FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: Suit Seeks Docs on SG Apology; Dust-up over new FOIA exemption in cyber bill

FOIA News (2015-16)Allan BlutsteinComment

Suit Seeks Docs on SG Apology

Feds admit 'mistakes' in high-court Indian cases.

Tony Mauro, The National Law Journal, April 20, 2015    

The video is grainy, the message is short, but the words were clear: then-acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal expressed regret for his predecessors' use of racist language in decades-old U.S. Supreme Court briefs filed in Native American cases.

"We in the solicitor general's office have made mistakes" in presenting Indian law cases to the Supreme Court, Katyal said in a speech taped for a 2011 conference. In a 1913 case, Katyal said the government's brief had argued that Indians needed protection from the ravages of alcohol abuse, and their susceptibility to alcoholism is "a racial, not a political fact."

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FOIA Lawsuit

The California Indian Law Association filed the Freedom of Information lawsuit in federal district court in Washington on April 10 seeking the disclosure of records about Katyal's statements, which were made for the Federal Bar Association's annual Indian law conference in April 2011.

Entire article here.


Dust-up over new FOIA Exemption in cyber bill

By Josh Gerstein, POLITICO, April 20, 2015

Cybersecurity legislation advancing in Congress could create the first brand-new exemption to the Freedom of Information Act in nearly half a century—a prospect that alarms transparency advocates and some lawmakers.

A bill approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee last month would add a new tenth exemption to FOIA, covering all "information shared with or provided to the Federal Government" under the new measure.

Another provision in the legislation would require that "cyber threat indicators and defensive measures" which companies or individuals share with the federal government be "withheld, without discretion, from the public." The Senate bill, which is expected to come to the floor soon, also seeks to shut off any access to that information under state or local freedom of information laws.

Remainder of story here.