Sunday, February 28, 2010
ProPublica and its Transparency Tracker reports that 27 of 64 independent federal agencies don't have an "open government" web page, despite the directive requiring them to do so by February 6.
The White House's Open Government Dashboard lists 29 agencies as having open government sites.
California lawmakers will consider reforms to the governmental bodies overseeing stem cell research and the creation of a felony animal abuse registry, similar to the sex offender registry.
SB 1064 would require the State Controller to conduct an annual performance audit of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and its governing body, the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee (ICOC). The bill would also require the ICOC to disclose its meeting minutes and board member vote tallies.
SB 1277 would require the Department of Justice to make information about those convicted of felony animal abuse public by January 2012. The information would include the person's name and known aliases, a photograph, a physical description, date of birth, criminal history, and the address for the abuser.
For more information about the proposed measures, click here.
TheSmokingGun.com used the Freedom of Information Law to obtain more than 550 letters to the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, complaining of mistreatment by toll collectors along the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike.
The site reports the following complaints:
One commuter claimed that a toll collector called him a "f---ing moron" for dropping a dime. Another said a toll-taker spit on his fingers before counting out the driver's change. A toll-taker even offered to flash a female driver to help her stay awake, the documents show.
The head of the toll collectors union insists that toll-takers are more often on the receiving end of abuse from drivers, though.
The Idaho House Resources and Conservation Committee approved a measure that would make hunting and fishing licensing records private, although if an individual provided written consent, his or her information would be public. Proponents say it would protect hunters and fishers from harassment.
Open government advocates oppose the measure, suggesting it would be better public policy to go after harassers, not shutting down whole categories of public records.
Click here for more.
The Herald of Rock Hill reports the South Carolina Senate Medical Affairs Committee passed an amendment that would make records of emergency medical calls a part of the public record. The amendment would overturn a provision of S.C. law made at the request of the state Department of Health and Environmental Control that keeps the response times and the names of emergency medical workers private.
Alabama, Ohio and Wisconsin lawmakers have proposed barring the release of 911 calls, citing privacy concerns and a potential chilling effect on people's willingness to call 911 for fear of the call being broadcast later.
Open government advocates disagree, arguing that the calls should be public as they can aid public safety and news organizations should be able to air the calls on a case-by-case basis.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Using records obtained by the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, the Daily Illini reports the University of Illinois spent $147,500 before suspending its search for a provost. The university paid search firm Greenwood/Asher & Associates Inc. $43,083.34 for professional services finding and conducting background research on potential candidates, and the university spent $104,416.66 on airfare and accommodations for 15 first-round candidate interviews.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the Southwestern Illinois Flood Prevention District Council met to discuss a possible lawsuit against the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to explain why the agency termed local levees useless, a move which FEMA has used to justify its plan to raise flood insurance rates.
FEMA has not yet responded to the group's November 4, 2009 FOIA requests for information regarding levees in Madison, Monroe, and St. Clair counties.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Idaho law enforcement officials support legislation that would remove personal information, such as home addresses and phone numbers, from the public record. Proponents say the measure is designed to promote the safety of law enforcement. The Idaho Press Club opposes the bill as it does goes against the presumption of openness in government.
The Vermont Senate cleared a bill to exempt certain donations to public higher education institutions from the state's public records law. Private donors who wish to remain anonymous could do so, although the amount and purpose of the donation would remain public. The identify of any donor who "transacts business" with the institution within three years of the donation would be public also.
The Vermont House will take up the bill this week.
For more information about the bill, click here.
Northern California Society of Professional Journalists Announces James Madison Freedom of Information Awards
The Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists announced the winners of the 25th Annual James Madison Freedom of Information Awards. The winners include:
- Thomas Peele and Daniel Willis for their computer-assisted reporting project in which they created comprehensive databases of more than 194,000 public-employee salaries from 96 government agencies;
- Dan Borenstein for editorial/commentary and his efforts to expose inflated public employee retirement benefits;
- Mary Fricker will receive the Norwin S. Yoffie Award for Career Achievement; and
- G.W. Schulz will receive an award for information obtained through 75 open-records requests to show the investment in improving homeland security since 2001.
