Opinion: No, Your FOIA Request Cannot Wait ‘Until This Emergency is Over’

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In the more than half-century since President Lyndon Johnson signed the nation’s first Freedom of Information Act into law, the measure has proved to be a valuable tool for taxpayers and the press to keep a check on dealings by public officials that would otherwise be shrouded in secrecy.

FOIA requests have yielded insights into the long-running war in Afghanistan, fraud in the Medicare system and Google’s potentially monopolistic practices. And they have served the public in more mundane matters, like the placement of red light cameras or the proceedings of the local permitting board.

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