FBI Will Revert To Using Fax Machines, Snail Mail For FOIA Requests

blottsie writes: Starting next month, the FBI will no longer accept Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests via email. Instead, the U.S. agency will largely require requests be made via fax machine or the U.S. Postal Service. [The FBI will also accept a small number of requests via an online portal, “provided users agree to a terms-of-service agreement and are willing to provide the FBI with personal information, including a phone number and physical address.”] The Daily Dot reports: “It’s a huge step backwards for the FBI to switch from a proven, ubiquitous, user-friendly technology like email to a portal that has consistently shown problems, ranging from restricting how often citizens can access their right to government oversight to legitimate privacy concerns,” says Michael Morisy, co-founder of MuckRock, a nonprofit that has helped people file over 28,271 public records requests at more than 6,690 state, federal, and local agencies. “Given that email has worked well for millions of requests over the years, this seems like a move designed to reduce participation and transparency, and we hope that the FBI will reverse course,” Morisy added.

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