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Liberia: House of Representatives Passes Freedom of Information Act

(July 29, 2010) On July 22, 2010, the Liberian House of Representatives passed the Freedom of Information Bill which, if enacted into law, will give members of the press corps and the general public unfettered access to public records. (Freedom of Information Bill Passed, THE ANALYST (July 23, 2010), The bill must be sent […]

Indonesia: Law on Public Information in Force

(Apr. 30, 2010) On April 30, 2010, Indonesia's Law on Freedom of Information will come into effect; it was adopted in 2008. Under its provisions, public institutions, including government ministries, state agencies, and legislative and judicial institutions, are obligated to respond to information requests from members of the public. (Erwida Maulia, Public Information Law to […]

United States: President Obama Signs Executive Order Streamlining Declassification of Government Information

(Jan. 25, 2010) On December 29, 2009, President Barack Obama issued an executive order intended to allow researchers to gain access more quickly to formerly classified national security information. Executive Order 13,526, “Classified National Security Information,” makes several changes to make information that should no longer be classified more readily available. These include: 1) Establishing […]

Philippines: Freedom of Information Act Approved by Senate

(Dec. 17, 2009) On December 14, 2009, the Senate of the Philippines approved a Freedom of Information Act designed to allow access to key public documents, including those related to projects where corruption has been an issue. The Act, found in Senate Bill No. 3308, requires government agencies to allow public review and copying of […]

United States: Arizona Supreme Court Holds Metadata Can Be Subject to Public Records Requests

(Nov. 17, 2009) The Supreme Court of Arizona has held that metadata – “information describing the history, tracking, or management of an electronic document” – can be subject to disclosure under the state's public records laws. A police officer filing an employment discrimination complaint made a public records request under the Arizona public records law […]

Indonesia: Proposed Secrecy Law Controversial

(Sept. 16, 2009) Indonesia's government and House of Representatives have agreed on a state secrecy bill that includes the death penalty for those convicted of revealing state secrets. The punishments in the working draft range from a minimum of four years of imprisonment and a fine for possession of secret information to a maximum of […]

United Nations; Venezuela: Alarm over Purported Draft Media Law

(Aug. 18, 2009) On August 10, 2009, Frank La Rue, who has served since August 2008 as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, expressed concern about a proposed Venezuelan media law that “could be used as a tool for political intimidation” through […]

European Union: Proposed Amendments to Right of Information Law

(June 1, 2009) The law on the right of information or, in European Union (EU) terminology, public access to documents produced by EU institutions, is in the process of being amended. On March 11, 2009, the European Parliament introduced several amendments to the law – Regulation (EC) 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the […]

Chile: Law on Transparency

(Apr. 29, 2009) On April 20, 2009, the Law on Access to Public Information, also known as the Law on Transparency, became effective (Law No. 20285, DIARIO OFICIAL (Aug. 20, 2008), available at; see also Global Legal Information Network online database, GLIN ID No. 213690, available at The Law provides for free access […]

Chile: Law on Transparency and Access to Public Information Adopted

(Dec. 12, 2008) Chile's new Law on the Transparency of Public Functions and Access to Information on Public Administration establishes that all information prepared using taxpayer money and all other information held by government agencies, whatever its format, date of creation, origin, classification, or processing, is in the public domain. Exceptions based on the need […]