FOIA stories: 600 and counting

The SGI “FOIA Files” database has surpassed 600 entries, a testament to the persistence of journalists and the hard work of agency personnel who process Freedom of Information Act requests.  This database is a collection of news and other stories that relied on a FOIA request to inform the public.

In the last year, FOIA has enabled the public to understand more about the politics and policies that shape people’s lives:

The recent financial crisis and its ongoing impact on the economy:
#592: “How Hank Paulson’s inaction helped Goldman Sachs” (10/10/10)
#615: “Morgan Stanley Speculating to Brink of Collapse Got $107 Billion From Fed” (8/22/11)
#616: “Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2 Trillion in Secret Loans” (8/22/11)

Fallout from disasters, both natural and man-made, continues to confound government and affect people’s lives:
#589: “Spills raise fears about inspection of pipelines” (9/26/10)
#599: “Emails show struggle to estimate size of Gulf of Mexico oil spill” (11/25/10)
#613: “U.S. Nuclear Regulators Privately Doubted Power Plants Despite Expressing Public Confidence, Documents Show” (4/6/11)
#614: “Emails expose BP’s attempts to control research into impact of Gulf oil spill” (4/15/11)

War and its consequences continue to ripple through people’s lives:
#585: “Psych meds spike among younger troops” (9/3/10)
#586: “Veterans Agency Changes Terms for Prudential Claims” (9/14/10)
#602: “Documents raise questions on treatment of detainees” (1/22/11)

Law-enforcement agencies try to maintain a balance between effective, appropriate surveillance and respecting civil liberties:
#603: “Photographer Ernest Withers doubled as FBI informant to spy on civil rights movement” (9/12/10)
#604: “EFF obtains docs that reveal when authorities can get your data from social media companies” (1/20/11)
#605: “Civil Rights Activist Benjamin Hooks’ FBI File Details Racist Threats Against Him” (1/25/11)
#612: “APNewsBreak: File shows threats on abortion doctor” (4/5/11)

We look forward to finding more stories that use FOIA to inform the public as requests work their way through the pipeline and journalists continue to use government information to help explore and explain the world around us.

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