District of Columbia

Whistleblowers and journalists emphasize necessity of secure communication at National Press Club panel

Amy Zhang | Reporter's Privilege | News | July 26, 2013
July 26, 2013

New York Times journalist James Risen moderated a discussion at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Thursday that featured a panel of known leakers who shared advice with journalists on protecting their notes and sources.

Government forced to release names of Guantanamo Bay prisoners

Amy Zhang | Freedom of Information | News | June 20, 2013
June 20, 2013

In response to a federal Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by The Miami Herald, the Department of Defense was required to for the first time disclose the identify of 46 Guantanamo Bay prisoners detained indefinitely without trial because they are allegedly too dangerous to release but cannot be prosecuted.

Federal court upholds classification of treaty materials sought under FOIA

Aaron Mackey | Freedom of Information | News | June 7, 2013
June 7, 2013

A federal appeals court ruled Friday that the government could withhold a document under the Freedom of Information Act on national security grounds, saying that a lower court improperly second-guessed an agency’s decision when it ordered the document’s release.

Justice search warrant relied on "probable cause" of criminal conduct by Fox News journalist

Rob Tricchinelli | Newsgathering | News | May 22, 2013
May 22, 2013

By labeling a Fox News reporter as a "co-conspirator" to a violation of the Espionage Act, the Department of Justice was able to obtain a secret search warrant in 2010 for the reporter's e-mail, under an exception to the federal statute governing search warrants of the media.

D.C. appeals court issues redacted opinion in sealed corruption case

Rob Tricchinelli | Secret Courts | News | May 16, 2013
May 16, 2013

A federal appeals court unsealed a redacted version of an opinion Thursday in a high-profile but secretive Washington, D.C. corruption case, in response to a letter from the Reporters Committee.

CIA must acknowledge records of drone strike program, appellate court rules

Lilly Chapa | Freedom of Information | News | March 19, 2013
March 19, 2013

The CIA cannot refuse to search for records about U.S. drone strikes on the grounds that acknowledging the existence of the records would harm national security, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C. ruled.

FBI to release records on secret informant Ernest Withers

Lilly Chapa | Freedom of Information | News | February 28, 2013
February 28, 2013

As part of a settlement agreement between the FBI and a Tennessee newspaper, the bureau must release documents and photos that are expected to confirm that famed civil rights photographer Ernest Withers was a confidential informant during the civil rights era. Withers died in 2007.

Judge rules D.C. detective was wrongly punished for speaking to reporter

Lilly Chapa | Newsgathering | News | February 14, 2013
February 14, 2013

A Washington, D.C., judge found that the Metropolitan Police Department’s media policy is constitutional, but how the department enforced it against a detective who spoke out against it to a newspaper in 2009 was unlawful.

District Judge James Boasberg ruled that Detective William Hawkins did not break department rules when he talked to a Washington Post reporter because he spoke as a representative of a police union and not a member of the department.

Judge keeps Chandra Levy post-conviction investigation records sealed

Lilly Chapa | Secret Courts | News | February 7, 2013
February 7, 2013

A Washington, D.C. trial judge declined to explain in a hearing Wednesday why he will continue to keep under seal courtroom transcripts and records regarding an investigation into the 2010 trial of the man found guilty of murdering Chandra Levy.

Former CIA officer Kiriakou sentenced to 30 months in prison for leaking information to reporters

Lilly Chapa | Content Regulation | News | January 25, 2013
January 25, 2013

Former CIA officer John Kiriakou was sentenced today to 2 1/2 years in prison for disclosing an undercover officer’s name to a New York Times reporter in 2007.