Boing Boing 

Here's the TSA's stupid, secret list of behavioral terrorism tells


The ACLU is suing the TSA to get the details of its billion-dollar junk-science "behavioral detection" program, but in the meantime, here's the leaked 92-point checklist the TSA's psychic warriors use to spot bad guys.

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Transparency, New Jersey style


Efrem writes, "The Jersey Journal is doing some good work during Sunshine Week, trying to publish the pay information of every public employee in the county. The results have been hilariously depressing. To whit:"

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Jeb Bush sold patronage and favors to his top political donors

The AP analysis of Bush's 275,000 FOIA'ed emails show that "donations" to his campaign were really more like "purchases."

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Greatest hits of customer aviation complaints to the DoT


Michael from Muckrock writes, "Last July, MuckRock user Curtis Raye requested all aviation consumer complaints in the categories of 'customer service' and 'discrimination' made to the Department of Transportation in March and April of 2014."

Revenge porn shitweasel pleads guilty, admits he hacked victims' accounts


Michael from Muckrock writes, "After months of legal wrangling, Hunter Moore, who ran 'revenge porn' website Isanyoneup, has agreed to a plea deal that will see him serve a minimum of two years and up to seven years in jail, as well as up to $500,000 in fines."

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Molly Crabapple's FBI file is 7,526 pages long (UPDATED, it's worse)


After a protracted battle with the Bureau, artist and journalist Molly Crabapple (previously) has gotten them to admit that they're keeping a whopping file on her, which they will release to her lawyers at the rate of 750 (heavily redacted) pages/month for the next ten months.

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Transparency, Wichita-style

Wichita, KS police released this "public incident report" documenting the circumstances under which an officer shot a member of the public, but not before helpfully blacking out nearly every single word on all five pages of it.

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Plan C: The top secret Cold War plan for martial law in the USA


Michael from Muckrock sez, "Starting on April 19, 1956, the federal government practiced and planned for a near-doomsday scenario known as Plan C. When activated, Plan C would have brought the United States under martial law, rounded up over ten thousand individuals connected to 'subversive' organizations, implemented a censorship board, and prepared the country for life after nuclear attack. There was no Plan A or B."

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​Oakland cops' license cams follow drivers everywhere

EFF obtained and analyzed records from the Oakland Police Department's secretive automatic license plate readers, showing that the department has mounted a program of incredibly intrusive, highly racialized secret surveillance of an entire city.

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DHS's weird, creepy social media search-terms


Michael from Muckrock sez, "Through FOIA requests, MuckRock users have been helping keep watch on the watchers, and recently Todd Feathers's FOIA request to the DHS resulted 91 pages worth of the agency's social media searches, from the occult (seeking the "devil" in August) and creepy ("happy camp") to downright terrifying ("black market ebola")."

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NSA dumps incriminating documents on Christmas Eve


At 1:30pm on Christmas Eve, the NSA dumped a huge cache of documents on its website in response to a long-fought ACLU Freedom of Information Act request, including documents that reveal criminal wrongdoing.

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Obama’s Justice Department secretly helped kill FOIA transparency bill

U.S. President Barack Obama looks toward Attorney General Eric Holder. Justice Department investigators have engaged in aggressive tactics against journalists in recent months. [Reuters]


U.S. President Barack Obama looks toward Attorney General Eric Holder. Justice Department investigators have engaged in aggressive tactics against journalists in recent months. [Reuters]

We’ve long known the Justice Department’s stance on transparency has been hypocritical and disingenuous. But they’ve really outdone themselves this time.

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Senator Jay Rockefeller singlehandedly kills Freedom of Information Act reform


The House unanimously passed a bill that would bring much-needed improvements to the Freedom of Information Act; the Senate had bi-partisan support for it, too -- but outgoing Sen Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) singlehandedly killed the bill in a closed-door committee meeting.

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What military gear did the Pentagon give to America's cops?


Michael from Muckrock says, "After months of legal wrangling, MuckRock has finally received the complete list of military gear given to local police departments under the Pentagon's 1033 program, including bomb disposal robots, infrared gun sights, small aircraft and rocket launchers."

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Senate to vote on crucial transparency bill

Gavin writes, "The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote Thursday on an important bill to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act, America's open records law."

