\Whistleblower Network News hosted a webinar Dec. 14 on how to effectively use the Freedom of Information Act. The webinar featured leading whistleblower lawyer Stephen M. Kohn, who is a founding partner of whistleblower law firm Kohn, Kohn and Colapinto as well as the Chairman of the Board of the National Whistleblower Center.
During the course of his career Kohn has filed thousands of FOIA requests, and litigated many more. In the webinar, Kohn covered the most essential aspects of FOIA, starting with the principles and history behind it.
Kohn began with some background information about the intent of FOIA and the way it has historically been used. He detailed the passage of the law in 1966 and the things that held it back from being effective when it was first passed. Originally intended as a way for the public to access U.S. Executive Branch documents, the 1966 law was immediately mired with red tape and bureaucratic roadblocks. Kohn described the changes that the 1974 amendments had on the law, changing it into the current law that we know today.