Back in January, when it was first announced that the Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archives would finally be made accessible to the public, media outlets searched for strange and notable documents to pique said public’s interest. One document in particular that received considerable coverage was the seemingly inexplicable flyer for a wax museum. We did a little digging, however, and it turns out there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for the flyer: time-traveling psychics.
Sometimes the most direct way to get the answers you want is through a rejection, and sometimes it’s through another agency entirely. In this week’s FOIA roundup, some great examples of creative and persistent requesting that overcame the odds to expose public scrutiny in hard-to-reach places. Plus, FOIA comedy.
Kevin Poulsen, the news editor at WIRED.com, is currently front and center in one of the higher profile Freedom of Information Act lawsuits currently under way: The fight to have transparency activist Aaron Swartz’s Secret Service files released. In this week’s Requester’s Voice, Poulsen explains how WIRED uses public records to get the “big ones,” why leakers are the new FOIA and what’s next in the fight for Swartz’s files.