They need assurances because the executive branch has a history of holding "unconventional interpretations" of our own laws, then avoiding judicial oversight by slapping gag orders on all potential defendants so no one has standing in court. The also invented a parallel court system for these cases, where no judge ever says no to anything.
Then they're shocked when one or two operatives grow a conscience and find a way to shine a light on the situation - so they pursue them to the ends of the earth and threaten them with the death penalty.
Me saying that you have to show up to work and not be half-naked if you want to continue to be a sub-contractor is NOT outrageous. It's the norm.
That's still within the boundaries of "getting it done" as a form of risk management. A worker that shows up inappropriately clothed is at risk of being arrested or being kicked off site by a helicopter mom. That's similar to a requirement for a contractor to have proper insurance. The insurance doesn't affect the result of a typical job, but is does affect the result of a job that has gone wrong.
Also, as I said earlier, there are a lot of subjective areas to contract law in almost all jurisdictions. Since the penalty for imposing a restriction that isn't allowed is so great, it's best to steer very clear of the line.
But a client specifying tools seems like a strange thing to determine contractor vs something else on.
A contractor produces results for a fee. If the purchaser of the service wishes to retain control over anything other than the results, then they need an employee, not a contractor.
This might be true. However, the MythBusters episode that's cited in the article shows that total fuel consumption goes down even though distance increases. UPS didn't do this to get routes done faster, they did it to save fuel. If there were some secondary effects, great, but those effects should have been enumerated.
Even the number cited seem to be misleading. Simply driving 747000km less and saving 190000l of fuel implies no per mile fuel savings if the fleet averages 25l/100km (or about 9.4 US mpg). That looks like a reasonable number, adding to the confusion about what they are actually saying. Come to think of it, given the previous calculation, it seems nearly all of the savings had to come from reducing total miles, which contradicts the Mythbusters experimental results and other anecdotal evidence.
Due to the nature of humanity, the rest of us also have things to hide. Some are bad but not illegal, like cheating on a partner, some are benign but still secret, like whether or not you are bluffing in a game of poker, and some and simply personal, like what the person looks like naked.
Things the FBI legitimately needs to hide aren't subject to FOIA requests, so the question is still irrelevant. They're going to withhold the information no matter what the answer is.
This shouldn't be the dawn of mistrust. Anyone who trusted the government was being, at the very least, gullible.
This is the surprise development of the information age... It was long thought that more information would give people a basis to make better decisions. The truth turned out to be that more information gave people more opportunity to discover facts that align with their beliefs. People trust data that says what they already think, they distrust data that says otherwise. It's always been that way.
The end result is that the trustworthiness of data is irrelevant in the public sphere. Regular people are simply discussing their opinion and hiding that opinion behind a "fact" they discovered.
Among experts in a field, data trustworthiness is important. However, experts are much better at validating data than the general public, so this usually isn't a problem.
Tip - blueberries are cheap twice a year in the US. Once when the US harvest comes in (exactly when depends on your latitude) and once when the South American harvest comes in (around now). They drop from $10 per pound to $3.25 per pound and the quality goes way up. Stop mold growth with a vinegar/water rinse and dry thoroughly and they'll keep for a week. Freeze them and they'll be good enough to use for cooking until the next season comes around - but don't expect them to be suitable for snacking.
Also, for anything but snacking, consider buying frozen. I always buy the cherries I use in my breakfast frozen. I can get big, sweet, pitted cherries for $3 per pound any time of the year.
I am here by the will of the people and I won't leave until I get my raincoat back. - a slogan of the anarchists in Richard Kadrey's "Metrophage"