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Futuro DC Bureau

FOIA journalism is a game of distant timelines. This project is for requests we make today for government data that our future Washington bureau colleagues will hopefully be able to use to break some news many months (or even years) from now.

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This week’s FOIA round-up: the ethics of mining in Minnesota, problems with for-profit companies in the legal system, and ICE detention records contradict Trump administration statements on migrants

This week’s FOIA round-up: the ethics of mining in Minnesota, problems with for-profit companies in the legal system, and ICE detention records contradict Trump administration statements on migrants

In this week’s FOIA round-up, calendars and emails reveal communication between Trump administration officials and corporate executives in a mining project, a contract with a private pretrial services firm raises questions about the role of for-profit companies in the legal system, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention records reveal that rates of people detained with criminal records has decreased in the past couple of years. Also, a Supreme Court ruling is bad news for people seeking government records pertaining to private entities.

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This week’s FOIA round-up: Using FBI records to uncover hate crime history, medical marijuana takes a hit as cannabis becomes more legalized, and The New York Times calls for police transparency

This week’s FOIA round-up: Using FBI records to uncover hate crime history, medical marijuana takes a hit as cannabis becomes more legalized, and The New York Times calls for police transparency

In this week’s FOIA round-up, a photographer used Federal Bureau of Investigation records to track down the location where a man was murdered 50 years ago for a photo project on the white power movemnt, medical marijuana registry data shows a decline in the rate of medical marijuana patients, and the New York Times Editorial Board calls for a repeal of law that keeps police misconduct records secret.

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Senator James Eastland’s allegations about "Red spy rings" debunked by his own aide in FBI file

Senator James Eastland’s allegations about “Red spy rings” debunked by his own aide in FBI file

As part of a recent push to clear their FOIA backlog, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has released 30 pages of new documents on Senator James Eastland, adding to the 521 previously released pages. Among the new documents is a remarkable one-page memo suggesting that Eastland’s public assertion about “Red spy rings” were the result of the Senator confusing New York Times reporters with spies.

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Remembering the burglary that broke COINTELPRO

Remembering the burglary that broke COINTELPRO

On the 48th anniversary of the break-in at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Media, Pennsylvania field office, reporter Betty Medsger reflects on the role of whistleblowers in the pursuit of truth and government transparency.

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Deny, delay, release: Virginia DOC finally issues tampon ban memo

Deny, delay, release: Virginia DOC finally issues tampon ban memo

The Virginia Department of Corrections came under national scrutiny in September when visitors learned they would not be allowed to wear tampons or menstrual cups, citing them as an apparent contraband risk. A FOIA request for a more thorough explanation of the tampon ban - through policy documents and a log of contraband incidents alluded to in the Times - revealed a two-month wait of rejection, denial and, finally, the single-page document behind the ban.

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