Friday, June 23, 2006

CIA Claims the Right to Decide What is News

The National Security Archive today (June 14) filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), challenging the Agency's recent practice of charging Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) fees to journalists pursuing news. The FOIA says that "representatives of the news media" can be charged only copying fees since they help to carry out the mission of the law by disseminating government information; but the CIA last year began claiming authority to assess additional fees if the Agency decides any journalist's request is not newsworthy enough. In adopting this new practice, the CIA reversed its prior 15-year practice of presumptively waiving additional fees for news media representatives, including the National Security Archive.


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