The fireworks are over - let the FOIAs begin!

The fireworks are over - let the FOIAs begin!

Be a Patriot and file a request for FOIA’s birthday

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The 4th of July is not only America’s birthday, it’s also the date the federal Freedom of Information Act was signed into law, in 1966.

A critical tool to keeping democracy representative and responsive, FOIA and public records laws are a powerful tool to dig up information on everything from spending and budgets to oversight and animal licensing. One of the best parts about FOIA, however, is that it’s available to everyone: Journalists, activists, businesspeople, government officials — if you have a question for your government, FOIA gives you a way to ask it and get a response.

Our friends Open the Government had a great idea: Encourage everyone to exercise their transparency muscles and FOIA the Fourth. They even put some good suggestions together on what you can request, to which we’ve added some of our own ideas and links to example language you can use:

So, as you go out and enjoy all the amazing liberties America affords you, take a moment to exercise them and file a request of your own: It’s the patriotic thing to do.

And when you do file, we’d love to hear about it: Let us know via email at, or Tweet it with the hashtag #FOIAt4th.

Happy Independence Day!

Image via Wikimedia Commons and is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0