EPIC Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Gallery
Top EPIC FOIA Requests

In recognition of FOIA Day
March 16, 2001


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EPIC makes frequent use of the Freedom of Information Act
to shed light on government activities.
Here are several examples of FOIA requests that EPIC has filed and/or litigated.

Electronic Privacy Information Center Request to Hillsborough County Florida School District.

This request was motivated by news reports of a company that was selling information on schoolchildren's Internet browsing habits without parental knowledge or consent. Employing both the FOIA and the Florida Open Records Acts, EPIC and other public interest groups focused public attention on the practice. The company no longer sells sells the information.

Electronic Privacy Information Center v. Department of Justice,
C.A. No. 00-1849 (D.D.C.).

On July 11, 2000, the existence of an FBI Internet monitoring system called "Carnivore" was widely reported. EPIC filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking the public release of all FBI records concerning Carnivore, including the source code, other technical details, and legal analyses addressing the potential privacy implications of the technology. This document shows that Carnivore can capture all network traffic, rather than just the information specific to a particular suspect.

Electronic Privacy Information Center v. National Security Council,
C.A. No. 95-0461 (D.D.C).

This document, Presidential Decision Directive 29, established the secretive Security Policy Board. The Board was established in September 1994 and charged with developing government-wide policy on information security.

Electronic Privacy Information Center v. FBI,
C.A. No. 94-1720 (D.D.C.).

This request sought the release of two FBI internal surveys cited by Director Louis Freeh in support of wiretap legislation enacted by the 103d Congress. The case was filed several days after the legislation was introduced and highlighted the fact that the Bureau never documented the need for enhanced wiretapping capabilities. Here is a heavily censored version of the FBI survey obtained by EPIC.

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility v. National Security Agency,
C.A. No. 93-1074 (D.D.C.)

An FBI report titled "Impact of Emerging Telecommunications Technologies on Law Enforcement." This excerpt calls for a national policy prohibiting cryptography that does not ensure real-time access to law enforcement. The release of this document played a significant role in the public debate over the now-defunct "Clipper Chip" encryption initiative.

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility v. FBI,
C.A. No. 92-2117 (D.D.C.)

This 1991 high-level White House memorandum discusses digital telephony and the Clipper Chip. Digital telephony standards (adopted by Congress in 1994) require all telephone systems to be wiretap-compatible. The Clipper Chip was an encryption device that enabled the government to decode users' messages. This memorandum illustrates President G.H.W. Bush's support for the two technologies and the scheme to implement them.