M. Alex Johnson – Journalist at Large

An analog journalist in a digital world

Posts Tagged ‘justice-department

U.S. reconsiders, now says it’s not really OK to lie to journalists

with one comment

Cross-posted from msnbc.com’s Open Channel investigative blog, where I also hang my hat:

The Justice Department has gotten the message from journalists, interest groups and government watchdogs and has decided to withdraw its proposal to allow federal agencies to lie to people seeking sensitive documents under the Freedom of Information Act.

Currently, if a requested document is so sensitive that it would be dangerous to acknowledge its very existence, the government is allowed to tell you that it can neither confirm nor deny whether there is such a document.

Last month, the Justice Department proposed a rule revision that would let government agencies tell requesters there is no such document — even if there is. According to the proposal, which was retrieved by the nonprofit investigative project ProPublica, agencies would be allowed to “respond to the request as if the excluded records did not exist.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alex

November 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm