* Greg Hinz…
Under what amounts to a gag order from Washington, state officials have abruptly stopped releasing daily figures on how many Illinois workers are filing for unemployment insurance amid the COVID-19 epidemic.
Instead, as per orders, they’ll give the totals as part of a single national release only weekly on Thursdays, a step some data-security hawks may like but that also arguably makes it easier for President Donald Trump to continue to assert that he has the epidemic under control.
Through last Thursday, March 19, the Illinois Department of Employment Security was releasing the figures day to day upon media request, with the numbers soaring to a total of 64,000 over a three-day period ending then, nearly 10 times the level from the same period a year earlier. […]
Continues [federal] Statistical Policy Directive No. 4, “Employees having sworn to observe the limitations imposed on the dissemination of information face a class E felony charge and imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or a fine of not more than $250,000.00, or both, if the information is willfully disseminated in violation of the limitations.”
That federal directive was issued in 2008. More here.