ASNE, other groups urge FOIA Ombudsman to revise strict confidentiality requirements

ASNE joined 11 other organizations on comments filed with the Office of Government Information Services in response to proposed rules regarding OGIS' own operating procedures, particularly with regard to the dispute resolution services it offers between FOIA requesters and executive branch agencies.

ASNE submits comments in response to proposed Release to All policy

ASNE submitted comments in response to the Department of Justice's proposed Release to All policy that would post documents online once those documents had been released in response to an individual FOIA request. The comments generally support Release to All as a strong tool to combat long processing delays and ensure maximum public access to government documents. 

Groups to White House: We will continue to fight for government transparency

INDIANAPOLIS – ASNE was among 40 journalism and open government groups that today sent a letter to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest in response to his recent New York Times letter to the editor calling for journalists to give President Obama credit for improvements in government transparency.

SPJ and other journalism and government accountability groups have contacted the White House multiple times over the past several years, asking the Obama administration to stop practices in federal agencies that obscure transparency and prevent important information from getting to the public. In the last letter, from August 2015, more than 50 organizations signed on to a letter at SPJ's request. 

ASNE applauds enactment of FOIA Improvement Act of 2016

The American Society of News Editors applauds President Obama's signing of S 337, the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, which enacted some much-needed and long-overdue reforms to the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Particular praise is also due for lawmakers who ensured that this was a truly bicameral, bipartisan effort, as evidenced by the fact that it passed both the Senate and the House by unanimous vote. This could not have occurred without the leadership of Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Reps Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), all of whom dedicated significant time and effort to this issue over the past several years.

FOIA reform bill, S 337, passes the House of Representatives

We are extremely happy to report that the House of Representatives passed S 337, the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, by unanimous voice vote Monday, June 13. House passage of S 337, which also received unanimous support in the Senate, means that the FOIA reform we've been fighting for throughout the past five or so years will be a reality once S 337 is signed by President Obama.

Media organizations urge Canada to reject 'right to be forgotten'

ASNE is one of nine media organizations that filed comments drafted by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press with the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, as that country considers adoption of the controversial "right to be forgotten" that has taken hold in Europe.

Our letter urges Canada to reject the right to be forgotten because as a general concept, it is overbroad. That right, like any other privacy right, should always be considered in the fact-specific context in which it arises. This is especially true when balanced against freedom of expression.

Help create real and direct change during Sunshine Week!

Please consider contacting your senators to let them know that you support the "FOIA Improvement Act," S 337, and that they should, as well. Let the public know why this bill matters to them. Write about it in your papers, on your websites and on social media (don't forget to use the hashtag #FixFOIAby50). 

Tell Senate to act on passing FOIA reform bill

The passing of the FOIA Oversight and Implementation Act of 2015 (HR 653) by the House of Representatives on Jan. 11 represents a major step forward toward some much needed reform of the federal Freedom of Information Act. However, the time for celebration is premature as there is still work to be done. In 2014, similar legislation passed both the House and Senate, but because they differed from each other, time ran out before one bill could be presented to the president for signature. We don't want that to happen again, and you can make sure it doesn't.

ASNE needs your urgent action on cybersecurity legislation

Throughout the past year, ASNE has paid close attention to and weighed in on the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA). Previously, we have alerted you to problems of the Senate version of this bill, which was actually much more palatable than the earlier House version. 
Although we didn't get a FOIA exemption removed from CISA, we felt that the breadth of the exemption as a whole was minimized. That's why we are upset to note that the House and Senate intelligence committees seem to be attempting an end run around the bills already passed by the House and Senate. A conference committee led by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) is apparently considering 123-page legislation that does not seem to have been vetted by other members of Congress.

ASNE argues for access to emails sent from private accounts

ASNE was one of 27 media organizations and companies that filed an amicus brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The brief argues for access to emails sent and received by a public official doing business on a private email account.