Shining a Light on Agency FOIA Policies that Contradict the Law

Some agencies have regulations that conflict with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which can lead to confusion for officials and the public, as well as the improper withholding of public information.  For instance, a few agencies still base their definition of a “representative of the news media” on language […]

CoA Institute Discovers Curious DHS FOIA Notification Process for Employee Records

Earlier today, Cause of Action Institute (CoA Institute) received a misdirected email from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that apparently was intended to serve as a notification to an unidentified agency employee that certain personnel records were to be released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The “awareness” […]

Millennium Challenge Corporation Adopts CoA Institute’s Recommendations for FOIA Regulations

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (“MCC”) finalized a rule at the end of last week implementing new Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) regulations and incorporated important revisions proposed by Cause of Action Institute (“CoA Institute”) in a comment submitted to the agency in March 2018.  The MCC is a small agency […]

DHS Fails to Locate Records Concerning Compliance with Federal Records Act over Private Web-based Email Accounts

Cause of Action Institute (“CoA Institute”) filed a Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) appeal with the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) yesterday, challenging the adequacy of the agency’s search for records concerning the use of private web-based email accounts by former DHS officials, as well as efforts to recover federal […]

DHS Watchdog Claims Political Appointees No Longer Politicizing FOIA

One of the earliest transparency scandals of the Obama Administration erupted in 2010 when the Associated Press discovered that officials at the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) had, “in a highly irregular move,” started to “filter hundreds of public records requests through political appointees, allowing them to examine what was […]

A Warrantless Phone Search, A Dangerous Precedent

Washington D.C. – Cause of Action Institute (“CoA Institute”) today filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Defendant Hamza Kolsuz who in February, 2016 was arrested at a Virginia airport attempting to board a plane bound for Istanbul, Turkey. At the time of his arrest, U.S. Department of Homeland […]

CoA Institute Influences New DHS FOIA Regulations

  The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) just finalized new Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) regulations. Last year, Cause of Action Institute (“CoA Institute”) submitted comments to DHS in response to its proposed rule.  We urged the agency to remove the outdated “organized and operated” language from its definition of […]