Freedom of Information Act

Unbelievably, Bush just signed a bill that will reform the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to reduce some of the bureaucracy that comes with requesting government records and to create accountability for delays in processing those requests. These reforms should allow the public and the media better access to government records, although they won't require any more actual openness on the government's part. In other words, if the FBI crossed out large portions of your grandmother the communist labor organizer's record before sending you a copy, they can still do that. Bummer.

Still, there's no better time than now to request your FBI file, or if your life hasn't been interesting enough, get your grandpa's.


Thomas Jackson said...

When the President signed the Open Government Act of 2007 in the 11th Hour, he did nonetheless crack the door. It will take a full year for Government to become “open,” with the built in12 month delay in the in new law, but it will open the door. For the first time since the original act was implemented, federal government officials can be held accountable for violating the law. Had this new act been in place last year, the officials that used and twisted the act to keep documents out of the hands of a Coast Guard employee would be on a Federal Court Docket trying to stave off fines and jail time.

And as a blogger am I a journalist? I certainly have more readers in more countries around the world than many small papers I'm aware of. The Thomas Jackson Center for Equal Civil Rights stats supports that.


Bay Radical said...

Thanks for visiting Thomas. I share your hope that this will improve matters for those seeking access to public records.

anniez-k said...

The FOIA your Grandpa site is wonderful. Very cool.

Bay Radical said...

Isn't it cool Annie? I recently had the opportunity to utilize the site, actually. We'll see how it pans out.

Tallulah said...

Keep up the good work.

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