This year saw MuckRock’s 10,000th request and, thanks to our amazing users, that number keeps growing. Here’s the stories, big and small, you helped uncover this year.
- Not many entities enjoy blanket protection from FOIA - but Beyoncé appears to be an exemption unto herself.
While we’re on the subject, we’re also suing the NYPD.
While we’re not suing New Jersey, the ACLU did, successfully, and they used our article on the (mercifully) non-existent Chris Christie sex tape as Exhibit C.
The NYPD does not have a FOIA handbook. Well, okay, they do, but you can’t have it. Fine, you can have it, but it’s very expensive. Alright, whatever, just take it, okay?
This year, we learned that the CIA a) is hip on social media, but still relies on fax machines, b) didn’t bother to read its own report on the inefficacy of torture they wrote 50 years ago, and c) are really into Jazz salad.
- Not to be outdone, the FBI have an 80-page guide to online acronyms, so agents can keep tabs on their grandkids.
On a more serious note, this year saw some of our strongest investigative pieces yet. Special attention should be given to these three pieces:
- Shawn’s year-long quest to get the Pentagon to reveal what military gear they’ve given local police is a perfect example of just how powerful a tool public records requests can be.
- Beryl shed light on the shady business of private prisons, revealing a world where inmates are ignored and no corner goes uncut.
- Todd’s attempt to recreate a Pulitzer-prize winning story on asset forfeiture lead to an even bigger investigation into Equitable Sharing, a legal loophole that allows cops to circumvent restrictions on seized funds by giving a cut to the feds.
Lastly, to our users, we want to offer a most sincere thanks - 2014 was MuckRock’s biggest year since our founding in 2010, and none of that would be possible without you. In the words of our co-founder, Michael Morisy, we can’t wait to see what you do next.
Have a transparent 2015, from all of us at MuckRock!