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FOIA News: National Reconnaissance Office Redacts Paper That Was Public Four Years Ago

FOIA News (2015-16)Kevin SchmidtComment

National Reconnaissance Office Redacts Paper That Was Public Four Years Ago

By Matt Novak, Gizmodo, August 9, 2016

If you’re one of the country’s most important spy agencies, you’d probably have a pretty strict list of what documents to keep secret, right? Well, judging from my latest FOIA request, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) might just be winging it.

Back in April, I filed a Freedom of Information request for a list of history papers held by the NRO, the American intelligence agency tasked with keeping an eye on the globe from satellites in space. I was expecting to get more information than had already been released to other organizations like Government Attic back in 2012. And a couple of days ago, I did. But I also received evidence that the FOIA redaction process can be pretty random—seemingly subject to the whims of whatever FOIA officer is assigned to the task of looking at your FOIA request that day.

In the response to my request for a bibliography of history papers housed at NRO, the intelligence agency fully redacted the title of a paper that had been made public in a previous release just four years earlier.

Read more here.