Recognizing the year’s worst in government transparency
moncler jackets outlet Government transparency laws like the Freedom of Information Act exist to enforce the public’s right to inspect records so we can all figure out what the hell is being done in our name and with our tax dollars. But when a public agency ignores, breaks or twists the law, your recourse varies by jurisdiction. In most states, you can take the dispute to court. moncler jackets outlet
The California based news organization Reveal tweets photos of chickpeas or coffee beans to represent each day a FOIA response is overdue, and asks followers to guess how many there are. The alt weekly DigBoston has sent multiple birthday cakes and edible arrangements to local agencies on the one year anniversary of delayed public records requests. And here, at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, we give out The Foilies during Sunshine Week, March 11 to 17 this year, a celebration of open government advocacy.
cheap moncler jackets But that report? Yeah, it’s totally classified. So not only do you not get to know what the CIA’s up to, but its reasons for rejecting your FOIA request are also a state secret. cheap moncler jackets
FOIA Fee of the Year:
moncler outlet online Texas Department of Criminal Justice moncler outlet online
Sexual assault in prison is notoriously difficult to measure due to stigma, intimidation and apathetic bureaucracy. TDCJ demanded he fork over a whopping $1,132,024.30 before the agency would release 260,000 pages of records that it said would take 61,000 hours of staff time to process. That in itself may be an indicator of the scope of the problem. However, to the agency’s credit, they pointed the reporter in the direction of other statistical records compiled to comply with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act, which TDCJ provided for free.
moncler outlet sale Best Set Design in a Transparency Theater Production: Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed moncler outlet sale
moncler outlet store “Transparency theater” is the term we use to describe an empty gesture meant to look like an agency is embracing open government, when really it’s meant to obfuscate. For example, an agency may dump an overwhelming number of documents and put them on display for cameras. But because there are so many records, the practice actually subverts transparency by making it extremely difficult to find the most relevant records in the haystack. moncler outlet store
moncler sale outlet Journalists began to dig through the documents and quickly discovered that many were blank pages or fully redacted, and in some cases the type was too small for anyone to read. AJC reporter J. Scott Trubey’s hands became covered in papercut gore. Ultimately, the whole spectacle was a waste of moncler mens jackets trees: The records already existed in a digital format. It’s just that a couple of hard drives on a desk don’t make for a great photo op. moncler sale outlet
Special Achievement for Analog Conversion: Former Seattle Mayor Ed Murray
cheap moncler coats In the increasingly digital age, more and more routine office communication is occurring over mobile devices. With that in mind, transparency activist Phil Mocek filed a request for text messages (and other app communications) sent or received by now former Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and many of his aides. The good news is the city at least partially complied. The weird news is that rather than seek the help of an IT professional to export the text messages, some staff simply plopped a cell phone onto a photocopier. Mocek tells EFF he’s frustrated that the mayor’s office refused to search their personal devices for relevant text messages. They argued that city policy forbids using personal phones for city business and of course, no one would violate those rules. However, we’ll concede that thwarting moncler outlet transparency is probably https://www.moncleronlineoutlet.com the least of moncler outlet online the allegations against Murray, who resigned in September 2017 amid a child sex abuse scandal. cheap moncler coats
cheap moncler The Prime Example Award:When Amazon announced last year it was seeking a home buy moncler jackets for its second headquarters, municipalities around the country rushed to put together proposals to lure the tech giant to their region. Knowing that in Seattle Amazon left a substantial footprint on a community (particularly around housing), transparency organizations like MuckRock and the Lucy Parsons Labs followed up with records requests for these cities’ cheap moncler jackets sales pitches. cheap moncler
More than 20 cities, such as Chula Vista, California, and Toledo, Ohio, produced the records but other agencies, including Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Jacksonville, Florida, refused to turn over the documents. The excuses varied, but perhaps the worst response came from Maine’s. The agency did provide the records, but claimed that by opening an email containing 37 pages of documents, MuckRock had automatically agreed to pay an exorbitant $750 in “administrative and legal fees.” Remind us to disable one click ordering.
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moncler jacket sale Every Agency Suing a Requester moncler jacket sale
As director of the privacy advocacy group We See You Watching Lexington, Michael Maharrey filed moncler sale outlet a public records request to find out how his city was spending money on surveillance cameras. After the Lexington Police Department denied the request, he appealed to the Kentucky Attorney General’s office and won.
moncler outlet As the Associated Press reported last year, lawsuits like these are reaching epidemic proportions. The Louisiana Department of moncler outlet store Education sued a retired educator who was seeking school enrollment data for his blog. Portland Public Schools in Oregon sued a parent who was curious about employees paid while on leave for alleged misconduct. Michigan State University sued ESPN after it requested police reports on football players allegedly involved in a sexual assault. Meanwhile, the University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University have each sued their own student newspapers whose reporters were investigating sexual misconduct by school staff. moncler outlet
cheap moncler outlet These lawsuits are despicable. At their most charitable, they expose huge gaps in public records laws that put requesters on the hook for defending lawsuits they never anticipated. At their worst, they are part of a systematic effort to discourage reporters and concerned Moncler Outlet citizens from even thinking of filing a public records request in the first place. Customs cheap moncler outlet and Border Protection agents and higher ups verged on unlawful. And if CBP officials already had their mind set on violating all sorts of laws and the Constitution, flouting FOIA seems like small potatoes. cheap moncler outlet
moncler sale Yet that’s precisely what CBP did when the ACLU filed a series of FOIA requests to understand local CBP agents’ actions as they implemented Trump’s immigration order. ACLU affiliates throughout the country filed 18 separate FOIA requests with CBP, each of which targeted records documenting how specific field offices, often located at airports or at moncler sale physical border crossings, were managing and implementing the ban. The requests made clear that they were not seeking agency wide documents but rather wanted information about each monlcer down jackets specific location’s activities. moncler sale
moncler outlet uk The court panel saw through CBP’s shenanigans and refused moncler outlet sale to consolidate the cases. But CBP basically ignored the panel’s decision, acting as though it had won. First, it behaved as though all the requests came from a single lawsuit by processing and batching all the documents from the various requests into a single production given to the ACLU. Second, it selectively released records to particular ACLU attorneys, even when those records weren’t related to their lawsuits about activities at local CBP offices. moncler outlet uk
moncler outlet jackets Laughably, CBP blames the ACLU for its self created cheap moncler sale mess, calling their requests and lawsuits “haphazard” and arguing that the ACLU cheap moncler and other FOIA requesters have strained the agency’s resources in seeking records about the immigration ban. None of that would be a problem if CBP had responded to the FOIA requests in the first place. Of course, the whole mess could also have been avoided if CBP never implemented an unconstitutional immigration order moncler outlet jackets.