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Civil Liberties and Freedom of Information Resources

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Government Secrecy and Freedom of Information Links


Western States Legal Foundation Leaflet, Civil Liberties Resources (printable pdf, 2pp.)

American Civil Liberties Union
Extensive information and opportunities for citizen action on civil liberties issues.

ACLU page of resources on Post-9/11 civil liberties issues

ACLU analysis of the Patriot Act and other government actions eroding civil liberties
Extensive collection of resources, from summaries to detailed briefing papers.
ACLU of Northern California
ACLU of Northern California post-9/11 Resources page

Includes information on new INS registration deadlines, know your rights pamphlets, and other useful information.

ACLU Pamphlet, Know Your Rights: What to do if you are stopped by the police, the FBI or the INS

Available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi and Farsi.

ACLU of Northern California Legal hotline: 415-621-2488

Information and legal referrals on civil liberties and immigration issues.
National Lawyers' Guild Know Your Rights page
Excellent page of references, including a handbook on basic rights if the police or FBI come to your door. The handbook is available in several languages on-line or as a printable pdf file. This page also has a list of organizations that will provide referrals to lawyers in civil liberties cases.

National Lawyers' Guild Post-9/11 page

Information on a variety of topics relevant to the impacts on legal rights and government openness of the U.S. government's "war on terror."
National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter
Main number: 415-285-5067

NLG Bay Area Legal Hotline: 415-285-1041
Staffed with attorneys and legal workers to provide information about the legal rights of clients faced with post September 11 INS detentions, FBI calls and visits, and grand jury subpoenas.
Demonstrations committee hot line: 415-285 -1055
Information, assistance, and legal referrals for demonstrators. The NLG San Francisco Bay Area Chapter Demonstrations committee also offers legal observer trainings to activist groups.
Center for Constitutional Rights
Includes an analysis of the “Patriot Act” and its impact on constitutional rights in the United States, materials on military tribunals and detainees, the law of war, and more.
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Originating with a Massachusetts effort to pass resolutions urging state and local governments to use their powers where possible to protect residents against repressive federal government measures such as the Patriot Act, this project now maintains a web site with a variety of useful civil liberties materials. It includes resources on how to pass a resolution supporting civil liberties in your town, and links to a variety of legal information and commentary on the erosion of civil liberties resulting from the approach taken by the U.S. government to its open-ended “war on terror.”

Bill of Rights Defense Committee Links Page
Resources for Librarians: Balancing Information Access Since September 11
In the Post-Sept 11 environment, libraries are coping with varied issues ranging from restricted accessing of government information to confidentiality of patron records and activities. This on-line fact sheet provides links to important web sites that track events and issues or provide statements of policy relevant to libraries.
American Library Association Patriot Act Links and other Resources

Terrorism Law and Policy resources
This site, maintained by the University of Pittsburgh Law School, provides links to a huge compendium of terrorism-related law and policy news, analysis, and government documents, including many relevant to the impact of anti-terrorist legislation and policies on civil liberties.
Electronic Frontier Foundation
EFF focuses on privacy and free speech issues relevant to electronic media. This site features a “take action” section that helps users submit comments such current issues to decision makers.
Human Rights, a publication of the American Bar Association, Winter 2002 issue on constitutional rights in the post 9/11 context, including an array of opinions on the Patriot Act.

"Patriot Act II": The Justice Department's Proposal for Expansion of Anti-Terrorism Act

The draft of this proposal was obtained by the Center for Public Integrity. Their report, and a downloadable copy of the proposal, can be found by clicking on the link above.
Government Secrecy and Freedom of Information

Federation of American Scientists Government Secrecy Project
This page has a wide range of resources on government secrecy, ranging from classification and declassification issues both current and historic to the impact of current and pending legislation on government openness. You can subscribe here to the excellent FAS Government Secrecy Project e-mail newsletter.
Public Citizen Bush Administration Secrecy Page
Good summaries and links to key documents on Bush Administration actions increasing secrecy in government and impeding public and Congressional scrutiny.
Public Citizen Freedom of Information Clearinghouse
Extensive FOIA information, including links to legal resources, sample litigation materials, and more.
Electronic Privacy Information Center
Good information on open government issues and threats to civil liberties resulting from the anti-terror war and related legislation, such as the Patriot Act and the legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security. Particular focus on computer, internet, and electronic transaction privacy issues.
Homefront Confidential
A report on how the war on terrorism affects access to information and the public's right to know, Prepared by The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
This site provides resources for research on freedom of information law worldwide. Links to both government and NGO sites, with some hard to find information on such issues as NATO impact on freedom of information issues.
National Security Archive FOIA page
This site has links to the text of the Freedom of Information Act and amendments, provides a sample FOIA request and appeal letter, and has other useful information.
Selected U.S. Government Freedom of Information Act Web Sites

U.S. Department of Justice
This site has a FOIA guide and other reference materials and a list of federal agency FOIA points of contacts and web sites.
Department of Defense
Includes links to FOIA web sites for DOD agencies and military services.
Department of Energy

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