Freedom of Information Act thwarted but still generating insights

The federal government set a new standard for censorship this year as it withheld records from citizens and journalists. In rejecting requests for documents the government cited U.S. law or claimed it could not find any information on the topic. On average, out of five requests, it only fulfilled one. (Associated Press, March 12, 2018, by Ted Bridis)

A review of recent Freedom of Information Act history shows a dramatic increase in the number of requests filed since Donald Trump took office. And Unredacted lists a number of significant victories for transparency thanks to the FOIA. We now know details of the restraints put on the Drug Enforcement Agency in its efforts to investigate suspicious opiate shipments; we know about the Justice Departments parallel construction to frame illegal searches as legal; and we know how the head of the Environmental Protection Agency was personally deleting climate data from their website.  (First Amendment Watch, March 9, 2018)

For recent FAC coverage on the FOIA, click here.