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Feb 8, 2016

Top 400 Taxpayers See Tax Rates Rise, But There’s More to the Story

As Americans were gathering party supplies to greet the New Year, the Internal Revenue Service released their annual report of cumulative tax data reported on the 400 tax r...

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Feb 4, 2016

Chlorine Bleach Plants Needlessly Endanger 63 Million Americans

Chlorine bleach plants across the U.S. put millions of Americans in danger of a chlorine gas release, a substance so toxic it has been used as a chemical weapon. Greenpeace’s new repo...

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Jan 25, 2016

U.S. Industrial Facilities Reported Fewer Toxic Releases in 2014

The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data for 2014 is now available. The good news: total toxic releases by reporting facilities decreased by nearly six percent from 2013 levels. Howe...

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Jan 22, 2016

Methane Causes Climate Change. Here's How the President Plans to Cut Emissions by 40-45 Percent.

  UPDATE (Jan. 22, 2016): Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its proposed rule to reduce methane emissions...

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Secrecy Report Card Gives Modest Grades to Bush and Obama

On Sept. 8, OpenTheGovernment.org, a coalition of 70 open government advocates, released its sixth annual Secrecy Report Card. Focusing on 2008, the report card serves primarily as a final assessment of the Bush administration but also addresses early actions of the Obama administration. Overall, the report notes a decrease in secrecy at the end of the Bush years but concludes that greater efforts are needed to increase federal transparency.

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OpenTheGovernment.org Issues New Secrecy Report Card

Today, OpenTheGovernment.org released its 2009 Secrecy Report Card.  The report makes use of most quantitative indicators currently available to compare the Obama and Bush administrations.  While it is too early to effectively compare the two administrations the report notes a slight decrease in secrecy levels during the end of the Bush administration.  Further, while the Obama administration is pursuing a promise of unprecidented openness the results are mixed.

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Taskforce Deadline for CUI Review Quickly Approaching

August 27 is the deadline for completion of recommendations to be made by an interagency taskforce assigned by the president that address the issue of secrecy labeling in the federal government.  No indication as of yet as to what those recommendations may contain.  As part of our effort to educate the government and the public on the importance of this issue, we interviewed several experts about the key questions. 

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Court Rules that CIA Committed Fraud in State Secrets Case

On July 20, a federal district court judge ruled that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) committed fraud while attempting to get a fifteen-year-old case dismissed on state secrets grounds.






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OMB Watch Submits Recommendations on Handling Sensitive, Unclassified Information

On July 8, OMB Watch released a report that explores the impact of secrecy labeling practices within the federal government. The report, Controlled Unclassified Information: Recommendations for Information Control Reform, was submitted to the newly formed presidential task force established to review current policies and to reform the overuse of Sensitive but Unclassified (SBU) control markings.

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New Report Shines Light on Secrecy Labeling of Government Information

WASHINGTON, July 8, 2009—Today, OMB Watch published a report that explores the impacts of secrecy labeling practices within the federal government. The report, Controlled Unclassified Information: Recommendations for Information Control Reform, shines a light on how government withholds unclassified information from the American people and offers recommendations on how to balance the need to protect sensitive materials with the duty to disclose information to the public.


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Administration Orders Interagency Review of Classification and CUI

On May 27, the Obama administration released a memorandum requiring reviews of overclassification and the current Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)/Sensitive but Unclassified (SBU) process. The memorandum establishes separate 90-day interagency review processes to advise the administration on actions it should take to advance previous efforts to reform problems associated with these issues.

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BREAKING: Administration Creates Interagency Review Teams for Overclassification and CUI

Today, the Obama administration released a memo requiring reviews of overclassification and the current Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI)/ Sensitive but Unclassified (SBU) process.  The memo does not dictate any new procedures on how agencies must handle such designated material.  However, it does establish an interagency 90-day review process to advise the administration on actions it should take to advance on previous efforts to reform these problems.

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State Secrets Legislation Introduced on the Heels of Sensitive Court Decision

During the week of Feb. 9, the Obama administration invoked the state secrets privilege in a sensitive legal case. The decision has led some groups to question if President Barack Obama is breaking from the Bush administration's interrogation and intelligence policies as promised, or if he intends to continue existing practices. Meanwhile, both houses of Congress are considering legislation (H.R. 984 and S. 417) to narrow the interpretation of the largely undefined privilege created by case law.

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New Director of National Intelligence Promotes Smarter Classification

During his recent confirmation hearing, Admiral Dennis Blair, the new Director of National Intelligence (DNI), derided the current classification system, which promotes over-classification of intelligence-related information. He discussed the need for a cultural change in the intelligence dissemination process that includes new training for analysts and greater accountability.

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Resources & Research

Living in the Shadow of Danger: Poverty, Race, and Unequal Chemical Facility Hazards

People of color and people living in poverty, especially poor children of color, are significantly more likely...

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A Tale of Two Retirements: One for CEOs and One for the Rest of Us

The 100 largest CEO retirement funds are worth a combined $4.9 billion, equal to the entire retirement account savings of 41 percent of American fam...

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