What you missed from our FOIA Slack Chat with Kendall Taggart

What you missed from our FOIA Slack Chat with Kendall Taggart

Investigative data reporter for Buzzfeed Kendall Taggart joined us for MuckRock’s Friday FOIA Chat last Friday on Slack to talk about where to find data - and more importantly, what to do with it.

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Inmates make up nearly a third of California’s firefighting force

Inmates make up nearly a third of California’s firefighting force

With regular blazes the “new normal” on the West Coast, prison labor continues to play a huge role in battling them.

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Five of the strangest theories in Albert Einstein's FBI file

Five of the strangest theories in Albert Einstein’s FBI file

As one of the most prominent figures of the 20th Century - not to mention an ardent pacifist during the height of the Cold War - it’s not altogether surprising that Albert Einstein’s Federal Bureau of Investigation file stretches several thousand pages. But while Einstein’s sharp critique of U.S. policy at home and abroad gave the J. Edgar Hoover’s Bureau plenty to work with, some of the other concerns raised in the file were dubious at best. At worst, there were Nazi death beams.

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Cooking with FOIA: The CIA's classified crab dip

Cooking with FOIA: The CIA’s classified crab dip

In the mid ’70s, then-Director of Central Intelligence George H. W. Bush was asked in a letter by the Houston, Texas chapter of the Knights of Columbus if he’d be willing to write a short article on the subject of the upcoming U.S. Bicentennial for their monthly newsletter. A copy of said newsletter was included, which is how the May 1976 edition of “The Challenger” - including its recipe for crabmeat au gratin - ended up classified as a national security secret for over 30 years.

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MuckRock Release Notes: Edit Assignment submissions

MuckRock Release Notes: Edit Assignment submissions

Now you can edit Assignments, making it easy to correct typos, fix attribution, or otherwise update entries. See how you can help improve MuckRock in this week’s release notes.

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Projects See all

  • The Private Prison Project

    ★ Featured
    • Contribute
    • 44% funded
    • $4470.00 raised
    • 110 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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  • Counting the Uncounted: The Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit Project

    ★ Featured
    • Contribute
    • 44% funded
    • $1555.00 raised
    • 22 backers
    Despite an estimated 175,000 sexual assault evidence collection kits that sit untested in evidence rooms and crime labs across the country, there is no federal law in place mandating policies or testing of kits, and we don't know how many more go uncounted. This project aims to end that, one city and one kit at a time.

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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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