After the Dust Settles: A Guide to Protest and FOIA

A list of FOIA resources that will help you prepare, participate, and actively investigate what the police were doing at a protest.

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A Leaf of Faith: The Kratom Story

Kratom is a plant in the coffee family from Southeast Asia. It is typically consumed as raw powder, tea, and in capsule form. Although the herb displays an excellent safety profile, in 2014 the United States Food and Drug Administration issued an import alert on it, a de facto attempt to prevent its importation and sale.

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A Titanic Undertaking

In honor of the 105th anniversary of the legendary April 15, 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic, I'm looking through records across the country to find historic and current information about the ship, her crew, her passengers and more.

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Blank Check: How local police fund themselves with fines and fees

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.

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Cell Site Simulator Census

A nationwide census of cellphone surveillance equipment use and policy.

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Closed Meeting Crash

This project will evaluate Massachusetts municipalities’ responsiveness to records requests, as well as which have kept up with reviewing and releasing the executive session minutes of their local boards, and which have not.

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CVE Watch

The programs being designed and implemented across the country under the auspices of Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) have drawn fire from Muslim community members and civil rights activists. They are criticized for unfairly targeting Muslims, being used for surveillance under the pretext of community outreach, and being based on an unfounded theory of radicalization. Despite the heavy criticism CVE has been subjected to, there remain lingering questions about precisely which communities are targeted, what research (and which experts) agencies are relying on for their approaches, how (or if) government agencies are planning to safeguard civil liberties, which community leaders are being supported and for what reasons, etc. By making the relevant government documents public, we hope to help answer some of these questions.

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Defiant Defectors and Rebellious Refugees

A project looking at the brave people who have defected from or been forced to flee from their home countries.

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Drone Census

No one, including federal airspace czars, seems to know with any authority just how many drones are flying around domestic airspace. The Federal Aviation Administration has prophesied that there could be upwards of 30,000 drones in the air by 2030, but lists of which government players are flying UAVs at present vary considerably.

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Find the Truth About Flight MH370

I’ve always struggled to think that searches are being carried out in the right zone. Now two years after the searches are going on, every day it passes, I struggle a little more.

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FOIA March Madness 2016

64 federal agencies. 4 rounds. 1 winner. The CIA still hasn’t acknowledged our request. Who will be named Most Responsive FOIA Office?

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FOIA March Madness 2017

Back for a second year, FOIA March Madness pits 64 federal government agencies against each other to process an identical request for standard materials, a battle for the title of Most Responsive Agency.

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FOIA the Trump Administration

★ Featured
FOIA requests regarding the Trump administration and transition.

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From the Pentagon to the Police: The 1033 Project

As we saw in Ferguson, and most recently in Dallas and Baton Rouge, every day American police look less like a neighborhood watch and more like a paramilitary force. Here's how and why that happened.

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Fueled By Ignorance: Massachusetts Gas Leaks

Massachusetts, your officials aren't protecting you from the dangers of gas leaks. It's up to us to demand answers.

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Haters: Documenting Extremist and Hate Groups

Documenting extremist and hate groups through government documents, ranging from the small time racist groups to the domestic terrorist branches of the KKK. This project takes an inclusive approach of identifying hate groups, regardless of whether they focus on race, sexual identity, religion, etc. Many of the groups were identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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Hunting for Government's Oldest Computer

What started out as an attempt to answer a (seemingly) simple question - what is the oldest computer still in use by a government agency - has seen spiraled into a project that touches on issues of national security, record keeping, and finally finding out whatever happened to Zeos.

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Inventorying the FBI

An project to take inventory of the FBI's files on different subjects in order to identify what the FBI has worked on and to help requesters know what files they can request.

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Iran-Contra, October Surprise and Reagan's Wrongs

A look into the wrongdoings of the Reagan administration and campaign, including the October Surprise, Debategate, MCA Records, the Inslaw and Wedtech scandals and the Iran-Contra scandal, which has been called Reagan's unchecked abuse of Presidential power.

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Is This Stuff Legal? FDA Files on New Dietary Ingredients

Everybody is looking for a pill that makes them look and feel better, and the dietary supplement industry is happy to oblige. With new products hitting the market daily, this project aims to catalogue the new dietary ingredient notifications that manufacturers have sent to the FDA, which have been accepted, and which have been objected to.

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June 8, 1967 Israeli Attack on the USS Liberty

This project is to document the June 8, 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty as completely as possible from sources subject to the Freedom of Information Act as well as other similar laws and regulations.

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Missouri's Greitens Administration - A Freedom of Information Portrait

Instead of answering media questions and making traditional appearances, Missouri's new governor, Eric Greitens, prefers to produce and release his own material, limiting chances for the press to gain an insight into his thinking or agenda. Let's try to recover some of that lost information by taking an ongoing look at the documents he uses to make and issue decisions.

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MuckRock Thiel Fellowship

Peter Thiel - co-founder of both PayPal and Palantir and an early Facebook investor - has profoundly reshaped industry after industry and, ultimately, remade the world to better fit his radical vision of the future. With MuckRock’s Thiel Fellowship, we want to help journalists and researchers better understand this pivotal figure’s work and share what they learn with the public.

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Must-Seethe TV: FCC Complaints

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.

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#NoDAPL Pipeline Protest

Unicorn Riot reporters have filed numerous public records requests to various law enforcement and government agencies in North Dakota in the process of their reporting on struggles against the Dakota Access Pipeline. You can find them all here.

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