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Property of the People

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Operation 45's mission is the aggressive pursuit of governmental transparency in the service of democracy.

Our team is led by “transparency luminaries” Ryan Shapiro  and Jeffrey Light, who have for years exposed government secrecy and overreach at the FBI, CIA, NSA, and numerous other agencies.

Your donations are critical for us to have the capacity to sue the Trump/Pence administration again and again for documents revealing what is being done with our tax dollars and in our names!


Liberating government documents against powerful opposition is what we do.  Our work obtaining and analyzing documents has provided vital information to journalists at media outlets including the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, US News & World Report, The Associated Press, NPR, BBC, The Guardian, The Nation, Mother Jones, Democracy Now!, WIRED, Motherboard, Vice News, and numerous others.

We exposed the FBI’s earliest known use of classified remote installation anti-encryption malware , the FBI’s anti-communist crusade against Nelson Mandela and the anti-apartheid movement, the inner workings of the CIA’s spying on the Senate’s investigation of CIA torture, FBI efforts to secure federal terrorism charges against animal rights activists who expose horrific conditions on factory farms, FBI policies to conceal information about electronic surveillance from prosecutors and defendants alike, unlawful collusion between the USDA’s American Egg Board and a major agricultural lobby, FBI investigative interest in journalist Michael Hastings (despite FBI protestations to the contrary), details about the sniper plot against Occupy Houston, and the mechanics and architecture of the FBI, DOJ, CIA, and other agencies’ routine and flagrant noncompliance with the Freedom of Information Act .

This sort of work takes real money. To date, most of that money has come from our own pockets. However, in order to successfully expose the Trump administration, we need to scale up, and we simply can no longer afford to financially go it alone.

Please give what you can. The money will go directly to our work to keep government answerable to the people.

Simply put, the more you give, the more we can sue. And the more we sue, the more documents we’ll pry free. Trump must not be allowed to conduct his presidency from the shadows!

Help us keep the Trump administration transparent and accountable. The moment is urgent.

We will not give in to the looming darkness. Help us shine the light.

Who We Are

Ryan Shapiro is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Science, Technology, and Society (HASTS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as a Research Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. Shapiro is an historian of national security, the policing of dissent, and governmental transparency. Shapiro is widely known as a leading expert on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Politico describes Shapiro as “a FOIA guru at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology." The open government website MuckRock describes Shapiro as “a FOIA superhero." Marsh Professor of Journalism at Michigan University and TED Senior Fellow Will Potter describes Shapiro as “The FBI’s Worst Nightmare." Indeed, the FBI itself declares Shapiro’s dissertation FOIA research methodologies themselves to be a threat to national security. Shapiro thanks the Bureau for this compliment.

Jeffrey Light is a Washington, D.C.-based FOIA specialist attorney. Light is an NLG member who received his JD from Georgetown Law, as well as an MS in Bioinformatics from Brandeis University. Beyond his expertise in FOIA matters, Light also has extensive experience in activist defense and First Amendment law, as well as police misconduct, prisoner abuse, LGBT, and civil rights law. Light is widely regarded as among the best FOIA attorneys in the country.

For his legal work, Light has received awards from the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and the Washington Peace Center.

The Nation calls Operation 45 “a ray of hope in these dark political times.”

Testimonial from award-winning Vice News Senior Investigative Reporter, Jason Leopold.
“When it comes to FOIA, hands down, Ryan Shapiro and Jeffrey Light are the best. No one else even comes close. They are true transparency luminaries. I’ve collaborated with Ryan and Jeffrey for years, resulting in award-winning reporting based upon hard fought FOIA-obtained documents. Ryan Shapiro and Jeffrey Light are brilliant, fearless, and exactly what we need to confront the coming Trump administration. I hope everyone donates whatever they can to support Ryan and Jeffrey’s invaluable efforts, now more than ever.”

Testimonial from Marsh Professor of Journalism at Michigan University, author of the award-winning Green is the New Red , and TED Senior Fellow, Will Potter.

"I can think of few projects and people more worthy of support right now. President Trump will attempt to shroud his actions in secrecy. I strongly encourage everyone to donate generously so that Ryan Shapiro and Jeffrey Light can drag the Trump administration into the light.”

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Operation 45 is a project of Property of the People, Inc. a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization dedicated to governmental transparency in the service of democracy. Our tax ID number is 81-4440045. Your gift is tax-deductible to the full extent provided by law.

This gofundme campaign was set up by Stephanie Bain, Santa Cruz CA, on behalf of her husband Ryan Shapiro and attorney Jeffrey Light. All funds raised go directly towards offsetting the costs of litigating FOIA lawsuits against government agencies in the public interest.


  • Karen Carsley
    • $20 
    • 6 yrs

Organizer and beneficiary

Ryan Shapiro
Washington D.C., DC
Ryan Shapiro

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