According to MuckRock data, perceived ethnicity does not impact public records response times - with one exception
Over the years, a number of requesters, researchers, and members of the public have asked whether we think who the requester is impacts how requests are handled. Under the law, every requester should be treated the same, but we’ve seen a number of cases where different requesters get different answers (and prices, and response times) for largely identical requests.
So we decided to analyze our data to see if one factor - predicted ethnicity based on name - swayed how requests were handled.
In the Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archives is a formerly SECRET memo, dated February 17th, 1967, from the Chief of the CIA’s Technical Intelligence Division entitled “Photo Analysis of UFO Photography.” That memo served as a response to a request by the Deputy Director of The National Photographic Interpretation Center to analyze photographic evidence of what was purported to be an unidentified flying object.
When the Central Intelligence Agency released its CREST database online, it created a historical treasure trove of 13 million pages, more than any one researcher is likely to ever comb through. Fortunately, we’re able to have a computer do that for you, following various trends in what the Agency is paying attention to in a given year.
When we kicked off Sunshine Week, we noted that FOIA reform — already passed by the House — was being considered by the Senate. Now, with some important modifications, it has passed the Senate, so let’s take a look at what will change for requesters.