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Tags CDC issues , Trump administration

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Old 12th September 2017, 06:20 AM   #1
Stacko
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CDC Wants Employees to Stop Helping Press With Data Requests

CDC cracks down on its communications staff.

Quote:
"Effective immediately and until further notice, any and all correspondence with any member of the news media, regardless of the nature of the inquiry, must be cleared through CDC's Atlanta Communications Office," Lancashire wrote. "This correspondence includes everything from formal interview requests to the most basic of data requests."
The shutdown of publicly available data from the federal government continues.
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Old 12th September 2017, 08:51 AM   #2
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I can think of many good reasons for this policy (e.g. preliminary data being released before verification then used by anti-vaccination pseudo-science groups). Until I hear from normal users of CDC data having a problem with this I'm withholding judgement on whether this is a good or bad thing.
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Old 12th September 2017, 09:01 AM   #3
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This is actually a major problem with this crappy administration.

The ideal is that all data taken by the federal government be available to all. For study, for analysis, and so on. The fact that they dropped a veil over government info that had been easily available, as soon as they got into office, was a huge warning sign. And it kinda disgusts me that even many sites that claim to be fighting against this administration, simply ignored this veil.
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Old 12th September 2017, 09:09 AM   #4
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In the long run this will be more burdensome for the agencies. A formal FOIA request is more burdensome for the government and requires a more formal process and certification than responding with an e-mail.
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Old 12th September 2017, 09:20 AM   #5
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Not everything is a FOIA request. Agency communication offices routinely respond to all kinds of queries. FOIA requests are specifically for information which the agency refuses to provide in response to a normal request. And those obviously need special processing anyway.

This will actually be less burdensome for the agencies. Other employees will be able to focus on doing their actual jobs, instead of trying to craft press releases. The communications office, which specializes in such things, will be able to focus on that. This is a practical and efficient division of labor.

And ten bucks says this was already the policy anyway. I bet this crack down is only necessary because some staff have taken it upon themselves to disseminate information without appropriate oversight.
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Old 12th September 2017, 09:25 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
In the long run this will be more burdensome for the agencies. A formal FOIA request is more burdensome for the government and requires a more formal process and certification than responding with an e-mail.
In the long term, it'd be bad for everyone. The US government does have a lot of useful information that should be freely available for analysis. When this admin simply dropped a veil over it's own data, they signalled that they were going to endanger everybody.

There's a reason why scientists rushed to create a backup database of all publicly available information, before Toupee Fiasco was sworn in.

We know what the deal is.
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Old 12th September 2017, 09:31 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Not everything is a FOIA request. Agency communication offices routinely respond to all kinds of queries. FOIA requests are specifically for information which the agency refuses to provide in response to a normal request. And those obviously need special processing anyway.

This will actually be less burdensome for the agencies. Other employees will be able to focus on doing their actual jobs, instead of trying to craft press releases. The communications office, which specializes in such things, will be able to focus on that. This is a practical and efficient division of labor.
Making data available for study is not the same thing as a press release. There is a big difference between making data available and making a statement.
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Old 12th September 2017, 09:39 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Not everything is a FOIA request. Agency communication offices routinely respond to all kinds of queries. FOIA requests are specifically for information which the agency refuses to provide in response to a normal request. And those obviously need special processing anyway.

This will actually be less burdensome for the agencies. Other employees will be able to focus on doing their actual jobs, instead of trying to craft press releases. The communications office, which specializes in such things, will be able to focus on that. This is a practical and efficient division of labor.

And ten bucks says this was already the policy anyway. I bet this crack down is only necessary because some staff have taken it upon themselves to disseminate information without appropriate oversight.
FOIA is not just for information that they refuse to release. It is a process for the release of information in general.

There is a FOIA request for information and then there is an FOIA complaint when you don't get what you think you should be able to get.

A policy:
https://www.cdc.gov/od/foia/

Quote:
CDC has one overriding goal: to protect the health of all Americans. At the core of this mission is information sharing not just health information and disease study results, but information CDC gathers as part of a continuous process of putting information into action. As a science-based agency funded by U.S. taxpayers, CDC is committed to openness and accountability.
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Old 12th September 2017, 09:50 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Making data available for study is not the same thing as a press release. There is a big difference between making data available and making a statement.
The crack down is specifically on communication with the press. I bet sharing data for study is handled separately through reciprocal agreements with qualifying institutions.
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Old 12th September 2017, 09:53 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
And? A communications office tasked with carrying out this policy is in conflict with the policy how, exactly?
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Old 12th September 2017, 03:52 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
And? A communications office tasked with carrying out this policy is in conflict with the policy how, exactly?
Did I say it was in conflict?
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Old 12th September 2017, 03:53 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The crack down is specifically on communication with the press. I bet sharing data for study is handled separately through reciprocal agreements with qualifying institutions.
I think data is available to whoever wants it.
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Old 12th September 2017, 09:16 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
I think data is available to whoever wants it.
What, like an axiom?

This signature is intended to irradiate people.
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Old 13th September 2017, 05:24 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
What, like an axiom?

This signature is intended to irradiate people.
I have no idea what that means.
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Old 13th September 2017, 08:03 AM   #15
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I've looked for conformation on the validity of this story and so far there is none. All we have is that one reporter at Axios claims to have received a leaked email from CDC and has put a claimed one paragraph quote from it in his three paragraph article. The three other news sites where I've seen this topic mentioned (The Hill, Politicus usa & The Atlanta Journal-Constitution) have not confirmed the existence of the email and simply report that Axios says it exists.

So I must amend my first comment.

Assuming this story is even true then,
Originally Posted by paulhutch View Post
Until I hear from normal users of CDC data having a problem with this I'm withholding judgement on whether this is a good or bad thing.
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Old 13th September 2017, 09:27 AM   #16
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
I have no idea what that means.
... Yeah, neither do I. Sorry 'bout that.
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Old 13th September 2017, 12:12 PM   #17
Craig4
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Not everything is a FOIA request. Agency communication offices routinely respond to all kinds of queries. FOIA requests are specifically for information which the agency refuses to provide in response to a normal request. And those obviously need special processing anyway.

This will actually be less burdensome for the agencies. Other employees will be able to focus on doing their actual jobs, instead of trying to craft press releases. The communications office, which specializes in such things, will be able to focus on that. This is a practical and efficient division of labor.

And ten bucks says this was already the policy anyway. I bet this crack down is only necessary because some staff have taken it upon themselves to disseminate information without appropriate oversight.
No, a FOIA requests directs a search of all documents and is sent out to a broad swath of the agency, ordering employees to search records. There is no requirement that the agency refuses the request first.
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