Today in OpenGov: Real talk on open data, breaking embargoes, ¯\_(FEC)_/¯ and more


¯\_(FEC)_/¯: After discussing what to do about foreign money being spent in U.S. elections and “scam PACs” today, the Federal Election Commission decided it needed to talk about it more. [READ MORE]

#REALTALK: Sunlight’s Alex Howard spoke at the first White House Open Data Summit yesterday. [READ MORE]

REFLECTING: ProPublica news applications developer Derek Willis shared his thoughts on government and civic technology. [READ MORE]

REGISTER: TransparencyCamp is happening from Oct. 14-15 in Cleveland. Please tune in to #TCamp16 for updates on Twitter, register and submit a session idea! [READ MORE]


  • Kurt Eichenwald used interviews, business records and court filings to report that GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s company violated the U.S. embargo on Cuba. [Newsweek]
  • Ballot selfies are ok in New Hampshire. “The 1st US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled (PDF) there was no compelling government need to restrict First Amendment rights and ban voters from disseminating pictures of their ballots or of themselves posed with their ballots.” [Ars Technica]


  • Sunlight attended and participated in a Transparency Caucus Briefing last week that looked at how the Obama administration and Congress have approached open government issues in legislative reforms, along with the challenges ahead. Video is embedded above. [OpenTheGov]
  • Estonia’s chief information officer visited the Data Transparency Summit and said that U.S. open data is so last century. [Meritalk]
  • Here’s six lessons about the Freedom of Information Act that anyone interested or involved in FOIA should read. [CJR]
  • Good news for open: a renegotiated Duns and Bradstreet contract eliminates barriers of use within U.S. government for DUNS data and gives the federal government perpetual access to DUNS data. [FCW]


  • Greg LaRose wrote up Emily Shaw’s research, reporting on police fines fueling local government the most in Louisiana. [NOLA]
  • The Chicago Reader teamed up with MuckRock to use open records requests to document the Chicago Police Department’s secret budget based upon civil forfeitures. [Chicago Reader]
  • A new mapping tool from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development helps state and local policymakers to “create regional plans to ensure fair housing and equal opportunity using federal dollars from HUD.” [NextCity]



Tired of your boss/friend/intern/uncle forwarding you this email every morning? You can sign up here and have it delivered direct to your inbox! You can follow the progress of relevant bills, court cases, and regulations using Scout.

We want to find and share the most important stories about open government around the world from the past 24 hours here. To do that, we’ll need YOUR help. Please send your tips and feedback at If you would like suggest an event, email us by 7 a.m. on the Monday prior to the event.