• 10 years later, "lessons" of Hurricane Katrina still resonate

    Tomorrow marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landfall in the gulf. Numerous news outlets, and a few federal agencies - most notably FEMA - have taken the opportunity to reflect on the storm and the nation's response to it, benefiting from a decade of perspective. However, comparatively little attention has been paid to those reports created in the immediate aftermath, when the experience was fresher - and more painful - in people's minds.

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  • FBI ordered more cell phone trackers in wake of Hurricane Katrina

    Hurricane Katrina killed hundreds of people along the Gulf Coast, displaced thousands more, and exposed critical deficiencies in our country’s disaster response mechanisms. The historic storm also revealed gaps in the FBI’s inventory of cell phone trackers, making additional equipment purchases “essential,” by the agency’s assessment.

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  • "It is sensationalized cruelty" Game of Thrones FCC Complaints

    The award winning HBO series Game of Thrones, based on George R.R. Martin’s fantasy novels, has a reputation for eliciting outrage from nearly everyone who encounters it. But, while a large subset of the television-viewing population has a problem with GoT, there are few among us who would brazenly seek retribution by way of the FCC.

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  • FBI struggles to recruit private sector partners on cybersecurity

    Even as hacks like the tawdry Ashley Madison affair demonstrate how vulnerable cyber infrastructure can be to attack, the FBI is finding it difficult to convince companies to share details of security breaches. An audit report released last month by the Justice Department’s inspector general found that the private sector lacks confidence that the FBI will strike the appropriate balance between national security and customer privacy.

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  • "Definitely slanted against the United States" Ray Bradbury's FBI file

    Science fiction - a commie plot to undermine American values? It's an idea that the FBI was strongly considering during the height of the Cold War, as its lengthy investigation into acclaimed author Ray Bradbury shows.

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  • Little consistency in Texas police's training for military vehicles

    It's a reasonable expectation that if the Pentagon's giving out 24-ton military vehicles meant to safety traverse a warzone to local police departments, those departments should be sufficiently trained in how to use it. But as the wide discrepancy in quality shown by docs released by the Texas Department of Public Safety shows, that could not always be the case.

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  • We're better at tracking the deaths of bees than people who die in police custody

    Every year, a certain number of bees die. And every year, a certain number of people die while in police custody. We have a solid figure for one of these death tolls.

    At present, it’s not the human body count.

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  • "The line needs to be drawn SOMEWHERE" The Office FCC complaints

    MuckRock's Tom Nash recently obtained FCC complaints regarding NBC's office, spanning the show's last two seasons. While the nature of these complaints is nothing new - almost entirely concerning being reminded of the existence of genitals - there is a refreshing eloquence to them that sets them apart for your run-of-the-mill cries for censorship.

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  • FOIL'd: The pursuit of open records in New York

    The New York World and MuckRock filed 344 open records requests to 86 local and state agencies subject to New York state’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) as part of an effort to assess how effectively different agencies deal with such requests. The results were decidedly mixed, as some agencies quickly provided the requested documents in an easy-to-use format and at no cost, while other requests remain outstanding to this day, eight months after they were filed.

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  • Texas doesn't mince words on solitary confinement

    For a term as familiar as “solitary confinement,” the official record is impressively adept at calling the practice just about anything else. In Texas, though, the phrase is used and the practice utilized — a lot.

    But admitting the problem is one of the first steps to solving it, and that Texas doesn’t hide behind terminology makes it a lot more straightforward to even ask questions about the practice. It’s the sort of simplicity that is lacking in a so many other jurisdictions.

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