USA: EPIC presses FBI in lawsuit for details on biometric database
A privacy watchdog has filed a lawsuit contending the Federal Bureau of Investigation has failed to provide requested technical information about a biometric identification database expected to be the largest in the world.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a nonprofit organization based in Washington, alleges the FBI failed to disclose documents after it filed two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests in September 2012.
EPIC sought information on the FBI’s “Next Generation Identification” program, which will amass biometric information on mostly U.S. citizens from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including palm prints and iris scans. New York City’s police department began collecting iris scans in 2010 of people who were arrested. Read more
Jeremy Kirk | IDG News Service | 8th April 2013
USA: Republicans Blast EPA, Protect Big Ag
Senate Republicans proved there is something to hide by slamming the EPA last week for releasing information on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to environmental groups.
Senator David Vitter (R-LA) along with other Senate Republicans on the Environment and Public Works Committee believe that the EPA released too much information about CAFOs, non-sustainable, inhumane big businesses, in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request last year.
The Republican Senators sent a letter to the Acting Administrator of the EPA, Bob Perciasepe, on Thursday, demanding that the EPA brief the Environment and Public Works Committee on the information given to environmental groups. Read more
Alisha Mims | Ring of Fire | 8th April 2013
Canada: Web tool intended to solve delays in information requests, Clement says
A global trend of citizens seeking more information than they did in the past from their governments is contributing to growing delays and complaints surrounding freedom of information requests in Canada, federal Treasury Board President Tony Clement said Monday.
In an interview with Postmedia News, Clement said he is introducing some user-friendly changes such as a new Internet application tool, making it easier and faster for Canadians to get information.
“I believe that it will quicken the process for most people and therefore, reduce the number of complaints and reduce the frustration with the system,” said Clement, whose job includes the promotion of an open government. Read more
Mike de Souza | Post Media News | 9th April 2013