Go Foia Yourself
Wednesday, May 09, 2012
In February, I sent out numerous Freedom of Information Act requests to different government agencies to see if they had any information on me in their files. I received my response letters from most of the agencies, and they're on the one hand fairly anticlimactic, and on the other hand illuminating of how potentially weak FOIA can be.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
As part of an investigation into the efficacy of Freedom of Information Act requests, Darrell Issa, a California Republican and the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform FOIA'd 180 government agencies for information on who is making FOIA requests, what kinds of documents they were looking for, and what kind of responses the agencies gave. Sort of a FOIA request about FOIA requests. Pretty meta, right? Well, it's about to get ... uh ... meta-er. According to a post at the New York Times Caucus Blog, a non-profit organization called Government Attic essentially FOIA'd Issa's FOIA about FOIA:
Thursday, March 08, 2012
On last week's show and earlier this week on the blog, On the Media producer Sarah Abdurrahman talked about her "Go FOIA Yourself" project, which has her attempting to see how much information the federal government might be keeping on her. An eagle-eyed commenter on Sarah's last post pointed us toward an article by Erin Siegal in the Columbia Journalism Review which outlines the process of suing governmental agencies for refusing to release information requested through FOIA. More importantly, the article sheds light on just how costly the legal process can be.