Wed, 20 Feb 2019

Articles Posted in the " FOIA " Category

  • ICYMI #10 – Freddy Martinez: Chicago Police Surveillance

    Sam and Jason fill in for Jerod to interview Freddy Martinez of the non-profit Lucy Parsons Labs in Chicago. Martinez won a major public records case against the Chicago Police Department specifically over their use of surveillance technology. In doing so, he’s uncovered proof that the CPD uses seized money from drug busts to fund their acquisition of surveillance gear. The three talk about his case, the wider surveillance state, the War on Drugs, the counter-surveillance movement and more!

    Follow Freddy, Lucy Parsons Labs, Jason, & Sam.


  • UPDATED: CENTCOM FOIA Denial Reveals US may Seek Legal Action in Hospital Bombing

    The FOIA denial letter from United States Central Command.

    Follow Jerod on Twitter.

    Update

    The Pentagon is planning on seeking legal action against United States Special Forces and others involved in the bombing of a Doctor’s Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan last year, according to information obtained by Foreign Policy.

    Earlier this month, a Freedom of Information Act request denial letter sent to the North Star Post from the United States Central Command revealed United States officials might be seeking legal action.

    An unnamed source told Foreign Policy that staffers with CENTCOM in Fla. will be combing through a


  • ICYMI #9 – Lynn Walsh of SPJ – #AccessDenied

    Jerod talks with Lynn Walsh, president-elect of the Society of Professional Journalists. Lynn and the SPJ have been working in collaboration with MuckRock to launch a projected called #AccessDenied. This project will shine light on the obstructionist tactics used by some public information officers around the country and hopefully force positive changes.

    Follow Lynn, & Jerod.



  • MN Department of Public Safety Spokesman Lied to Press about Surveillance Technology

    Follow Sam on Twitter.

    Given today’s revelations about the long suspected capabilities of Stingray and similar cellphone surveillance equipment, the sins of the past are coming to light. At least one high level law enforcement official within Minnesota lied to the press and the public about the power of these technologies.

    According to documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), cell-site simulators which go by names like Stingray and Kingfish, are much more advanced than previously believed. These tools enable the government, from Federal down to local, the ability to snoop on and record the content of cellphones.


  • ICYMI #3 – First Amendment

    ICYMI #3 – First Amendment

    Jerod interviews Joseph Russomanno Ph.D associate professor at Arizona State Cronkite School of Journalism where he focuses on First Amendment law and theory. Russomanno has had an impressive career in broadcast journalism and is the recipient of several awards including a regional Emmy award.

    The two discuss First Amendment issues, how they relate to a free press and the future of free speech.

    Follow Jerod on Twitter.




  • City of Bloomington Fails to Comply with “Unambiguous” Open Government Law Alleges Civil Suit

    Courtesy minnesota-visitor.com

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    The City of Bloomington has violated multiple state laws in regards to transparency and openness of government alleges a suit by public records investigator Tony Webster. Most severe of the allegations against the City, which was responsible for policing the recent Black Lives Matter protests at the Mall of America, includes that staff intentionally deleted data responsive to legitimate public records requests as well as other illegal obstructionism and has failed to uphold Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA) obligations.

    The matter will appear in court before Judge Laurie Miller for oral arguments on


  • Police Lobbying for Opaque Body Camera Program in Minnesota

    MPD Emblem – Courtesy Wikipedia.org

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    In the underbelly of discussion with body cameras in Minnesota is the “it costs too much money” argument. The bemoaning and griping of many law enforcement and local government officials can be heard before the Legislature, city councils, and other venues. Andy Skoogman, executive director of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, has said to the Star Tribune protecting “departments from costly and time-consuming editing” from public data requests, is one reason why they support in the Legislature, HF430/SF498. The bill makes basically all videos collected by body cameras private or


  • Sheriff Stanek Blames Racial Diversification for Increase in Suburban Crime

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    Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, in a report by the Star Tribune from early September, claimed that the recent 27% increase in violent crime in the County’s suburbs was due to racial diversification of the nations population.

    That comment was not scrutinized through records request by the Star Tribune, and that’s where the North Star Post began inquiries.

    The Post submitted a government data practices act request, similar to a Freedom of Information Act request but within the realm of state and local government. The request simply asked for the criminal data that the Sheriff used