FBI’s 17-Year Timeline for FOIA Request Rejected

The FBI’s 17-year timeline for a Freedom of Information Act request was rejected by U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler last week, Politico reported.

Nina Seavey, a George Washington University professor and documentarian, filed a FOIA request for FBI records about government surveillance of U.S. citizens engaged in anti-war and civil rights protests in the 1960s and 1970s.

The FBI responded with a 17-year timeline, citing the large amount of material – about 110,000 pages of records. Seavey’s lawyer suggested a 5,000-page-a-month timeline, but Justice Department lawyers and the FBI argued that producing more than 500 pages a month would disrupt the agency’s workflow.  

“If the FBI really wanted to demonstrate that processing larger FOIA requests would impact the processing of other requests there are numerous data points it could provide the Court…Instead, the limited data the FBI has provided suggests exactly the opposite,” wrote Kessler, calling the workload information provided



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