FOIA Blues

Maybe I’m naive.

When the ACLU of PA started hosting workshops encouraging people to file Freedom of Information Act requests, I thought that we would actually get information back that told us (one way or another) if the various government agencies had any information on the person submitting the request.

Not so fast.

The responses have started trickling in, and for the most part, the agency to which the request was submitted has refused to grant the request for (what seems like) very minor reasons.

Maybe I wouldn’t have been so naive if I had first read John Ashcroft’s FOIA memorandum, which was issued in October of 2001 and supersedes previous FOIA policies.

OK, so it doesn’t prove a whole-hearted crackdown on the release of information by the government (and there are no black helicopters circling the sky). But it certainly suggests that Ashcroft deliberately tried to create a chilling effect on the release of FOIA material.

Lisa in Pittsburgh

1 thought on “FOIA Blues

  1. Are there plans for a FOIA-102 workshop? My FOIA requests are also being denied and I would like to file an appeal.

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