FOIA

8 results arranged by date

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen in Washington, D.C., on June 24, 2019. A court decision made today will restrict journalists' access to government records. (AFP/Saul Loeb)

US Supreme Court imposes new limits on government records requests

New York, June 24, 2019 — The Committee to Protect Journalists today expressed concern over a U.S. Supreme Court decision that restricts journalists’ access to government records.

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The Supreme Court, pictured on April 15, is due to hear arguments in a case brought by South Dakota daily, the Argus Leader, that centers around exemptions to Freedom of Information Act requests. (AFP/Eric Baradat)

Supreme Court could limit FOIA, curtail investigative reporting

It’s been over eight years since Jonathan Ellis, an investigative reporter at the Argus Leader, filed what he thought was a routine Freedom of Information Act request. He wanted five years of reimbursement data from the Agriculture Department (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)–a program that helps people with low incomes buy food from grocery…

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Case in Point

A journalist details one fight over records requests in the United States By Michael Pell In December 2010, Robin Gordon faced an ultimatum. She had found that a debt collection company had purchased a $291 tax lien on an apartment she owned in Atlanta, Georgia, after her mortgage company failed to pay a small portion…

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Thwarting Freedom of Information

Agencies exploit every loophole to evade disclosure requirements By Jason Leopold On December 13, 2016, I filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the FBI seeking a wide range of documents about a series of highly controversial decisions the bureau made in the weeks leading up to the U.S. presidential election that Democratic lawmakers…

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Transition to Trump: What Obama’s Freedom of Information legacy means for press

As a new presidential administration prepares to take over the U.S., CPJ examines the status of press freedom, including the challenges journalists face from surveillance, harassment, limited transparency, the questioning of libel laws, and other factors.

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Viktor Orbán at a European Parliament debate about Hungary in May. His government has brought in a law that will make it harder for journalists and others to make Freedom of Information Act requests. (AFP/Frederick Florin)

New hurdles for Hungary’s press as Orbán restricts FOI requests

“This is the best thing that has ever happened in Hungary.” Katalin Erdélyi, a freedom of information activist, was referring to a ground-breaking website launched in Hungary in 2012. “I was glad because I realized the potential and how it will help me get all the information I longed for,” she told me. The website,…

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President Goodluck Jonathan signed a public information bill long in the making. (AP/Bebeto Matthews)

Nigeria’s new FOI law brings celebration, challenges

There is a deserved celebration in the Nigerian media over the recently passed Freedom of Information Act, which provides citizens with broad access to public records and information held by a public official or institution.  It is the climax of an 11-year struggle to pass such a law in the Nigerian parliament. Indeed, the call…

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The White House says it wants to improve transparency. Greater access to information could prevent deaths of journalists in the field.

FOIA needs new muscle behind it, not just promises

These are busy days for Freedom of Information. On April 5, the watchdog Web site that knows no borders, WikiLeaks, posted a classified U.S. military video showing U.S. forces firing on Iraqi civilians, killing many, including two Reuters journalists, as well as wounding children. Two days later, the Pentagon posted a redacted U.S. military assessment of the same incident concluding that U.S. troops fired “in accordance…

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