the issue of balancing liberty and security. An earlier section of the file, however, reveals their relationship was relatively tame compared to that of Hoover’s predecessor, who once urged radio stations not to let the “ultra-radicals” at the ACLU broadcast the “rotten propaganda” that they weren’t on the Soviet payroll.

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Massachusetts Public Records Law among the country’s most restrictive

Massachusetts Public Records Law among the country’s most restrictive

Most requesters that file in Massachusetts have noted difficulty in obtaining records from the state. The Bay State has often been ranked as one of the worst in terms public access to information, and that’s in no small part owing to the fact that three branches of government - the judiciary, the legislature, and the office of the governor - are exempt from the public records law.

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A dearth of prison phone operators limits lawful options for policymakers

A dearth of prison phone operators limits lawful options for policymakers

There are over 3,000 Sheriffs’ departments in the United States, and nearly a tenth of them have provided contracts to MuckRock in response to our nationwide survey of inmate prison phone agreements.

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Projects See all

  • The Private Prison Project

    ★ Featured
    • Contribute
    • 45% funded
    • $4505.00 raised
    • 112 backers
    For-profit detention continues to reap the rewards of an incarceration system filled to the brim and facing an uncertain future. Our FOIA requests have released thousands of documents that show how for-profit prisons have leveraged the legal system to their advantage, letting companies pick-and-choose inmates to off-load costs, ignore complaints and concerns, and create dangerous conditions for prisoners and staff alike. This is all done while billions of taxpayer dollars are funneled into these private companies, which then pour millions into politicians' campaigns to keep their growth going. With your help, we can provide needed scrutiny of an industry few are even aware exists.

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  • Subjects Matter: FBI Files

    ★ Featured
    • Contribute
    • 43% funded
    • $2150.00 raised
    • 19 backers
    This project aims to sift through the hundreds of thousands of pages of FBI archival material we've released, so we can better understand why the Bureau had an eye on these people - and through that, better understand who they're keeping tabs on today.

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  • Unearthing CREST: CIA's Declassified Archives

    ★ Featured
    After our three-year lawsuit led to the public release of 13 million pages of declassified CIA records, we've begun a daily-deep dive into the depths of the Agency's seven-decade history.

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  • FOIA 101: Tips and Tricks to Make You a Transparency Master

    ★ Featured
    Whether it's your first request or your first request *today,* it never hurts to go over the basics. MuckRock's compiled a lot of FOIA advice over the years, and with this project, it's all in one place.

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