Freedom of Information Act Exemptions

The Freedom of Information Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1966 to promote government transparency and the free exchange of public information. Under FOIA, any individual can request federal... more +
The Freedom of Information Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1966 to promote government transparency and the free exchange of public information. Under FOIA, any individual can request federal agency records and enforce that right in a court of law. However, not all agency records can be requested; there are nine exempt categories of information. In addition to the federal law, many states have passed their own freedom of information acts. These acts are often similar but not always identical to the federal version.  less -
News & Analysis as of

SHREDDING TRADE SECRETS: Heli-Ski Operators Fret over FOIA Disclosures Releasing a Blizzard of Confidential Information

Heli-skiing: it’s the holy grail for thrill-seeking skiers and snowboarders.   Ride to the roof of the world aboard a helicopter. Descend thousands of vertical feet through fresh, untracked powder.  No lift lines, no ski...more

DoD's Updated FOIA Program and Exemption 4 Guidance

On September 3, 2014, the Department of Defense (DoD) issued a proposed rule updating its policies and procedures implementing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), including FOIA Exemption 4. FOIA Exemption 4 exempts from...more

Court Allows Agency To Withhold Certain Historical Records Under FOIA

Yesterday, the D.C. Circuit issued a ruling in allowing the CIA to withhold a draft of one volume of a history of the Bay of Pigs Invasion under FOIA Exemption 5, the exemption for "inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums or...more

Illinois Appellate Court Decision Clarifies Waiver Of The FOIA Predecisional Materials Exemption

The Appellate Court of Illinois (First District) recently issued an opinion clarifying how a public body can waive the Freedom of Information Act protection for predecisional records....more

Balancing The Burdens Of Transparency In The Illinois Freedom Of Information Act

A recent Chicago Tribune editorial, “The burden of transparency” asks a provocative question: does the unduly burdensome exemption in the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allow an unfair loophole for public bodies...more

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