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More FOIA docs online at EFF

A few new arrivals at ftp.eff.org that may be of immediate interest.

The first is a recent bill, scheduled for markup very soon.  EFF urges you
to ask your Senators to co-sponsor and support this bill.  Those following
EFF Boardmember John Gilmore's FOIA battle with NSA, the Justice Dept. and
other recalcitrant agencies will know why this is so important.  For those
that don't, the issue in a nutshell is that the original FOIA (Freedom of
Information Act) did not adquately cover records that are not in hardcopy
format, such as computer files; it granted overly-broad excuses to not
release documents, and provided for few penalties for violating FOIA.

As a result, secretive agencies have been breaking the law with impunity, 
vastly exceeding the mandated times in which the law requires them to
respond to FOIA requests from citizens, and have been using
technicalities, vague passages, and filmy excuses to withold important
information that belongs to the American people.

This new bill, supported by EFF, aims to correct these problems, and
ensure that FOIA works the way it should.

The other file is adequately described by it's entry from our
/pub/README.changes file, excerpted below.

05/12/94  - added important recent bill supported by EFF:  Electronic
             Freedom of Information Improvement Act (S1782), sponsored by
             Sens. Leahy & Brown.  Please ask your Senators to co-sponsor
             this bill to "fix the bugs" in FOIA, and prevent agencies from
             illegally delaying and refusing to release information to the
             public, and also mandate procedures for dealing with electronic
             information as well as hardcopy:  /pub/EFF/Issues/Activism/FOIA/
          - added 10/4/93 Clinton & Reno memos to heads of Depts. and
             agencies on FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) issues:
             /pub/EFF/Issues/Activism/FOIA/foia_clinton_reno_93.memos  -
             Clinton urges agencies to keep pace with their FOIA
             obligations, saying "I therefore call upon all Federal
             departments and agencies to renew their commitment to the
             Freedom of Information Act, to its underlying principles of
             government openness, and to its sound administration."

Something that also may be of interest:

          - added new E-Mail Policy in Federal Government: Report of the
             Electronic Mail Task Force Prepared for the Office of
             Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory
             Affairs, Apr. 1, 1994 - /pub/EFF/Policy/Govt_online/

Stanton McCandlish * [email protected] * Electronic Frontier Found. OnlineActivist
"In a Time/CNN poll of 1,000 Americans conducted last week by Yankelovich
Partners, two-thirds said it was more important to protect the privacy of
phone calls than to preserve the ability of police to conduct wiretaps.
When informed about the Clipper Chip, 80% said they opposed it."
- Philip Elmer-Dewitt, "Who Should Keep the Keys", TIME, Mar. 14 1994