FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: New York Times plugs its FOIA work

FOIA News (2017)Allan BlutsteinComment

Think FOIA Is a Paper Tiger? The New York Times Gives It Some Bite

By David McCraw, N.Y. Times, June 12, 2017

Time has not been kind to the Freedom of Information Act.

It was enacted more than 50 years ago to give citizens the right to obtain documents from federal agencies. Not long after it went into effect, the consumer advocate Ralph Nader wrote a law review article titled “The Freedom From Information Act” denouncing the law as weak and ineffective.

Five decades later, not much has changed. Last year, on the 50th anniversary of FOIA, a veteran media lawyer concluded in a law review article that Mr. Nader had been proved right over time. He dismissed FOIA as “deeply flawed — in fact, its terms have allowed agencies to defeat the very purpose of the act.”

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