FOIA is a great way to keep the powerful is check, whether they be federal agencies, their employees, or tech giants. This week, stories from the Daily Californian, RealLivePolitics, and Columbia Journalism Review about revealing attempts by the government and two leading tech companies to withhold information from the public.
Bureau of Land Management looks to limit the number of FOIA requests organizations can file with the agency
According to records obtained by the Washington Post, the Bureau of Land Management is recommending new legislation that would limit the number of FOIA requests individuals and agencies could file with the agency, create stricter criteria for fee waivers, and increasing fees for “search and redaction.”
As part of the investigation into the death of journalist Danny Casolaro, the local police created a videotaped “reenactment” of his alleged suicide. The tape was used later to help an expert conclude the death was a suicide, and then seized along with the other evidence by the federal government. In response to a FOIA request for a copy of the tape, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has declared that it’s exempt from release - but won’t say why.
An examination of the original handwritten police notes about the death of journalist Danny Casolaro contradict the official claims and conclusions of the Justice Department and the Special Counsel investigation led by Judge John Bua. The police notes, originally seized by the federal government and allegedly still under seal, undermine the narrative that Danny Casolaro committed suicide, and appear to provide corroboration that someone took his briefcase containing many of his notes and papers at the time of his death.