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200510171930 – Depository Library Council – GODORT Meeting

200510171930 FDLP DLC GODORT
Secrecy, Privacy, and FOIA: Conflicts and Consistencies
Speakers: Bob Gellman (BG), Meredith Fuchs (MF), and Patrice McDermott (PM).

Download an audio file of this session

0:00:00 Arlene Weible introduces program

0:01:30 Vicki Phillips, Chair Nominating Committee: Call to service

0:05:00 John Phillips, Chair Awards Committee: All nominations due in December

0:08:30 Aimee Quinn introduces speakers

0:13:45 Bob Gelman (BG)
“Conflicts” between privacy and FOIA
Enumerates “Principles of fair information practices” and notes how each is not in conflict with privacy concerns, except for “finality” which is only partly in conflict

0:22:30 2. Libraries adamant about protecting use records, but demand openness in other agency arenas. Bookstores also demonstrate cognitive dissonance toward commercial ends.

0:30:00 Meredith Fuchs (MF), National Security Archives
Describes history of NSArchive

0:32:30 Why FOIA is important, citing examples

0:37:20 Oliver North/Stone laugh

0:38:00 Government determines disclosure in publications, public determines disclosure with FOIA

0:39:18 Donald Rumsfeld, champion of open government

0:40:15 FOIA examples
-Japanese internment documents
-govt documents predicting what would happen in Iraq after the war demostrate a lack of planning
-Anti-cuban terrorist Pasada[?] seeking asylum in the US
-Images of fallen soldiers in their flag-draped caskets at Dover

0:50:00 Privacy used as an excuse to not release records

0:51:35 The current administration

0:53:00 Patrice McDermott (PM), ALA Washington Office
Recommends “Homeland Confidential”, Reporters Committee on Freedom of the Press

0:54:00 The line between publications and records is breaking down in the era of e-government

0:55:00 1996 e-FOIA requirements
-deliver in filer-requested format
-agencies must publish an inventory of all their major databases (compliance is minimal)
-agencies must publish their record schedules (no agencies are compliant)

1:01:50 documents librarians could become FOIA librarians.
We should all read the e-FOIA amendments – they are not that long

1:04:00 no government body has the responsibility of implementing e-FOIA requirements

1:04:50 Sunshine Week
A possible satellite classroom like for USAPA is in the works

1:07:35 Dick Cheney, Congressional champion of open government

1:09:00 PM asks BG about his comment that perhaps the government should be keeping fewer personal records

1:10:30 BG responds to MF and PM

1:13:45 MF responds and comments
July 4 is FOIA’s Brithday
We want a fair balance between public interest and privacy, decided on a case-by-case basis, not a categorical rule

1:17:10 Mike Ragen asks for comments on the John Doe CT case.
PM responds with an overview of the case history and mechanics
MF responds with an overview of gag orders and the ACLU request for the number of times its been put to use in USAPA section 215

1:22:50 Audience question: please enumerate the FOIA exemptions, and they do

1:25:45 PM – the exemptions through other statutes – “B3’s” – are growing in number.
MF – often these are the effect of legislation “slipped in”
BG -…

1:27:45 Audience question re: Adrew Card asking for agencies to scrub Web sites of sensitive information inspires a discussion of the growing number of non-FOIA classification types.
MF – describes “Sensitive but unclassified” (SBU)
NSArchive will release a study on SBU materials in about 1 month
Lack of control over official use only

1:30:18 BG talks about a survey of government document stamps – they were many and varies, then FOIA streamlined them, and now they’re many and varied again.

1:31:45 Audience recommendation for _Freedom of information Handbook_ 900pp. And in all depositories
MF suggests others

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