The Wyoming Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case to decide whether the governor enjoys a "deliberative process privilege," which he could use to shield documents from public view.
The case stems from the Wyoming Tribune Eagle's request to see recommended budget cuts from two state agencies and the governor last spring.
Attorney General Bruce Salzburg argued that the privilege fosters frank discussions between agency employees and executives, which might be stifled if the public had access to them.
Open records law advocates disagree, saying if there is to be a deliberative process privilege, it should be the legislative branch that decides, not the judicial branch, and that the public has a right to know the deliberative process of its representatives.
The Oklahoma Senate passed a bill that would keep the birth dates of public employees confidential. Proponents say the measure would protect an employee's privacy, but open records advocates point out that birth dates are often the only way to identify an individual correctly from a database. For example, The Oklahoman compared state sex offender registry with the state's January payroll data and found that 778 state employees share first and last names with registered sex offenders. The overlap includes child care workers, law enforcement investigators, and a state Supreme Court justice.
The White House unveiled the names of the 34 government agency managers who will form the Open Government Working Group, part of the Obama administration's Open Government Directive.
The Working Group will focus on transparency, accountability, participation and collaboration in the U.S. government. Other senior officials in each federal agency will be accountable for the quality of information released to the public.
The ACLU has sued the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for failing to provide documents regarding its overseas religiously-influenced abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. In July and September 2009, the ACLU sent USAID requests for the programs funded through HIV/AIDs grants, including requests for proposals, contracts with USAID, curricula used by grantees, communications between USAID and the White House, and communications between USAID and its grantees about religious instruction in the abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.
A recent Inspector General's report says the programs unconstitutionally promote religiously infused materials and messages.
Citizens of Big Spring, Texas, and the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, the NFOIC are suing the city for violating the Texas Open Meetings Act for meeting on January 6th to discuss a petition for a tax rollback election without proper notice to the public.
The Concerned Citizens Council of Big Spring-Howard County and the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas hopes the lawsuit sends the message to all city governments that no one is above the law.
Mecklenburg County wants the public to use an online survey to weigh in on a debate over access to public officials' tax information online.
Arguing that it is too easy for violent criminals to find out where public officials live, some North Carolina county and federal officials sent a letter to county commissioners asking them to allow law enforcement employees to remove their names from the county's online database.
But officials say the property search tool would have to be removed in its entirety, instead of selectively removing a few names. Property would have to be searched online using only addresses or parcel numbers, but not owner names if the search tool were removed.
Wisconsin lawmakers are considering a bill that would no longer treat 911 call recordings as a public record. The bill would allow a transcript of the call to be released, however. Lawmakers in favor of the bill say the move would protect the privacy of callers; however, opponents maintain call recordings reveal important information concerning public safety.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Hosted by the NFOIC and the Virginia Coalition for Open Government, the FOI Summit will be held on Friday, May 7, and Saturday, May 8 at the Hyatt Arlington in Arlington, VA.
Click here for more information about the FOI Summit, including the impressive list of speakers and registration instructions.
The lawsuit stalling a $31 million renovation of Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida, alleges that local government officials violated Florida's Sunshine Law by failing to conduct business in the open.
The lawsuit is a signature case regarding taxpayer-funded economic development deals that are negotiated in secret.
Read more about the lawsuit here.
The South Carolina Senate Medical Affairs Committee is considering a bill that would guarantee public access to emergency medical services operations, including the names of the workers.
The bill pits the interests of the South Carolina Press Association, which advocates for EMS workers to be subject to public scrutiny, against the S.C. Emergency Medical Services Association, which advocates for shielding workers' names until a complaint is lodged.
University of Mary Washington's President Judy Hample placed an emergency test call during a campus safety walk to campus police last fall, but the university will not provide the recording of the call to The Free Lance-Star. The University contends the recording relates to a "criminal investigation" on the grounds that Hample's call would have been evidence in any criminal investigation, if there had been such an investigation. The University spokesman says no criminal investigation is on-going.
The Wyoming Coalition for Open Government handed out two awards to highlight good and bad behavior among state government officials.
