When Congresswoman Bella Abzug and the CIA went to war

Congresswoman Bella Abzug infamously had issues with trusting CIA when it came to their handling evidence of illegal and improper Agency activities. Internal memos shows those fears were well-founded - while the Congresswoman fought to prevent the destruction of records of CIA wrongdoing, the Agency rushed to begin destroying everything they could.

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Harrowing audio clip reveals unlicensed bounty hunters running amok in North Dakota

After filing near 50 public records requests tracking regulations that may or may not exist on bail enforcement agents (also commonly called bail recovery agents or bounty hunters), is that the industry is almost entirely devoid of any meaningful oversight. A perfect illustration of this comes to us from North Dakota’s Insurance Department, which helpfully provided a lone audio file concerning a violent struggle by an unlicensed bounty hunter team, and a single complaint written by a woman whose brother had experienced the wrath of an abusive bail agent.

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CIA’s release of ORIS database could change the way FOIA requests are made to the Agency

In 1985, citing concerns regarding “difficulty determining what has been publicly disclosed,” the CIA had a truly great idea that would serve both the Agency and the public’s interest in government transparency - a “proposal to establish a focal point to record CIA information released to the public.” The resulting Officially Released Information System, or ORIS, would take years to finally implement, and thanks to a recent FOIA, it might finally become the transparency tool it has the potential to be.

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FOIA’ing Dixie: A look inside Corey Stewart’s Confederate carpetbag

Curious to see what the email inbox of controversial Gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart looked like after his comments attacking proponents of removing Confederate Statue, Virginian native Tom Nash filed a public records request. After some pushback, the commonwealth relented, and what they released makes for a fascinating read.

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CIA memo highlights the dilemma of declassification

One of the dilemmas of reading declassified documents is that readers are constantly faced with the question of whether or not to take the exemptions at face value - after all, CIA redacts beer brands and cafeteria names while claiming to “protect sources and methods.” Doing so erodes faith in the Agency’s choices to redact certain pieces of information, creating a situation where one of two possibilities are likely: that the CIA chose to improperly redact information to protect itself from embarrassment regarding improper activities, or that some of those activities are still seen as at least potentially valid.

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Projects See all

  • The Private Prison Project

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    • Contribute
    • 42% funded
    • $4285.00 raised
    • 102 backers
    Despite what you've heard, for-profit detention continues to reap the rewards of an incarceration system filled to the brim and facing an uncertain future. Over the two years, 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

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    • Contribute
    • 34% funded
    • $1725.00 raised
    • 12 backers
    From Abbie Hoffman to Malcolm X, Ol' Dirty Bastard to the Insane Clown Posse, FBI files read like a veritable Who's Who of the 20th Century. This project aims to sift through the hundreds of thousands of agency archival material we've managed to get 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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  • FOIA the Trump Administration

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    FOIA requests regarding the Trump administration and transition.

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  • Counting the Uncounted: The Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit Project

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    • Contribute
    • 15% funded
    • $180.00 raised
    • 4 backers
    • 1 week, 6 days remaining
    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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