Feds Blame ‘Self-Styled FOIA Terrorist’ for Their Own Stonewalling

by | Mar 8, 2017

Feds Blame ‘Self-Styled FOIA Terrorist’ for Their Own Stonewalling

by | Mar 8, 2017

Journalists shouldn’t have to sue to get public information.

BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold is a prodigious Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requester who files hundreds of public records requests and dozens of lawsuits a year against federal agencies. In fact, the only news organization that filed more FOIA lawsuits against the government last year was The New York Times.

Most transparency advocates and journalists would think of this as a feather in Leopold’s cap, but according to government lawyers, filing too many lawsuits against agencies for failing to abide by federal records law is a good reason to delay further transparency.

U.S. Justice Department lawyers filed a motion Monday in response to one of Leopold’s many FOIA lawsuits, asking a federal court to allow the National Security Agency to delay releasing a large tranche of documents to him, citing in part his extensive litigation to get public records.

The documents in question, reports from the agency’s inspector general, contain roughly 22,000 pages concerning allegations of misconduct at one of the country’s top spy agencies during 2013 and 2014.

The motion, which asks the court to allow the NSA to delay processing Leopold’ request until it comes up in the long backlog of pending requests, says the NSA has been overwhelmed with FOIA requests since the 2013 leaks by Edward Snowden that revealed the agency’s dragnet surveillance programs. However, the motion also goes to some lengths to paint Leopold as someone who is abusing the FOIA system.

Read the rest at Reason.

C.J. Ciaramella

C.J. Ciaramella

C.J. Ciaramella is a criminal justice reporter at Reason.

He was previously a politics editor at BuzzFeed, and a reporter for the Washington Free Beacon. His writing has also appeared in Vanity Fair, Vice, The Weekly Standard, High Times, Salon, The Federalist, Pacific Standard, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, the San Diego Union-Tribune, and Street Sense.

View all posts

Our Books

libertarian inst books

Related Articles

Related

Rights for the Synthetic

Rights for the Synthetic

"The future of human-AI coexistence depends on acknowledging the potential for sentient machines and reevaluating responsibilities towards them. It's crucial to consider the ethical implications of creating beings that may possess their own interests, desires, and...

read more
A Critique of Pure Hasbara

A Critique of Pure Hasbara

Hasbara is a central feature of genocidal Zionism: “Since its establishment in 1948, Israel has successfully created a new illogic of its own; an illogic that has made the illegal seem legal, the immoral appear moral and the undemocratic sound democratic. It has...

read more
On Wealth Inequality, the Left Has a Point

On Wealth Inequality, the Left Has a Point

The federal government has been waging a war against the middle class and working poor since at least 1970. Wealth inequality has steadily increased since the early 1970s, and it’s not a coincidence. It’s a result of a series of policies. The government wants the...

read more
Joe Biden’s Time Interview Should Set Off Alarms

Joe Biden’s Time Interview Should Set Off Alarms

On May 28, U.S. President Joe Biden gave an interview to Time. His delivery and content were concerning for a number of reasons. Biden, at times, seemed misinformed and detached from reality. Sometimes, he seemed off message; other times, he seemed convinced by his...

read more
DOJ, Lay Off Live Nation!

DOJ, Lay Off Live Nation!

Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) finally came out with their long anticipated antitrust lawsuit against Live Nation Entertainment. Alleging anti-competitive practices which “suffocates its competition,” everyone’s least favorite Attorney General (since...

read more
Why Libertarians Loathe Tariffs

Why Libertarians Loathe Tariffs

Former president and current Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump loves tariffs. In his 2011 book Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again, Trump included as part of his five-part tax policy “a 20 percent tax for importing goods.” During his first campaign...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This