This week’s FOIA round-up: The Interior Department releases redacted records regarding the Border Patrol assistance efforts and the criminal investigation into the Flint water crisis continues
In this week’s FOIA round-up, the Interior Department releases heavily redacted documents to regarding the deployment of law enforcement officials to assist Border Patrol at the U.S.-Mexico border, Michigan authorities issue search warrants for the devices of former governor Rick Snyder as part of an ongoing criminal investigation into the Flint water crisis, and the Intercept obtains emails suggesting the Tennessee governor’s office and Volkswagen worked together suppress the United Auto Workers’ attempts to unionize a factory in Chattanooga.
As much as journalists hate to admit it, FOIA is not really for them. FOIA is for the public, ensuring that voters have meaningful oversight of work done in their name. Giving a blanket exemption to emails, Slack chats, and other “conversational” communication tools would disastrously break that oversight — and undermine the ongoing American experiment of an informed democracy.