Feb 8, 2017

Forget email. The FBI wants your requests via fax

Yortw Flickr via CC

The FBI will no longer accept Freedom of Information Act submissions via email, starting next month, per The Daily Dot. Most new requests will have to use fax machines or traditional mail.

This fits with trends in FOIA management: The CIA and DARPA likewise only accept submissions via fax. Plus, the DOJ has been sued for its use of decades-old technology to carry out FOIA requests in the past. Old computers slow down the search processes for retrieving documents and sometimes don't return results at all.

Why it matters: Transparency watchdogs have been warning that Trump's administration would be hostile to FOIA, citing the fact that his business has destroyed emails and documents demanded in official proceedings, per Newsweek.

A potential legal sticking point: Although some requests will funnel through a new online portal, people using this channel will be "limited to making one request per day and one request per submission." They also must disclose personal information and agree to terms of service to submit. Keep in mind there is no legal limit on the number of submissions that can be made in one day.

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Acting Navy head apologizes for calling fired captain "stupid"

Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly testifies on Capitol Hill in December. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly apologized Monday for calling Capt. Brett Crozier, the ousted commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, "too naïve or too stupid" over his letter pleading for help following a coronavirus outbreak onboard.

The big picture: His apology came after President Trump told a news briefing earlier Monday he would "get involved" following a leak of Modly's remarks to the ship's crew on Crozier, who has since been diagnosed with coronavirus, which were obtained by CNN.

Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 1,346,299 — Total deaths: 74,679 — Total recoveries: 276,636Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 367,507— Total deaths: 10,908 — Total recoveries: 19,598Map.
  3. 2020 update: Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks governor's attempt to delay in-person primary voting delayed until June.
  4. States latest: West Coast states send ventilators to New York and other states with more immediate need — Data suggest coronavirus curve may be flattening in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
  5. World update: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to intensive care as coronavirus symptoms worsen.
  6. Stocks latest: The S&P 500 closed up 7% on Monday, while the Dow rose more than 1,500 points.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
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Former Vatican treasurer George Pell's sexual abuse convictions overturned

Cardinal George Pell at the County Court in Melbourne, Australia, in 2019. Photo: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

George Pell, the former Vatican treasurer, has won his appeal and had his child sexual abuse convictions overturned by Australia's High Court.

Why it matters: The cardinal became last year the highest-ranking Catholic Church official to go to trial and be convicted for sex abuse. But the High Court's ruling means he can be immediately released from prison, where he was serving a six-year sentence.

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