None of us can keep track of everything by ourselves. It takes a community to maintain vigilence about creeping secrecy. So a HUGE tip of the FGI hat to Ian Campbell of The Gov Doc for bringing this item about an effort to gnaw at the Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) via the federal farm bill, of all things:
If you toil in the fields of government information, you may be interested to know that an urgent campaign is underway to strike language from the Senate version of the Farm Bill which would create a substantial new FOIA exemption and severely restrict public access to important information about farm animal health under a National Animal Identification System (NAIS).
OpenTheGovernment.org has written a letter to Senators expressing opposition to the non-disclosure language in the Senate version of the bill, and the American Library Association, Special Libraries Association, and American Association of Law Libraries are among the 28 organizations to sign on. Please see the letter at:
As the letter states, Section 10305 of the Livestock Title of the Farm Bill approved October 25 by the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee gives the Secretary of Agriculture broad authority to restrict and control disclosure of NAIS information, and imposes "disproportionately harsh penalties for press activities protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution." The letter seeks to strike Section 10305 from the bill.
Thanks for the heads up Ian!
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