Homeland Security Giving Extra Political Scrutiny To 'Activist' Groups FOIA Requests, Singles Out EFF
from the freedom-deserves-extra-scrutiny dept
When President Obama first came into office, one of the things he pledged was greater transparency, including in responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. As we've seen with things like ACTA, where the USTR refused FOIA requests with a totally bogus claim of "national security," the administration has regularly failed to live up to that promise and at times appears to be even worse than previous administrations. Over the last year, reports have come out that FOIA requests from certain groups and reporters are being singled out for political review. That's not the way the FOIA process is supposed to work, but apparently Homeland Security has alerted various FOIA officials that requests from certain groups need to first be sent up the chain for political review, both potentially delaying the release of the information, and subjecting it to reviews and possible redactions that go beyond what the law establishes. As the EFF notes, it seems to be among the groups singled out for special scrutiny, and the letter outlining this policy highlights three specific EFF FOIA requests. So, apparently the plan is "transparency, except when it might hurt us politically."