After nine years and over 60,000 requests, MuckRock has been witness to some pretty impressive efforts to keep public information from the public. In the spirit of Sunshine Week, we’ve compiled some of the weirdest, wildest, and downright hilarious rejections we’ve received.
Austin Evers is the executive director of American Oversight, an independent watchdog that uses litigation to access documents the public is rightfully entitled to under FOIA protections. After serving as senior counsel to the State Department for transparency-related matters under the Obama Administration, Evers founded American Oversight in response to the election of President Donald Trump. Evers shared his experience in FOIA litigation and offered advice to requesters in an interview with MuckRock.
This week, in absurd and illegal requests, Maine’s Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority said that MuckRock is required to pay $750 because we opened the email they sent with their 37-page bid for Amazon second headquarters.
Departments of Correction nationwide are considering privatized electronic monitoring as an alternative to incarceration
While a release-and-monitor system can provide relief to those awaiting trial, overcrowded prisons, and families hopeful for their their loved ones’ returns, the charges being transferred to inmates and their support networks are sometimes comparably destructive.
When we filed requests with police departments across the country for their use of cell site simulators, we expected some pushback. Nonetheless, we were taken aback when Maine State Police made it into a matter of national security.