How can I get FBI files on myself?
1 answer from Michael Morisy.
My close relationships with many other prominent activists, some in prison, have probably led to me being on some sort of “watch list” by the FBI. I have a coworker who has some access to their databases but said he couldn’t get my FBI file because I’m no longer a “regular” citizen according to their records. I guess the next step towards finding out more would be to do a FOIA request, but I’m not sure where to start or how exactly to go about doing that.
As a somewhat visible activist in the community, I’d like to share what I find out as well.
If you could let me know what I need to do to get my files, that’d be great!
Since you’re requesting information about yourself, this is technically a privacy act request, and it’s relatively easy to draft and file a request, and they’re typically pretty responsive, though it can be a bit of a wait: See our FBI age for stats:
You’ll need to download, print and fill out the Certificate of Identity form:
Then mail that and a letter stating that you would like to request, under the privacy act, all documents that the FBI has regarding you. It’s helpful to include any other information about why the FBI might have information on you, including details on groups or people you associate with, news articles mentioning your activism, encounters you’ve had with government officials, etc.
You can mail the letter and form here:
Federal Bureau of Investigation Attn: FOI/PA Request Record/Information Dissemination Section 170 Marcel Drive Winchester, VA 22602-4843
MuckRock allows our users to make public requests, so others can follow along on its progress. We also continue following up until its completed and digitize any responsive records. If you’d like to do that, register for an account:
We’ll still need a copy of the certificate of identity form to file on your behalf.
Hope this is helpful, and good luck with your request.