The first 25 years of .com have been a time of online miracles and I predict more explosive wonder ahead. The challenge will be to direct our creativity to solving our needs for more truth, more transparency, and more wisdom. READ MORE Celebrating Sen. Ted Kaufman, Accidental Leader Kaufman has emerged as one of the Senate's fiercest critics of Wall Street -- and is a shining example of what can happen if we remove money as a factor in our leaders' decision making. READ MORE WATCH: Arianna and Phil Angelides Discuss Financial Reform with Dylan Ratigan I will be on The McLaughlin Group this weekend, along with Pat Buchanan, Eleanor Clift and Monica Crowley. Check your local listings for air times.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's new standards for government openness have not trickled down to some agencies, where officials have used special statutes slipped into bills to skirt the Freedom of Information Act, open government advocates said Wednesday.
Efforts to strengthen the 42-year-old law "have been hampered by the increasing use of legislative exemptions that are often sneaked into legislation without debate or public scrutiny," Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy said.
News organizations and media groups said new legislation was needed to limit the information agencies may keep secret and for how long.
"The secrecy reflex at some agencies remains firmly in place," said Tom Curley, president and chief executive of The Associated Press. And FOIA still contains relatively weak penalties for those that don't meet their disclosure obligations, he said.
"We appreciate the change in policy direction, but the change hasn't yet reached the street," said Curley, testifying on behalf of the Sunshine in Government Initiative, a coalition of media groups.