Access to Government Information in the United States

Access to Government Information in the United States

Date: August 31, 2009
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Description: The U.S. Constitution makes no specific allowance for any one of the three branches of the federal government to have access to information held by the others. No provision in the U.S. Constitution expressly establishes a procedure for public access to government information. Congress has legislated various public access laws. Among these laws are two records access statutes, The Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, and two meetings access statutes, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and the Government in the Sunshine Act. This report offers an overview of the four information access laws noted above, and provides citations to additional resources related to these tools.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
China, Internet Freedom, and U.S. Policy

China, Internet Freedom, and U.S. Policy

Date: July 13, 2012
Creator: Lum, Thomas
Description: This report discusses Congressional interest in how Internet use in the People's Republic of China (PRC) is tied to human rights concerns in several ways: as a U.S. policy tool for promoting rights in China; though use of the Internet political dissidents and political repression; the role of U.S. Internet companies in spreading freedom and complying with PRC censorship; and the development of U.S. Internet freedom policies globally.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background and Policy Options for the 112th Congress

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background and Policy Options for the 112th Congress

Date: July 26, 2011
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy
Description: The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA; 5 U.S.C. §552) enables any person to access—without explanation or justification—certain existing, identifiable, unpublished, executive branch agency records. Pursuant to FOIA, the public has presumptive access to requested agency records unless the material falls within any of FOIA's nine categories of exemption from disclosure. This report discusses FOIA's history, examines its implementation, and provides potential policy approaches for Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Promoting Global Internet Freedom: Policy and Technology

Promoting Global Internet Freedom: Policy and Technology

Date: October 22, 2013
Creator: Figliola, Patricia Moloney
Description: This report provides information about federal and private sector efforts to promote and support global Internet freedom and a description of Internet freedom legislation and hearings from the 113th and 112th Congresses.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Promoting Global Internet Freedom: Policy and Technology

Promoting Global Internet Freedom: Policy and Technology

Date: May 26, 2011
Creator: Figliola, Patricia Moloney
Description: This report provides information about federal and private sector efforts to promote and support global Internet freedom, a description of Internet freedom legislation from the 112th Congress, and suggestions for further reading on this topic. Two appendixes describe censorship and circumvention technologies.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Critical Infrastructure Information Disclosure and Homeland Security

Critical Infrastructure Information Disclosure and Homeland Security

Date: August 31, 2002
Creator: Moteff, John D & Stevens, Gina Marie
Description: This report discusses the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that was passed to ensure by statute citizen access to government information. Nine categories of information may be exempted from disclosure. Three of the nine exemptions provide possible protection against the release of critical infrastructure information: exemption 1 (national security information); exemption 3 (information exempted by statute); and exemption 4 (confidential business information). Congress has considered several proposals to exempt critical infrastructure information from the FOIA.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Critical Infrastructure Information Disclosure and Homeland Security

Critical Infrastructure Information Disclosure and Homeland Security

Date: January 29, 2003
Creator: Moteff, John D & Stevens, Gina Marie
Description: This report discusses the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that was passed to ensure by statute citizen access to government information. Nine categories of information may be exempted from disclosure. Three of the nine exemptions provide possible protection against the release of critical infrastructure information: exemption 1 (national security information); exemption 3 (information exempted by statute); and exemption 4 (confidential business information). Congress has considered several proposals to exempt critical infrastructure information from the FOIA.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Toxics Release Inventory: Do Communities Have a Right to Know More?

Toxics Release Inventory: Do Communities Have a Right to Know More?

Date: October 26, 1997
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Freedom of Information Act and Nondisclosure Provisions in Other Federal Laws

The Freedom of Information Act and Nondisclosure Provisions in Other Federal Laws

Date: September 24, 2010
Creator: Stevens, Gina
Description: This report discusses Congressional considerations regarding how to balance the federal government's growing need for sensitive or confidential business information, the public's right of access to information about government activities, and the private sector's interest in keeping its sensitive or proprietary information protected from public disclosure. The report discusses this issue in light of particularly the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and other similar legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative: Issues for Congress

The Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative: Issues for Congress

Date: January 28, 2011
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Description: This report reviews the objectives delineated in President Obama's Open Government Initiative (OGI) and examines the expectations placed on agencies to meet these objectives. This report reviews department and agency attempts to implement Obama Administration initiatives that seek to make the federal government more transparent, participatory, and collaborative. The report then analyzes options for congressional action in this area.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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