FOIAonline Still Broken Six Months After Disastrous Redesign: FRINFORMSUM 12/6/2018 (Unredacted)

Unredacted: FOIAonline Still Broken Six Months After Disastrous Redesign: FRINFORMSUM 12/6/2018. “Six months ago the would-be government-wide FOIA portal, FOIAonline, was redesigned and the site lost much of its functionality as a result. (The Reporters Committee’s Adam Marshall has a good run-down of all the things wrong with the site here.) In July FOIAonline posted a notice on its homepage saying the setback would only be short-term, claiming that ‘Much of the information from the previous version of FOIAonline is not yet in 3.0. This process is expected to take several weeks to complete. We appreciate your patience as we continue to work through the most recent cases to the oldest.’ Several weeks turned into six months and there are still no updates about when we can expect the website, which the Environmental Protection Agency provides the IT for, to return to its previous usability.”

KSLA: FBI database to track deadly encounters with police

KSLA: FBI database to track deadly encounters with police. “The federal government is launching a national database that will track when law enforcement officers use deadly force, providing more transparency about police shootings that have inflamed tensions in cities around the country.”

Undark: A Request to Streamline Federal Document Purges Has Researchers on Edge

Undark: A Request to Streamline Federal Document Purges Has Researchers on Edge. “Of course, document archiving — and destruction — is routine at all federal agencies, and only between 1 and 3 percent of federal records are ever retained permanently. Maintenance typically follows a set schedule, whereby records — both digital and paper — are retained for a set period of time before being shredded, mulched, or, in the case of electronic documents, simply erased or made unreadable. In this case, however, the [Department of the Interior] is seeking permission from the National Archives to consolidate pre-existing schedules into what the National Archives calls ‘big buckets,’ meaning requests for eliminating records could be made in larger groups.”

City A.M.: Report slams tech giants for lack of political lobbying transparency

City A.M.: Report slams tech giants for lack of political lobbying transparency. “Tech behemoths Amazon, Facebook and Google are among the worst-performing companies for political lobbying transparency, according to a new report from Transparency International UK.”

Technical .ly: Cypher Philly, a project born from a meetup, wants to unlock the power of open data

Technical .ly: Cypher Philly, a project born from a meetup, wants to unlock the power of open data. “For Cypher Philly founder Jess Mason, the copious amounts of open data produced every year by OpenDataPhilly needed another layer that could maximize their potential impact. It’s why he set out — alongside cofounder Jason Cox and about 40 volunteers — to build an application that can connect the dots between data sets meant for transparency and higher government efficiency.”

Techdirt: If You Want The Government To Hand Over Documents, You Might Want To Retain A Lawyer

Techdirt: If You Want The Government To Hand Over Documents, You Might Want To Retain A Lawyer. “Fifty years after the passage of the Freedom of Information Act, the letter of the law lives on but its spirit has been crushed. While it’s definitely preferable to having no opportunity to demand government agencies hand over requested documents, it’s not the significant improvement it was promised to be.”

Windows-as-a-service fail: Microsoft keeps customers in the dark (ZDNet)

ZDNet: Windows-as-a-service fail: Microsoft keeps customers in the dark. “In the Windows-as-a-service era, it’s perfectly understandable that problems will occasionally crop up. But customers have a right to expect prompt, accurate notification when those problems occur, and Microsoft is failing badly in that responsibility.”