New players join newspapers in using FOIA requests

Newspapers were once the dominant force in dislodging documents and other records from reluctant federal government agencies, but a new crop of media players, advocacy groups and corporate interests now drive the release of information.

The Freedom of Information Act of 1966 was first envisioned as a tool for traditional media to seek documents, data and information they deemed important to the public's interest. It also was meant to allow ordinary Americans to seek information from the federal government about themselves.

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Cornell Alliance students challenge ‘anti-GMO bullies’ over FOI demand

The Cornell Alliance for Science–a global initiative for science-based communications based at Cornell University–has launched a symbolic petition to support biotechnology research scientists in the face of recent attacks on their integrity. These attacks come from an organization called U.S. Right to Know, which recently submitted Freedom of Information requests demanding that public scientists turn over tens of thousands of emails linked to their research efforts involving biotech crops.

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Oakley reveals names tied to reserve police force

The village of Oakley has given an attorney 145 names of people identified as applying to be village police reservists.

The village in southern Saginaw County, with a population of 290, has fought a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for nearly two years to keep the names of its reservists and donors to the police department secret. Two additional FOIA lawsuits were filed in recent months.

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Oakley releases list in response to request for police donor info, but some on the list say they don’t belong there

The village of Oakley has released 13 pages of names and financial information in response to a Saginaw News request for the names of donors to the Oakley Police Department.

However, at least some of those listed, including Saginaw County 911, deny donating to the department.

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Using FOIA Requests for a Competitive Edge

Many people are aware of the Freedom of Information Act, known by its acronym, FOIA. It’s the kind of thing that might be described as “government trade secrets, inside out.”

In essence, it means that you can get “private” information from the government by filing a request. Think the government has a file on you? Well, you can file and they will tell you if they do or don’t, or that “they don’t want to confirm or deny” the existence of such a file.

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