FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: Did the FBI's Use of (b)(7)(E) Suggest It Considered Prosecuting FOIA Requesters?

FOIA News (2017)Ryan MulveyComment

It Looks Like The FBI Thought About Prosecuting FOIA Requesters After Influx of Automated Requests

Tim Cushing, TechDirt, Dec. 15, 2017

Emma Best of MuckRock has unearthed some disturbing details in an FBI response to an FOIA request: apparently the agency considered -- however briefly -- the investigation and prosecution of people filing requests.

The nature of the requests may shed some light on the FBI's thought process because the heavily-redacted email included in the response certainly doesn't. Each year, the FBI updates its Dead List-- the names of people the FBI has files on who have passed away. Death increases the chances of released files because this major life event tends to terminate investigations.

The FBI claims it can't find its updated Dead List. This seems odd, if not downright unbelievable, but the DOJ has backed the FBI's claim and FOIA requests for the latest copy are being rejected. No problem, said MuckRock. It went to work with an older version of the list which included 7,000 names.

Read more here.