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Forgery and FOIA at Florida’s Department of Transportation
Former FDOT general counsel Erik Fenniman forged signatures and established his own plan for avoiding a paper trail and public records laws, according to another agency attorney interviewed in April as part of an investigation by the inspector general. You can read more from Matt Dixon at POLITICO.
Missed H.O.P.E.? You can now find it online.
There were many very cool conference items at this year’s remote Hackers On Planet Earth conference, and computer whizzes and civilians alike can see them all, including a presentation from MuckRock co-founder Michael Morisy, here on the Internet Archive.
FOIA Summer Reading Alert: Nicholson Baker’s Baseless
In his new book *Baseless: My Search for Secrets innthe Ruins of the Freedom of Information Ac*t, author Nicholson Baker explores the wormhole that can be the FOIA. Check it out for the insight into state secrecy and the cameo from MuckRock.
Sentencing Roger Stone
New emails give a behind-the-scenes look at the Department of Justice as it considered reducing its sentence for Trump associate Roger Stone. Read more from Zoe Tillman and Jason Leopold on Buzzfeed.
FOIA suits filed by American Oversight
The nonprofit American Oversight filed a few new #FOIA lawsuits against the Trump administration in the last week, including for records on deaths of individuals in Customs and Border Protection custody and COVID-19’s effects on the 2020 census.
For Your Situation Awareness (FYSA): Following requests on MuckRock
Did you know that if your interest is piqued by an open request on MuckRock, you can be emailed about updates as they come in? Sign up for a free MuckRock account and then click the “Follow” button at the top of any request page.
A fresh call to bring sunlight to the Massachusetts legislature
With that Bay State legislators are off for the summer, transparency advocates are reflection on just how little sunlight state lawmakers allow to shine on their actions all year round. Read more on the unusual stance Massachusetts takes on public records from Dan Kennedy on WGBH.
Where the CPD sees the gangs of Chicago
Lucy Parsons Labs has a collection of maps from the Chicago Police Department, released after a FOIA lawsuit, showing their outlines of “gang territorial boundaries” by area.
From the Weird World of FOIA: Either >7000 or nothing at all
Today in public records requests, I was told that a request was unduly broad and burdensome since there were 7000 responsive documents, and then was told in a separate email that the same request was closed because there were no responsive documents. 🤷♀️— Yael Grauer (@yaelwrites) July 21, 2020
We love jokes. Do you have a #FOIA joke?
Twitter wrapped up July with a meme-of-the-week format that FOIA lovers couldn’t resist. Do you have a #FOIA joke? Tweet it at us. We’d love a laugh.
I have a #FOIA joke, but, due to resources redirected to tackle the ongoing and escalating health crisis facing our society, I can't tell it right now and may not be able to respond to follow-up requests for as long as a year.— Josh Weinberger (@kitson) July 25, 2020
cc @GwynneFitz @MarshallProj @propublica @jbenton
(If you’ve seen an agency use COVID-19 as a reason to delay the processing of your request, please let us know!)
I have a #FOIA joke but it's too depressing to joke about cuz it shows the US gov knew we were losing the war in Afghanistan for 18 years but lied about it in public.— FOIA Nate📄 (@FOIANate) July 25, 2020
I have a joke about police misconduct, but you’ll need to file 80 Freedom of Information requests and I still won’t let you see it— Rabbi Lisa Levenberg (@RabbiLevenberg) July 26, 2020
#SanJose #FOIA #BLM #PoliceBrutality @BayAreaNewsHQ @mercnews @SJPDPIO @sjpdchief @NancySkinnerCA
(We’d love to help you get more transparency from your local police department! Check out all of the policing issues we’re looking at and how you can help!)
Image “Florida” by bookfinch is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0