The "First Amendment Hero" award went to Sweetwater County Attorney Brett Johnson for insisting that county commission meetings remain open when required by law.
The "Black Hole" award went to administrators of St. John's Medical Center in Jackson for withholding information about surgeries performed at the hospital.
For more about these award-winners, click here.
The Yankee Institute, a libertarian Connecticut think tank, launched the website www.ctsunlight.org, which allows users to easily navigate through the state budget. The website was built with data from a massive FOI request to the state comptroller, and it includes information on individuals' salaries, pension payments, the amounts of checks to vendors, and more.
Columnist Thomas D. Elias makes his case for keeping initiative petition signatures secret here. He argues initiative signers may not realize their name will be made public as an advocate for a particular cause, and that if such information is disclosed, the individual could become a target for retaliation and retribution by political opponents.
An Arizona lawmaker has introduced a bill that would allow elected and appointed government officials to keep secret the identity of those who e-mail them.
AZCentral.com quotes attorney Daniel Barr, a media law specialist, as saying the bill would be a step backward in the public records law, which already allows any appointed or elected official to remove any portion of a public record "if you can show the probability of harm to the interest of privacy, confidentiality or the best interest of the state."
West Virginia state lawmakers introduced legislation that would apply the Freedom of Information Act to any record prepared or received by a public office or official if its content or context relates to the public's business.
The effort to revise the state's public records law comes after the state Supreme Court blocked the release of a justice's e-mails with a coal company executive.
University of Illinois Log Shows Ten Incidents of Attempted Outside Influence in Admissions Process This Year
After it was revealed that the University of Illinois had a secret admissions system that allowed the politically powerful to influence admissions decisions, the admissions staff is now required to log incidents of outside parties trying to insert themselves into the admissions process.
This year, the U of I admissions staff have logged 10 such incidents, the majority of which The Chicago Tribune describes as "relatively benign."
Admissions officers can enter comments into a password-protected Web site at their discretion, but cannot access the information. University employees risk being fired and university trustees risk being removed by the board of the governor if they interfere.
Click here for more.
The ASNE Local Heroes Sunshine Week contest deadline is Friday, February 26.
Nominate someone in your area who made a difference last year by fighting to make public institutions more open and accessible.
The first-place winner will be honored at the 2010 ASNE Convention in Washington, DC. The second- and third- place winners will receive $500 and $250, respectively.
The nomination form is available here.
With the newly created Knight FOI Fund, the National Freedom of Information Coalition is helping Florida citizens seek answers to important questions of FOI law, including the scope of public access to economic development documents in Sarasota and whether handwritten notes used by a government official during a public meeting are subject to disclosure.
The Knight FOI Fund provides up-front costs such as court costs, filing fees, depositions, and initial consulting fees for FOI cases that would otherwise go unfiled. The economic crisis and the evolution of the news media revealed declining levels in FOI advocacy, which the Knight FOI Fund seeks to rectify. Applications for grants come from NFOIC member coalitions and are vetted by the NFOIC's Litigation Committee.
ForeSee Results conducted a quantitative assessment of online open government efforts by surveying more than 36,000 citizens on their reactions to 14 federal government Web sites. Researchers asked questions relating to how thoroughly the sites disclosed information about the agency, how quickly information was available online, and how accessible that information was on the sites. The answers then generated a transparency score.
The top-ranked agencies included the Agriculture Department's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, the Health and Human Service Department's National Mental Health Information Center, the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs, and the main site of the General Services Administration.
Boone County, Missouri Circuit Judge Kevin Crane declared the disciplinary records of a police officer open to the public under the city open records law adopted in July 2009 with the Citizens Police Review Board.
The ruling stems from a January 19 request made by The Columbia Tribune over an accusation that officers beat and shocked a man three times with a Taser during a December 2006 traffic stop. The Columbia police custodian of records located 97 pages of documents and eight disks of video responsive to the request. The Columbia Police Officers Association had tried to block the disclosure of disciplinary records.
Last year, Illinois lawmakers strengthened the state's freedom of information laws. This year, there are already more than six proposals to undo some of last year's progress.
