FOIA 101: Tips and Tricks to Make You a Transparency Master

Whether it's your first request or your first request *today,* it never hurts to go over the basics. MuckRock's compiled a lot of FOIA advice over the years, and with this project, it's all in one place.

Basics / Intermediate/Advanced / Exemptions / Agency-Specific Advice / Topic-Specific Tips / Presidential Records / Student Resources / State Maps / Ongoing Series

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Basics

Five tips for beginners

Fee categories

Leaks and FOIA FAQ

What’s considered a public record?

Intermediate/Advanced

Dealing with excessive redactions

FOIA inspiration from #IRE2017

How to get a faster FOIA response

Tips for better FOIA appeals

Searching for specific sections of records

What to do about “Still Interested” letters

What the 2016 FOIA reforms mean for requesters

Exemptions

Federal FOIA exemptions overview

The Glomar “neither confirm nor deny” exemption

Agency-Specific Advice

CIA

The ultimate guide to searching CIA’s declassified archives

Using exemption codes to find documents hidden in CREST

FBI

A FOIA beginner’s guide to requesting a FBI file

The #AppleVSFBI FOIA Primer

Getting your own FBI file

Telling the FBI where to search

NSA

A beginner’s guide to FOIA-ing the NSA

Topic Specific Tips

Autopsy reports

Environmental reports

The JFK assassination records

Immigration records

#NODAPL / pipeline records

Protest records

Private prison records

Presidential Records

Presidential records primer

Trump Administration records

White House’s FOIA exemption

White House visitor logs

Student Resources

College journalist’s FOIA guide

College sports records guide

FOIA 4 Kidz lesson plan

High school journalist’s FOIA guide

State Maps

Response deadline map

State by State records gude

Ongoing Series

#FOIAFriday Round-up

FOIA Slack Chats

Requester’s Voice interviews

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Image via the National Archives Flickr

102 Articles

This week’s FOIA round-up: HUD’s FOIA system down, a North Dakota bill to restrict public records access, and a police lieutenant texts an alt-right leader

This week’s FOIA round-up: HUD’s FOIA system down, a North Dakota bill to restrict public records access, and a police lieutenant texts an alt-right leader

In this week’s FOIA round-up, HUD’s public records system faces severe delays due to contract expiration, North Dakota considers restricting public record access related to “critical infrastructure,” and documents FOIA’d by The Willamette Week show friendly text exchanges between a Portland Police lieutenant and an alt-right leader.

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This week’s FOIA round-up: Records reveal a history of abuse among Chicago Police Department trainers and confirm neglect led to Indiana inmate's death

This week’s FOIA round-up: Records reveal a history of abuse among Chicago Police Department trainers and confirm neglect led to Indiana inmate’s death

For this week’s FOIA round-up, documents reveal most of the officers in “implicit bias” training are accused of same abuses the program is attempting to prevent, a request confirms claims that neglect lead to the death of an Indiana inmate, and a record from Elizabeth Warren’s past resurfaces through the Texas Public Information Act.

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This week’s FOIA round-up: Weird science at the Pentagon, a congressional challenge to the Interior’s proposed FOIA changes, and Minnesota law enforcement spies on pipeline protesters

This week’s FOIA round-up: Weird science at the Pentagon, a congressional challenge to the Interior’s proposed FOIA changes, and Minnesota law enforcement spies on pipeline protesters

For this week’s FOIA round-up, the Department of Defense releases more details on a late ‘00s program concerning fringe science theories, an Arizona congressman wants to challenge the Department of Interior’s proposed FOIA changes, and Minnesota law enforcement is gearing up for Enbridge Line 3 pipeline protests.

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