Freedom of Information Act Change Would Give Government License to Lie

October 25, 2011 -

A proposed rule change to the Freedom of Information Act would give federal agencies a special exemption when it comes to certain types of information requests. The change would allow agencies to tell citizens requesting certain law-enforcement or national security documents that records don’t exist – even when they do.

Under current rules of the FOIA, the government may withhold information and say that it can "neither confirm nor deny" the existence of such records. The new changes would give them a license to lie. The new proposal is part of a lengthy rule revision by the Department of Justice. Open-government groups object.

"We don’t believe the statute allows the government to lie to FOIA requesters,” Mike German, senior policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union told ProPublica. Obviously the group opposes the provision.

The ACLU, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and OpenTheGovernment.org said that this change would “dramatically undermine government integrity by allowing a law designed to provide public access to government to be twisted."

Advocacy groups propose different language: something along the lines of "you have requested …records which, if they exist, would not be subject to the disclosure requirements of FOIA..."

Advocacy groups also say that the proposed rule change could undermine judicial proceedings.

In a recent case brought by the ACLU of Southern California, the FBI denied the existence of documents, but the court later found that documents did exist. The judge on the case, U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney wrote in his decision that the “Government cannot, under any circumstance, affirmatively mislead the Court.”

The DOJ draft FOIA rule was published in March, but it re-opened comment submissions in September at the request of advocacy groups. The new comment period ended on October 19. The DOJ had no comment on the story written by ProPublica.

Source: ProPublica

Image provided by Shutterstock. All rights reserved.


Comments

Re: Freedom of Information Act Change Would Give Government ...

Imagine if the government (the entity as well as individuals operating within it) had to operate on the idea of The Truth, The WHOLE Truth, And Nothing But The Truth.

Apparently, someone feels that if FOX News can affirm in a court of law that knowingly and intentionally lying to and deceiving its audience is protected by the First Amendment, then MAYBE the government or one of its agencies, can do so also and claim that the First Amendment protects IT.

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: Freedom of Information Act Change Would Give Government ...

It doesn't matter who's in charge, nothing changes (for the better).

Re: Freedom of Information Act Change Would Give Government ...

And I think to myself, "What a wonderful world..."

Re: Freedom of Information Act Change Would Give Government ...

Scary idea.. one branch of the government having permission to lie to another?

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
IvresseWell Totalbiscuit's port report video was positively glowing about it...04/21/2015 - 4:05am
MattsworknameHey, slightly off topic, but, anyone got a good sugestion for a flight stick for elite dangerous?04/21/2015 - 12:38am
Matthew Wilson@pm intreasting the gta5 port was already good from what I have read.04/20/2015 - 9:32pm
Papa Midnighthttp://www.pcgamer.com/gta-5-pc-patch-reduces-cpu-usage/04/20/2015 - 9:00pm
PHX Corp@zippy I'm Probaly going to Warn my uncle who is a techie that it may come out at the end of july04/20/2015 - 8:45pm
Matthew Wilson@zippy I want windows 10 badly, but that is because I am stuck on 8.1 yuk. that being said the new dx12 looks very good, and the reported performance gain from it.04/20/2015 - 8:00pm
ZippyDSMleeMy body is readY! http://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2015/04/20/amd-microsoft-to-launch-windows-10-at-the-end-of-july04/20/2015 - 7:54pm
PHX CorpI may have posted this before but a leaked email from Sony pictures has the MPAA written all over it http://www.extremetech.com/computing/203654-leaked-sony-emails-show-mpaas-opposition-to-fair-use-confirms-users-are-viewed-as-thieves04/20/2015 - 4:53pm
Mattsworknameyet another reason the DMCA should be dismantled and rewritten04/20/2015 - 4:41pm
Matthew Wilson@zippy that is worse than the ESA thing.04/20/2015 - 4:26pm
ZippyDSMlee0-o good luck with that car companies, http://www.autoblog.com/2015/04/20/automakers-gearheads-car-repairs/04/20/2015 - 4:07pm
Andrew EisenYes, hence my subsequent shout.04/20/2015 - 3:15pm
Matthew Wilsonwhile the article itself isnt that great, but the point is still valid.04/20/2015 - 3:14pm
Andrew EisenProfessionals do need to be mindful of what they say on social media though. That's true.04/20/2015 - 3:11pm
Andrew EisenWell, it was almost a decent article from Techraptor. Some day. Some day...04/20/2015 - 3:09pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://techraptor.net/content/gamings-pr-problem both game devs and pr people alike need to to keep in mind, when your on twiter you are also representing the company you work for.04/20/2015 - 2:39pm
E. Zachary KnightI don't really care either way, but that was just my understanding based on previous reads.04/20/2015 - 2:13pm
E. Zachary KnightBut now I am confused. I thought Johnny Storm was the adopted one, but the dad is black. Does that mean that Sue is adopted or is it just an interracial marriage with existing children?04/20/2015 - 2:12pm
E. Zachary KnightNew Fantastic 4 trailer finally shows powers and just a wee bit of whimsy. Not too much mind you. No need to dilute the dark and brooding. http://www.comingsoon.net/movies/trailers/431505-the-new-trailer-for-fantastic-four-is-here04/20/2015 - 2:11pm
E. Zachary KnightOk. Just checked another of my Twitter accounts and there is a setting, opt-in. So it looks like a slow roll out.04/20/2015 - 1:17pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician