Open government

DC Appeals Court to Stream Oral Arguments

In a victory for court access advocates, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit will start live -streaming oral arguments beginning with the 2018-2019 term. That is according to Chief Judge Merrick Garland, who said May 23 that the court had voted to live -stream all arguments, except those dealing with classified or sealed matters. The D.C. circuit has primary jurisdiction over government agency decision challenges, including the FCC's.

The truth is about to catch up to President Trump. He has Giuliani to thank for it.

May 15 is the deadline for President Trump to file his financial disclosure form for 2017. 

Bringing the Public Back In: Can the Comment Process Be Fixed?

[Speech] Something here is not right—and what is wrong is not confined to the Federal Communications Commission. Because fake comments and stolen identities are pouring into proceedings across Washington. They’ve been uncovered at the Department of Labor, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The civic infrastructure we have for accepting public comment in the rulemaking process is not built for the digital age.

FCC blocks reveal of emails about conservative news site's 'Harlem Shake' net neutrality video

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai's “Harlem Shake” video: Whose idea was it? Who wrote the script? Did the other FCC commissioners know about it? Muckrock, a nonprofit organization that helps request and analyze government documents, filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FCC four months ago for agency emails about the video, a request that would seem relatively innocuous.The request was denied this week. The organization is now appealing the denial and considering a lawsuit.

Governor of Maryland agrees to stop blocking Facebook users who disagree with him

Gov Larry Hogan (R-MD) allegedly had a habit of blocking Facebook users and deleting comments when people criticized him, but a lawsuit has forced him to adopt a more open social media policy. Four Maryland residents sued the governor in a US District Court in August 2017, with help from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland. The ACLU announced that a settlement has been finalized, requiring Gov Hogan to implement a new social media policy within two weeks.

CBO Scores Office of Government Information Services Empowerment Act

The Office of Government Information Services Empowerment Act (H.R. 5253) would amend the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to permit the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) to access records it needs from all agencies. (OGIS is part of the National Archives and Records Administration.) The office acts as a FOIA ombudsman, and it reviews FOIA policies and procedures and identifies steps to improve compliance with that act. CBO expects that any budgetary effects from implementing H.R.

A New Tool To Help Close the Digital Divide

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has said that bridging the digital divide is his highest priority. And now, we have a valuable tool that will aid in efforts to bridge the gap: a new interactive broadband map, which will help the public and policy-makers understand where there are gaps in delivering fixed broadband and much more. This new map is built on the latest data for fixed-broadband deployment, collected every six months by the FCC from providers on Form 477.

FCC Updates And Modernizes National Broadband Map

As it works to close the digital divide, the Federal Communications Commission has updated and modernized its National Broadband Map so the map can once again be a key source of broadband deployment information for consumers, policymakers, researchers, and others. The new, cloud-based map will support more frequent data updates and display improvements at a far lower cost than the original mapping platform, which had not been updated in years. Improvements and features in the successor National Broadband Map include:

President Trump blocks release of Dem memo rebutting GOP claims of FBI surveillance abuse

President Donald Trump refused to authorize the release of a Democratic rebuttal to a Republican intelligence committee memo alleging that FBI and Justice Department officials abused their power to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The White House said it could not release the Democrats' memo because the Justice Department "has identified portions...which it believes would create especially significant concerns for the national security and law enforcement interests." That explanation stands in stark contrast to his release of the GOP memo.

FCC Says Releasing 'Jokes' It Wrote About Ajit Pai Colluding With Verizon Would 'Harm' Agency

At its own discretion, the Federal Communications Commission has chosen to block the release of records related to a video produced in 2017 in which FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and a Verizon executive joke about installing a “Verizon puppet” as head of the FCC.