CNET: Google wants better international rules for data requests

CNET: Google wants better international rules for data requests. “We know governments send requests to Google for our data. We know they sometimes get a court order, and they’ve even done so secretly. And though Google puts out a semiannual transparency report giving us a broad sense of how often governments are asking to access private data of its users, Google says a new problem has cropped up: The number of requests from governments outside the US is growing.”

Unredacted: Classified Directives Listings Disappear from DOD and JCS Websites

Many thanks to Jonathan B for bringing this to my attention: Classified Directives Listings Disappear from DOD and JCS Websites. “FOIA requesters who relied on lists of classified directives published by both the Defense Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff to know what documents to file FOIA requests for may now be out of luck. In a transparency backslide, both the DOD and JCS websites no longer publish lists of classified directives and instructions, making it impossible to know what to FOIA.”

Beta News: Microsoft transparency report reveals first National Security Letter and shows doubling of FISA orders

Beta News: Microsoft transparency report reveals first National Security Letter and shows doubling of FISA orders. “Microsoft has published its latest transparency report and, for the first time, disclosed the contents of a National Security Letter it received. In addition to the debut appearance of such a letter in the report, Microsoft also reveals that in the reported period in 2016 the number of FISA orders more than doubled compared to the previous period.”

New York Times: White House to Keep Its Visitor Logs Secret

New York Times: White House to Keep Its Visitor Logs Secret. “The White House announced Friday that it would cut off public access to visitor logs revealing who is entering the White House complex and which officials they are meeting, breaking with the Obama administration’s practice and returning a cloak of secrecy over the basic day-to-day workings of the government.”

City of Boston, Massachusetts Launches New Data Hub

The city of Boston has launched a data hub. “Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) today launched Analyze Boston, the City’s open data hub. Analyze Boston will create a user-friendly digital catalog of facts, figures, and maps that reflect on life in Boston, such as maps of Boston’s historic districts and datasets of 311 services requests…. Analyze Boston curates more than a hundred datasets, enriches them with descriptive information, and pairs them with tools for data exploration and analysis to broaden their accessibility.”

State Scoop: Portland’s new crime map shows how far data transparency has come

State Scoop: Portland’s new crime map shows how far data transparency has come. “Cities once merely dumped their data online without a plan. Today, portals like this one are shaping policy and guiding grander designs in community engagement and policing.”

US VA: VA Makes Wait Times for Patients Transparent for Veterans: New online tool is first of its kind

From the US Department of Veterans Affairs: VA Makes Wait Times for Patients Transparent for Veterans: New online tool is first of its kind. “The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is taking unprecedented steps to increase transparency. Today, VA launched a new Access and Quality Tool that provides Veterans with an easy-to-use, easy-to-understand way of accessing patient wait time and quality of care data. … The tool allows Veterans to access the average times patients are waiting to be seen in their local area; how Veterans describe their experiences scheduling primary- and specialty-care appointments at specific VA facilities; timeliness of appointments for care needed right away; and the quality of health care delivered at VA medical centers compared with local private-sector hospitals.”