Obama's Disappointing Record on Transparency


Tech Dirt is not remotely impressed with the White House's performance in responding to FOIAs:

The officials rules from the Obama Administration, when it comes to Freedom of Information requests, is that the default view should be the transparent one. In practice, we've seen exactly the opposite. Studies have shown that the Obama Administration has turned down FOIA requests at a greater rate than the previous administration (which was already pretty damn secretive) and often uses political reasons, rather than genuine secrecy reasons to hide information (for example, claiming ACTA had to be secret for national security reasons).

The EFF (which the administration has highlighted internally as an organization deserving more political scrutiny before documents can be released to it) has now pointed out that it appears that the FBI has extremely arbitrary standards for figuring out what to redact when complying with FOIA requests. Specifically, the EFF asked for multiple documents on two separate occasions and was amazed to find that the redactions were entirely different—even if the reasons for the redactions were the same

I'll repeat a banal if timely observation: Gratuitous secrecy makes us dumber and less safe.

Read that EFF report here. Link via the Twitter feed of Julian Sanchez. Reason on FOIAs here.