The State Journal-Register reports the amendments include increasing the amount of money agencies can charge for public records to making attorneys' fees awards optional in cases where the requester prevails.
Two bills already passed limit public access, including one to create an online database to locate buried bodies, which is exempt from public disclosure, and one that bars disclosure of the evaluations of teachers, administrators, and superintendents.
Read more about it here.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs joined Twitter last week. Gibbs said he'll "ask the lawyers" if his tweets are subject to the Presidential Records Act of 1978.
For more on the 140-character tweets of the press secretary, click here.
Long Island University announced its 13 George Polk Awards for 2009. A number of the recipients appear to have used FOIA and state open records laws in their reporting, including:
- The Bloomberg News team of Mark Pittman, Bob Ivry, Alison Fitzgerald and Craig Torres for their work to open the Federal Reserve Board's books on the bailout;
- Raquel Rutledge of The Journal Sentinel for investigating the fraud, waste, and criminal activity tied to the $350 million Wisconsin child-care system;
- George Pawlaczyk and Beth Hundsdorfer of The News-Democrat for an investigative series exposing cruel conditions in an Illinois "supermax" prison;
- A "60 Minutes" team of Steve Kroft and Leslie Cockburn for a segment detailing Wall Street's influence in speculative oil transactions;
- Kathy Chu of USA Today for a series showing how banks and credit-card issuers used unscrupulous practices and fees to gauge billions from customers;
- Charlie Reed, Kevin Baron and Leo Shane III of the independent military newspaper Stars and Strips for exposing the Pentagon's secret use of a PR company to steer reporters to "positive" coverage of the war in Afghanistan;
- David Grann of The New Yorker for an investigative report challenging the evidence against Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in 2004 after being convicted of setting a fire that killed his three young daughters;
- Abraham Lustgarten of ProPublica for investigating the potentially carcinogenic effects of hydraulic fracturing, a natural gas drilling process.
For more about the Polk Award winners, click here.
A Ugandan judge has ruled that reporters from Uganda's leading independent newspaper had not proved there was public benefit of disclosing certified copies of oil exploitation agreements. The journalists, along with the Open Society Institute's East Africa Initiative and Human Rights Network Uganda say they are considering an appeal of the ruling.
The journalists had argued the information was of interest to Ugandans seeking to hold the government and its partners accountable for multinational oil deals.
The ruling comes ahead of the African Regional Conference on the Right of Access to Information, an event featuring media leaders, press freedom advocates, officials, and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
In a three-part series, TheState.com reports that Horry County, South Carolina council members have repeatedly conducted business via e-mail, without a quorum, and out of the public's view. The Sun News obtained 1,348 pages of e-mails sent between January 2009 and January 2010, which reveal that the council may have violated the state's Freedom of Information Act by having conversations that should have taken place in a public meeting.
The Utah State Records Committee will release the three-hour long dash-cam video of former Utah state Sen. Sheldon Killpack's arrest for allegedly driving drunk. They will also release the Utah Highway Patrol's incident report. However, the release of the public records could be delayed by up to a month as the records committee has five days to sign an order stating its decision, and the Department of Public Safety has 30 days within which to appeal to the district court.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Killpack was stopped at 12:17 a.m. on January 15 and failed field sobriety tests. After Killpack refused a Breathalyzer test, a blood draw showed his blood-alcohol content at 0.11, which is above the legal limit of 0.08. Killpack resigned his political office the next day, and was charged with DUI and failure to signal.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
The New York Times brings this fascinating account of the legal wranglings of Bloomberg News against the Fed for information pertaining to the Bailout. Described as a "principled grudge match," the feud over the financial news giant's FOIA requests has the Fed arguing that the information sought could cause stigmatization of certain banks, potentially bank runs, and could jeopardize the government's efforts to stabilize the economy, while Bloomberg argues it is seeking transparency in order to fulfill its watchdog role.
Idaho's House Resources and Conservation Committee is considering a bill to protect the identity of wolf hunters who kill a wolf in the state.
