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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Senate creates process to ban release of detainee photos

The Senate passed two FOIA-related amendments to the appropriation bill, The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press reported. The first "creates a process for the Secretary of Defense to certify to the president that the release of photos and videos taken between Sept. 11, 2001, and Jan. 22, 2009, of people captured by U.S. forces outside the United States would endanger lives." This would protect the photos from being released for at least three years. The second amendment requires new laws related to exemptions to specifically reference the FOIA.
The ACLU’s effort to get photos documenting the treatment of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan was halted by the Senate on Thursday night, in an amendment to the appropriations bill.

The Senate also agreed to require new laws that exempt information from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act to specifically reference the FOIA, making them easier for requesters to spot.

The two changes were part of the supplemental appropriations bill, which the House already passed. The House and Senate will now reconcile the two versions of the bill.

More here.

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