Freedom of Information Act: Know your rights

May 13, 2007 Freedom of Information Act: Know your rights

From National Archives website.

Curiously, the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) was not spawned by Watergate, but instead was passed in 1966, eight years before Nixon left the White House for good.

I started FOIA litigation work seventeen years ago with the first law firm I joined after law school. The work included seeking attorney’s fees for successfully litigating an agency’s delay in satisfying a FOIA request. By now, I have handled several FOIA requests and have handled various stages of FOIA litigation. Useful resources for making and litigating FOIA requests are here and here (a well-done FOIA request). When making FOIA requests, it is important to review the target agency’s FOIA regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations, and the agency’s FOIA section of its website, if any.

On May 11, 2007, we filed a FOIA complaint against the Executive Office of the President, after not receiving a reply to my June 2006 FOIA request on behalf of Wenyi Wang to obtain the identity of the CCTV photographer who restrained her when speaking out on the White House lawn for human rights during Hu Jintao’s visit. The video is here.

My past blogposts on Ms. Wang are here, here, and here. Ms. Wang’s work includes championing the human rights of practitioners of Falun Gong, who are severely repressed by the Chinese government, which sees Falun Gong — which I do not follow — as a threat to the government’s dominance over all aspects of Chinese society. Jon Katz.

ADDENDUM: Here is the FOIA Complaint we filed May 11 for Wenyi Wang.

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