IdahoReporter.com says the issue arose after wolves were de-listed under the Endangered Species Act. During a wolf hunt, anyone who killed a wolf was required to report it to the state's Department of Fish and Game in order to keep an accurate quota measurement. The kill reports were obtained by public records requests, and the names of the hunters were posted on the Internet.
For more on why critics say the privacy bill is a violation of freedom of speech and information, click here.
Washington Senators voted 28-20 to make voter petitions public records, including the names and addresses of people who sign initiatives and referenda.
In January, the U.S. Supreme Court said it will decide whether the people who signed Referendum 71 petitions should have their names publicly disclosed. Referendum 71 sought to overturn an expanded gay rights law.
For more about the bill, click here.
Recent assaults on police officers have spawned proposed bills in the Washington legislature that would prohibit a law enforcement officer's month and year of birth and official photograph from being disclosed to the public, although the news media would still have access to it.
The Spokesman-Review editorializes that such a strategy is an unacceptable precedent and that the media should not have selective privileges. Instead, public records should remain public records.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Mexico's Interior Department has made suggestions to weaken the country's Law of Access to Public Information, which has been in force since 2002.
The Interior Department has proposed changes that would allow government offices to refuse to hand over data or to turn to the courts if they believe a request affects national security, defense, foreign relations, the economy, the money supply, or if it threatens "the life, security, or health of any person."
For more about the consequences of the so-called reform effort, click here.
Critics of the government's use of confidential informants are calling for more safeguards and guidelines to establish accountability against the secrecy of having thousands of informants on the government payroll. Despite guidelines established by the DOJ and the FBI, a 2005 Inspector General report shows that in 85% of the cases reviewed, the guidelines weren't followed.
Loyola Law School professor Alexandra Natapoff has authored a news book, Snitching, in which she says informants commit all sorts of crimes that compromise the judicial system and betray the national integrity.
AnnArbor.com has compiled news stories that were based on FOIA requests, including thousands of 9/11 photos obtained by an ABC News reporter who was reading the Federal Register. The list also includes a status update on several pending FOIA requests.
Check it out here.
In the wake of the deaths of four Lakewood, Washington police officers, the state's House and Ways and Means Committee voted to remove from public records photographs and birth dates of police, court and corrections employees.
Newspaper representatives say the bill would make it harder for the press not only to investigate where tax money goes and what lies in officials' pasts, but also to get images from the cameras that record police traffic stops or violent incidents inside jails or prisons.
Three Cheyenne, Wyoming council members say part of a January 11 closed executive session was an illegal violation of the state's open meetings law. But city attorney Dan White disagrees, saying the meeting was closed so that he could update the council on ongoing lawsuits and settlement negotiations. He claims the meeting was exempt from the open meetings law, relying on the litigation clause and the exemption "to consider or receive any information classified as confidential by law," including attorney-client privileged information.
At issue is whether the city attorney could meet with the governing body in a closed meeting to discuss potential litigation. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has not yet addressed this issue.
Yale Law School has announced the launch of a Media Freedom and Information Access Practicum (MFIA). Law students aim to use litigation and policy work to increase government transparency. MFIA is an initiative of Yale's Information Society Project and the Knight Law & Media Program.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Roll Call had an interesting FOIA experience leading up to the big DC snowstorms. In a paralyzing blizzard of its own making, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection responded to Roll Call's request for passenger manifests for flights on government airplanes by responding that it couldn't release those names until Roll Call first got those people to sign a waiver allowing customs to release their names.
As Roll Call notes, "In other words, [Customs is saying] we are prohibited from telling you who those people are until you contact them and get them to authorize us to tell you who they are."
If that circular logic isn't enough, Customs also noted that its response was not a denial, but a notice of a deficient request, which cannot be appealed.
For more on the Air Force's response to a similar request, click here.
A Washington Office of Open Records won't happen this year.
A bill to create a dispute resolution center for open government issues died in committee last Friday. It carried a $1.3 million price tag at a time when the state government faces a budget deficit.
Read more about it here.
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
The Minnesota Coalition on Government Information will honor Reed Anfinson, publisher of the Swift County Monitor-News, with the 2010 John R. Finnegan Freedom of Information Award on March 16 at the Minneapolis Central Library.
