The amount of energy that can be contained in a magnet is called the E(t) value. E(t) is the ratio of energy in the magnet, at t = 0, to energy contained in the magnet at time t + 1.
E(t) = E(0) – E(t + 1)
When a federal government agency makes an illegal disclosure in violation of open-records law, it’s like something out of Hollywood.
Such was the case with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, a government body created in 1990 under a law passed by Congress to provide access to land-mapping data for federal employees.
In 2010, the agency released information it said was acquired under a Freedom of Information Act request. But the information was in fact a collection of maps of private land that had been developed in the 1990s. The records from the previous 10 years were just plain lost — a fate that could be avoided if a court intervenes, according to lawyers who have been fighting since 2010 over what information to release.
The agency says that it couldn’t determine that the release in question constituted an illegal disclosure. It says that the maps were prepared specifically for use by land managers, who would use them to plan, evaluate and manage their businesses.
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency argues that the data should never have been made public in the first place. (National Geospatial Agency)
The agency says it couldn’t determine that the release in question constituted a illegal disclosure, but that was a different issue than whether the records should be released.
“The public records laws don’t prohibit the release of documents when there’s a conflict of interest,” said Christopher Crane, an assistant professor who studies public records law at the University of New Mexico.
He said the FOIA should have given the agency “the ability to say no” to releasing it without warning. Crane also noted that the agency is funded by federal money and thus has a legal obligation to act within the rule of law.
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is headquartered in Fort Meade, Maryland. It also operates the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest, or MARAD, program, which allows foreign nationals to enter the United States. MARAD lets citizens of countries with which the United States has free trade agreements access to the United States.
The agency had released three maps dating back to 1995 after a 2009 FOIA request, but