The Foilies: Recognizing The Worst in Government Transparency From 2018

The Foilies: Recognizing The Worst in Government Transparency From 2018 By Dave Maass, Hayley Tsukayama, Camille Fischer, and Aaron Mackey The cause of government transparency finally broke through to the popular zeitgeist this year. It wasn’t an investigative journalism exposé or a civil rights lawsuit that did it, but a light-hearted sitcom about a Taiwanese American family set in Orlando, Florida, in the late 1990s. In a January episode of ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat, the Huang family’s two youngest children—overachievers Evan and Emery—decide if they sprint on all their…

Read More

Investigative Scoops Worth Rereading: Year in Review 2018

Investigative Scoops Worth Rereading: Year in Review 2018 By Dave Maass In an era where political and corporate leaders are attacking the free press as “the enemy of the people,” it’s crucial that we recognize the truth: journalists every day are uncovering stories that protect our rights and hold those in power accountable. Meanwhile, as the media landscape shrinks, non-profits are also stepping in to carry the load. Here are some of the investigative bombshells that we read, re-read, and shared this year. (And a big thank you to our…

Read More

Before and After: What We Learned About the “Hemisphere” Program After Suing the DEA

Before and After: What We Learned About the “Hemisphere” Program After Suing the DEA By Dave Maass As the year draws to a close, so has EFF’s long-running Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Agency about the mass phone surveillance program infamously known as “Hemisphere.” We won our case and freed up tons of records. (So did the Electronic Privacy Information Center.) The government, on the other hand, only succeeded in dragging out the fake secrecy. In late 2013, right as the world was already reeling from…

Read More

California Shopping Centers Are Spying for an ICE Contractor

California Shopping Centers Are Spying for an ICE Contractor By Dave Maas Update 10:45 a.m., July 11, 2018: The Irvine Company has disclosed the three shopping centers are Irvine Spectrum Center, Fashion Island, and The Marketplace.  The local police departments are the Irvine, Newport Beach, and Tustin police departments.    Update 7:30 p.m. July 10, 2018: The Irvine Company provided The Verge with the following response.  Irvine Company is a customer of Vigilant Solutions. Vigilant employs ALPR technology at our three Orange County regional shopping centers. Vigilant is required by…

Read More