Freedom of Information Act of 1966 (FOIA)

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a law intended to give citizens and organizations access to government information with minimal restrictions and hindrance. The original act was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on July 4, 1967. It was subsequently amended to specifically include in its scope all electronically stored and transmitted information, which resulted in the Electronic Freedom of Information Act (EFOIA), signed by President Bill Clinton on October 2, 1996. The law provides a process for requesting government information, a timeline for government response, and judicial channels for forcing government compliance.

The FOIA and EFOIA laws are meant to ensure a citizen's “right to know.” While usually framed in the context of national security, the FOIA has been valuable in accessing ...

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