How FOIA lets personalities shine, Fast and Furious the #opendata way, and a creative new “exemption” in Washington
FOIA doesn’t have to be dry, particularly if you get creative with your requests and how you put the data to work. This week, some great examples of using government data from the New York Times and CityLab, plus a report on a questionable new way to skirt the law via the Tri-City Herald.
Public records can help dig into policy makers at all levels, as well as help find out the truth on the ground. This week’s FOIA roundup shows how you can use requests to do the same no matter what subject you’re interested in.
With a New York Judge upgrading the warrant requirement for a cell site simulator from probable cause to eavesdropping, it is important to take a look back at our census and the data researchers have compiled about these invasive surveillance tools.
These days the Hanford Nuclear Reservation has the dubious distinction of being the “most contaminated place in America,” with about 53 million gallons of toxic waste stored at the sprawling 586 square mile facility. While the recent tunnel collapse is the most severe incident yet at the site, inspection reports released by the Environmental Protection Agency through FOIA reveal a history of slow-burning decrepitude at the nuclear waste dump.