FOIA rule would let Feds deny existence of certain records

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The government would be able to deny the existence of certain national security or law-enforcement records under a proposed Freedom of Information Act rule, ProPublica reports.

The proposal is part of the Department of Justice’s suggested revisions for its FOIA regulations.

Currently, federal agencies may respond to requests for certain information by saying they “can neither confirm nor deny the existence of records,” ProPublica says. Under the new rule, agencies would be directed to “respond to the request as if the excluded records did not exist.”

The American Civil Liberties Union, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, and OpenTheGovernment.org are among the FOI advocates who object to the proposed rule.