The Foilies 2023: Recognizing the worst in government transparency

From surrealistically redacting art to threatening requesters, this year’s “winners” deserve the spotlight.

By Dave Maass, Aaron Mackey, Mukund Rathi, Beryl Lipton, Derek Kravitz, Dillon Bergin, Michael Morisy; Muckrock – The Foilies, March 12, 2023

(The Electronic Frontier Foundation and MuckRock News, in partnership with the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, publishes “The Foilies.”)

“It doesn’t do much good to file a Freedom of Information Act request for records that have mysteriously disappeared.”

“Misbehavior like this is why we created The Foilies, our annual tongue-in-cheek “awards” for agencies and officials that thwart the public’s right to government information or otherwise respond outrageously to requests for documents and records. Each year, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and MuckRock News, in partnership with the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, publish this list of ne’er-do-wells to celebrate Sunshine Week (March 12-18)—an annual event to raise the profile of the democratic concept of government transparency.”

Some of the awards detailed in the article include:

  • “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone to Transparency Award: Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  • The Redactions Don’t Gitmo Surreal Award: The U.S. Southern Command
  • We Can Neither Confirm Nor Deny the Existence of This Award: National Security Agency
  • The Wishy-Washy Access Award: Alphabet and The Dalles, Oregon
  • The Outrageous FOIA Fee of the Year Award: Rochester Hills, Michigan Community Schools District
  • The Bulk Data for Me but Not for Thee Award: Los Angeles Police Department
  • The Burn After Reading Award: Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • The MisFIRE in All Directions Award: Irvington Township, New Jersey”

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