Freedom of Information Act and Public Records Act Requests are an important tool to help the public understand what our government in doing behind closed doors.
Webinar: FOIA for Activists 101 with Jane Kleeb (Bold Nebraska) Drew Hendricks (OlmPMR) and Shawn Musgrave (MuckRock)
Videos: “Declassifying Government And Undermining A Culture Of Insecurity, You Tube presentation by Ivan Greenberg, author, researcher, and FOIA expert discussing interesting history, facts and his use of FOIA since its inception.
Great websites: To help you prepare a FOIA or PRA request:
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
National Freedom of Information Coalition (Find your local coalition)
Defending Dissent Foundation How to and Sample letters
Government Websites: Many federal agencies provide access to documents released through FOIA, here are a few (you can find others by doing a websearch of the agency name plus FOIA): FOIA Online allows you submit FOIA requests to all participating agencies, track the status of requests, search for requests submitted by others, access previously released records, and generate agency-specific FOIA processing reports.
FOIAonline participating agencies include: the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Commerce (except the US Patent and Trademark Office), U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of General Counsel of the National Archives and Records Administration, Merit Systems Protection Board, Federal Labor Relations Authority, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. FBI Vault is a searchable database of 6,700 FBI documents CIA FOIA Reading Room is a searchable database of CIA files. Yes, they are redacted.