The day before adjourning for August recess, the Senate unanimously approved S.849, the OPEN Government Act, a bipartisan bill that is the first significant update to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in more than a decade. When Congress is back in session, a conference will reconcile the differences between this bill and similar legislation passed by the House of Representatives in March.
Among other things, the legislation will strike a blow to government secrecy by:
Revelations about the FBI's misuse of a key PATRIOT Act power and other privacy-invasive initiatives clearly demonstrate the importance of government transparency. This law will make it easier for EFF's FOIA Litigation for Accountable Government (FLAG) project and other FOIA requesters to keep the government accountable to the people.