The FOIA “Five” – After 50 Years, Changes in the Freedom of Information Act That (Might) Matter

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), passed by Congress and signed into law in 1966, “established a policy of openness toward information within the control of the Executive Branch, and a presumption that such records should be accessible to the American public.” Since its enactment, FOIA has been frequently utilized by journalists, historians, attorneys, and members of the American public to track the inner workings of the federal government, as well as to hold it accountable.

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Help us show the power of FOIA!

As some of you might know, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) turned 50 this year! Over these past 50 years FOIA has played an incredibly important role in improving the public's understanding of the government's actions. For one recent example, the photographs of Vice President Cheney on 9/11 that were released as a result of Associated Press's FOIA request add a new dimension to our understanding of that event. Continue…

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Delayed, Denied, Dismissed: Failures on the FOIA Front

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Freedom of Information Act, which was designed to give the public the right to scrutinize the records of government agencies. Almost no one needs public records more than an organization like ProPublica, whose mission is producing work that “shines a light on exploitation of the weak by the strong and on the failures of those with power to vindicate the trust placed in them.”

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The Freedom of Information Act—and the Hero Who Pioneered It

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) turns 50 years old on July 4, 2016. The landmark bill, signed into law by a reluctant Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966, gave the public unprecedented access to government documents. Like many great American contributions to democracy, it was the project of a lone crusader, opposed by the leading politicians of the day until it finally became law, then fully embraced on paper but never more than half-realized in reality.

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Sunlight Foundation: 7 ideas to make the Freedom of Information Act better

When Sunlight signed onto the 50 Days of FOIA campaign, we expected to be adding our voice and ideas to those of dozens of other open government allies pushing for Congress to pass legislative reforms to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Thankfully, we are now celebrating Congress sending FOIA reform to President Barack Obama. S.337 is currently listed as pending legislation on the White House website. We hope the president signs it into law by or on the 50th anniversary of the law on July Fourth.

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The Missourian’s GEORGE KENNEDY: Freedom of information gets a boost from Congress

The Congress of the United States did a remarkable thing last week. It passed a major piece of legislation.

That in itself should have attracted more attention and generated more amazement than it did. Even more amazing is that the legislation was approved with bipartisan support. Continue…

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CELEBRATING F.O.I.A. ON INDEPENDENCE DAY

On July 4, 1966, Lyndon B. Johnson surprised even some of his closest aides by signing the Freedom of Information Act. Johnson was said to have hated the “government-information bill”; he questioned the motives of the Democrat who was its chief architect, and was so disturbed by its passage that Bill Moyers, then L.B.J.’s press secretary, warned its supporters not to get their hopes up. With Congress in recess and the President vacationing in Texas, it was widely expected that Johnson would pocket-veto the bill.

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