The incredible shrinking FOIA

What is this? A public records response for ants?

Written by Caitlin Russell
Edited by JPat Brown

As government agencies and other entities are inundated with requests for public information as more and more citizens become aware of their rights under FOIA, obscuring information is evolving into a craft that requires a little more creativity than an old fashioned sheet of paper doused in black ink.

A recent release by the University of Hawaii contains nearly 1,000 pages of documents, but about ten of those pages have print so tiny, that … well … we’ll just show you.

It’s really tiny, is all.

The request was for the emails of Hector Valenzuela, a professor and crop specialist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. As best as we could figure, the emails had something to do with Kevin Folta, the director of the biotechnology communication program at the University of Florida, and the fallout from the public records reveal that he had received a $25,000 grant from Monsanto.

Considering the volume of information contained in the box of documents, it’s totally possible that a few pages just happened to be copied in super tiny print somehow. Be it accident or clever way to foil far-sighted FOIA requesters, the MuckRock user who requested the emails, Stephan Neidenbach, has asked the University of Hawaii to re-release the illegible pages.

Read the (very very tiny) release on the request page.