Last weekend, MuckRock's Michael Morisy and Allan Lasser headed to a FOIA Hackathon hosted by the BuzzFeed Open Lab, bringing with them six years of our public records data - all 112GB of it. it. Here's a run-down of some of the amazing things people did with it.
The Obama administration's Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) platform has so far given rise to dozens of programs being implemented across the country. Aside from a few frameworks made available for public consumption, details about many of the programs remain hidden from public view. This is particularly remarkable given the criticism these programs have faced from Muslim community members and civil liberties activists.
Despite billions of dollars being spent by taxpayers on incarceration costs, billions more are being incurred as debt by the people behind bars. MuckRock takes a quick look at five costs passed to inmates that can keep them down even after they're out.
Over the past year, 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.
For almost every city around America, fines and fees are a useful law enforcement tool, offering a way to punish everyday infractions without the immediate threat of jail or a permanent mark on a criminal record.
But what happens when governments stop thinking of fines as a deterrent, but as a crucial source of funding? How does it change policing when the goal is neither to serve and protect, but to ensure that the budget doesn't take a hit?
The Sunlight Foundation and MuckRock are partnering to find out.
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 though that, better understand who they're keeping tabs on today.
Everybody's a critic. And now, thanks to the FCC's easy online complaint submission form, it's never been easier to direct those criticisms to the people that need to hear it most - the United States Federal government.
This project aims to collect all the FCC complaints generated by the most critically-acclaimed programs on cable and network television ... as well as plenty of those less critically-acclaimed guilty pleasures at you still don't want to see cancelled any time soon.
Recent completed requests
Shawn Musgrave sent this request to the Department of Defense, Office of the Inspector General of the United States of America
Benjamin Lesser sent this request to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection of New York City, NY