Anfinson is a journalist and an advocate for open government at the local, state and national levels. He has testified frequently before the Minnesota Legislature and the U.S. Congress on Freedom of Information and First Amendment issues.
He has co-chaired the Minnesota Newspaper Association's legislative committee and chairs the National Newspaper Association Government Relations Committee. In 2012 Anfinson will become president of the National Newspaper Association.
Legislation proposed by former newspaper editor and Virginia state delegate R. Lee Ware Jr. (R-Powhatan) to protect public bodies from FOIA harassment is headed nowhere fast. The proposed bill would allow any public body in the state to petition a court for relief from a person deemed to be abusing rights granted under FOIA.
Powhatan County's attorney and the county board of supervisors urged the bill after being receiving 25 FOIA requests from one individual last year relating to utility projects in the county.
The bill has now been sent to the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council for review, which means it will be at least a year before the legislature considers the measure again.
Open records advocates say the proposed law would crush the spirit of FOIA because it could allow the government to stymie requests with threats of litigation.
The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA), a 114-year old institution that sanctions high school athletics and runs post-season state championship tournaments, is coming under pressure to open up and abide by state open government laws.
A proposed law is moving through the state Assembly that would prohibit school districts from belonging to an interscholastic athletic association unless the association abides by state open records and meetings laws. The measure would force the WIAA to either grant access or lose members.
The WIAA maintains it is a private organization and not subject to state open records laws.
For more on the dispute between the WIAA and a local judge and longtime track official that lead to the proposed legislation, click here.
MSNBC.com and NBC News obtained nearly 3,000 pages of e-mails that Todd Palin, former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin's husband, exchanged with state officials. The e-mails show the "First Dude" was involved with a judicial appointment, monitored contract negotiations with public employee unions, received a background check on a corporate CEO, and added his opinion to state board appointments. He also passed "confidential" financial information from his oil company employer to a state attorney.
The e-mails are available here on msnbc.com's online archive, and they are asking the public to help with the document review. "We're still going through the documents, and invite readers at msnbc.com to search for themselves, connect the dots with public issues, and send us an e-mail with your own analysis," writes investigative reporter Bill Dedman.
In depositions stemming from a public records lawsuit against former North Carolina Governor Mike Easley, an aide testified that Easley kept a secret e-mail account and used it for state business. Former communications director Sherri Johnson said the e-mail address was "Nick Danger" spelled backwards in a likely reference to a fictional, satirical private eye. Johnson testified the backwards part was because Easley's learning disability left him writing backwards.
Public information officers also testified that the Easley administration instructed workers to delete e-mails and to use the telephone for sensitive issues.
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
The New Hampshire Supreme Court ordered an umbrella organization representing municipalities and schools to release individual salary records to a firefighters' union that tracks the organization's use of taxpayer money paid for health insurance.
Affirming the state's Right-to-Know Law, a unanimous court said public access gives direct insight into the operations of a public body through scrutiny of wages paid to particular job titles.
"Public scrutiny can expose corruption, incompetence, inefficiency, prejudice and favoritism," Chief Justice John Broderick wrote.
The Berkman Center's Online Media Legal Network (OMLN) is partnering with the National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) to assist with freedom of information lawsuits and to provide online journalists with FOI information and assistance.
The NFOIC received a $2 million, three-year grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to launch the Knight FOI Fund and support open government groups by funding up-front litigation costs, such as filing fees, depositions and initial consultation fees if attorneys are willing to take FOI cases that would otherwise go unfiled.
Read more about the partnership here.
FBI files obtained by Gawker using the FOIA show that the late Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) was investigated for four years by the FBI. Hyde represented a west suburban Chicago district and chaired the House panel that impeached President Clinton.
The Chicago Tribune has sued the University of Illinois for information explaining why applicants were placed on admission clout lists, specifically the names of applicants' parents and identities of the patrons who advocated on behalf of the applicants.
The university has refused to provide the information to the newspaper, saying the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act prevents its disclosure.
Read more about the lawsuit here.