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London council threatens freedom of information site for "leaking" info they say doesn't exist

A reader writes sez, "Can you leak a decision that has not yet been made? The local council at the London Borough of Enfield seem to think so, and sent a takedown notice to British Freedom of Information website WhatDoTheyKnow.com run by the non-profit mySociety."

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University of Michigan makes up a bunch of non-reasons why it doesn't have to do record retention

The University of Michigan campus newspaper, Michigan Daily, is investigating a campus scandal that resulted in the athletic director resigning and a football player being expelled for sexual misconduct, but the university has engaged in blatantly illegal destruction of records to stymie the investigation.

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When the FBI told MLK to kill himself (who are they targeting now?)


We've known for years that the FBI spied on Martin Luther King's personal life and sent him an anonymous letter in 1964 threatening to out him for his sexual indiscretions unless he killed himself in 34 days. Now we have an unredacted version of the notorious letter.

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DOJ helps local cops get around state limits on civil forfeiture


Many states have passed laws limiting how much of your stuff the police can steal when they accuse you of a crime, but the Department of Justice has the solution for local cops: they will "adopt" a local seizure, making it federal and exempting it from state-level corruption controls.

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Ferguson's no-fly zone created to ground news-choppers


Freedom of Information Act requests from the Associated Press reveal that St Louis police requested the no-fly zone to prevent the press from getting overhead footage of the crackdown on demonstrations, and that the FAA was complicit in crafting an illegal ban that allowed commercial aircraft to land at the airport while still grounding the news-birds.

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NSA conducts massive surveillance without ANY Congressional oversight


An ACLU Freedom of Information request reveals that the NSA considers Reagan's "Executive Order 12333" (previously) its "primary source" of spying authority -- and so it conducts this surveillance without reporting to Congress on it.

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OK Sheriff LARPs "Welcome to Nightvale"


Logan County, Oklahoma Sheriff Jim Bauman created an extensive set of secret files on the citizens in his jurisdiction, inadvertently recreating Welcome to Nightvale's running gag about the Sheriff's Secret Police -- but the ACLU isn't laughing, they're suing.

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Cops who use Stingray surveillance must sign company nondisclosure first

Michael from Muckrock sez, "Advanced cell phone tracking devices known as Stingrays allow police nationwide to home in on suspects and to log individuals present at a given location."

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Aaron Swartz's FBI and Secret Service files

A large and very up-to-date archive of Aaron's government files, extracted through Freedom of Information Act requests.

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Canadian gov't economists insist that stats on collapsing middle class mean just the opposite


Dave sez, "Last year, Employment and Social Development Canada put together a report suggesting that the Canadian middle class has seen wage stagnation and is experiencing record levels of debt; Finance Canada felt that this 'appears to conflict with the general message in Budget 2014 and previous internal briefings' so they made a new report -- that says the opposite, while looking at the same data."

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City of London Police reject FOIA request for their dealings with copyright lobbyists

They say they have so much correspondence with the industry, and are apparently so incompetent at searching their own records, that they can't fulfil the request without being unduly burdened, and thus they are not required to comply with the Freedom of Information request.

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#Ferguson cops claim they have no records of arrests of journalists


See Runa Sanvik's feature on this
Phil writes, "Runa Sandvik of Freedom of the Press Foundation is systematically documenting the arrests of journalists in Ferguson, Missouri made during protests of the August 9 officer-committed shooting death of Michael Brown."

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Here's all the stuff the Pentagon has sold to local law enforcement - cheap!


Michael from Muckrock writes, "Wondering how the St. Louis County Police ended up armed with surplus military gear, and what other departments have? A FOIA request at MuckRock has turned up every item given to local law enforcement under the Pentagon's 1022 program, the mechanism by which local law enforcement can apply for surplus or used military gear."

Every item distributed to local law enforcement by the Pentagon's 1033 program over two years [Muckrock]

(Thanks, Michael!)

UK government "dries out" its "water damaged" CIA torture files


The Foreign Office said it couldn't provide its files on secret CIA rendition of terrorism suspects for torture, because those files (and only those files) were "water-damaged."

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Freedom of info funnies: CIA cafeteria complaints

Michael from Muckrock writes, "It's not easy being a spy: MuckRock's cooked up two batches of complaints about the CIA's cafeteria service, everything from Pepsi and Diet Pepsi being swapped to offensively inauthentic Russian food. The carrots, however, are 'amazingly great' if you're ever in the area."

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