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fbi files

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Subjects Matter: FBI Files

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This project aims to sift through the hundreds of thousands of pages of FBI archival material we've released, so we can better understand why the Bureau had an eye on these people - and through that, better understand who they're keeping tabs on today.

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Inventorying the FBI

An project to take inventory of the FBI's files on different subjects in order to identify what the FBI has worked on and to help requesters know what files they can request.

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53 Articles

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Over a decade later, FBI surveillance of Iraq War protests still resonates

Over a decade later, FBI surveillance of Iraq War protests still resonates

Today is the 15th anniversary of 2003’s coordinated protest against the Iraq War. With attendance in the millions, at the time it was the “the largest protest event in human history.” Though we don’t have any records from that particular protest, Federal Bureau of Investigation files show that later demonstrations were under heavy Bureau surveillance, taking note of details as banal as a car bearing a pro-peace bumper sticker.

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The FBI interviewed Roger Ailes in connection to the Reagan shooting

The FBI interviewed Roger Ailes in connection to the Reagan shooting

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has made an initial release of its files on television executive Roger Ailes. Consisting largely of glowing background checks for a potential Presidential appointment under Richard Nixon, two interesting details have emerged from the file - the first is a 1974 arrest for felony firearms possession and the second is a brief interview documenting the minor role Ailes played in the FBI’s investigation into John Hinckley, Jr. following the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan.

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FBI investigated decades of allegations against Scientology, both foreign and domestic

FBI investigated decades of allegations against Scientology, both foreign and domestic

Recently released Federal Bureau of Investigation files, obtained in the ongoing lawsuit against the Bureau brought by the author and represented pro bono by Dan Novack, describe several investigations into the Church of Scientology, both foreign and domestic.

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Zoinks! Casey Kasem and the FBI versus Negativland

Zoinks! Casey Kasem and the FBI versus Negativland

A deep dive into our archive of Federal Bureau of Investigation files released through FOIA reveal that radio and TV personality Casey Kasem - better known as the voice of Shaggy in Scooby Doo - involved the Bureau in his infamous feud with the band Negativlandhe threatened to sue them for releasing a track of recordings of him swearing.

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The secret origin of J. Edgar Hoover's nickname

The secret origin of J. Edgar Hoover’s nickname

One of the lesser-known scandals associated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s most infamous Director, J. Edgar Hoover, is that for years, he answered to his childhod nickname, “Speed.” While various sources have attributed the name to everything from Hoover’s habit to talking quickly (allegedly to mask a stutter) to his swiftness on the football field (a sport he never played), an official FBI newsletter released to Russ Kick offers the official origin story.

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1 Question

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Is there a good FBI FOIA request sample letter?