Blocking the Sunshine

A recent study by the National Security Archive of George Washington University finds that U.S. government agencies are stalling on public requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act. Five U.S. agencies — the State Department, the C.I.A., the criminal division of the Justice Department, the Air Force and the F.B.I. — are still sitting on unanswered information requests from more than 15 years ago. “It can get pretty silly,” observes the New York Times: “In 2002, the National Zoo in Washington denied a request for the medical records of Ryma the giraffe because, it said, the release would violate the animal’s privacy rights.” The U.S. Senate has been considering legislation that would make it harder for government agencies to dodge compliance, but the bill has been blocked from further consideration through a “secret hold” imposed by Senator Jon Kyl.

   Originally by Sheldon Rampton from Center for Media and Democracy – Publishers of PR Watch on July 23, 2007

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