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Less Access to Less Information By and About the U.S. Government

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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

From 1981 until 1998, Anne Heanue and the fine folks at the Washington Office of the American Library Association (ALA) published an amazing series called Less Access to Less Information by and about the U.S. Government, a chronology of efforts to restrict and privatize government information. In 1986, the publication was listed in Project Censored‘s annual review, Top 25 censored stories for 1986.

Emily Sheketoff, Associate Executive Director of ALA and manager of the Washington Office graciously gave FGI permission to digitize the series. With the help of Rick and Megan Prelinger, Robert Miller and others at the Internet Archive, we have done so and now provide Less Access to Less information by and about the U.S. government in several formats including text, flip book, PDF, and DjVu at the Internet Archive.

[Related to this, but with a broader scope, is the annual Secrecy Report that Open The Government does. It also maintains an ongoing Secrecy Check that has a rolling analysis of the information, stats, and reports that go into the annual report. Also see the excellent work of Steven Aftergood in the Federation of American Scientists newsletter, Secrecy News.]

In our own very modest tribute Anne Heanue’s monumental work, we list, below, our own posts of a similar nature documenting efforts to restrict, alter, remove, and privatize government information. We invite you to contribute to this list by emailing your own findings to us: admin at freegovinfo.info.

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