New Posts

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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Secret Watchlists: Don’t Ask, Because Uncle Sam Won’t Tell

Department of Homeland Security seal

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is operating a massive new database of personal information. But if you want to know if you're in the database, you'll be out of luck. A proposed rule by DHS would keep the database secret by exempting it from nearly every provision of the Privacy Act.

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Agency Rules Could Undermine CUI Reforms

A proposed Department of Defense (DOD) rule has the open government community concerned that agencies may try to undermine the Obama administration's emerging controlled unclassified information (CUI) system before it is even formally in place.

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Chemical Bill Keeps Americans in Harm’s Way, Weakens National Security

On June 22, the House Homeland Security Committee approved H.R. 901, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Security Authorization Act of 2011, which would extend the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) for another seven years.

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Administration Lays Foundation for New CUI System

Seven months after President Obama issued an executive order on controlled unclassified information (CUI), the outlines of a new CUI system are taking shape. On June 9, the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) CUI office released initial guidance on implementing the order.

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Obama Administration Reaches Plea Deal with NSA Whistleblower

National Security Agency sealThe Obama administration agreed to drop its controversial Espionage Act case against former National Security Agency (NSA) employee Thomas Drake, according to reports yesterday. Instead, Drake will plead guilty to exceeding authorized use of a computer, a misdemeanor. The deal calls for no jail time or fine, with up to one year of probation.

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Congress Extends Patriot Act, No New Oversight

Congress voted yesterday to extend three expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act until June 2015 without adopting any new oversight or transparency provisions. President Obama has signed the bill.

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Spying Without Oversight is a Compromise?

Congressional leaders have agreed to extend key provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act until June 2015, according to reports today. The extension will not include reforms.

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Declassification Board Seeks to Transform System

The Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) is seeking public comments on a series of draft papers offering recommendations on reforming the classification system. President Obama called for the recommendations for "more fundamental transformation" in tandem with his 2009 executive order on classification.

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House Panel Advances Patriot Act Extension, Without Reforms

The House Judiciary Committee yesterday voted to reauthorize key provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act. The committee also rejected several proposals to reform the controversial provisions of the intelligence law.

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Administration Replacing Derided Terror Alert System

As transparency advocates, we often advocate for government to make more information available to the public. However, sometimes the problem comes when government does make information available – and the information is wrong, confusing, misleading, or manipulative.

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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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