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Terms of Use


The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (“RCFP”, “Reporters Committee”, or “we”) provides (the “Site” or the “FOIA Wiki”) as a free public resource on the federal Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552 (“FOIA”) and related laws, regulations, and procedures.

These Terms of Use govern the relationship between the Reporters Committee and users of the FOIA Wiki (“you”).

If you choose to use this Site, you acknowledge that you have read, understood, and agree to comply with these Terms of Use. If you do not accept any of these terms, please do not use the FOIA Wiki.

General Use of the FOIA Wiki

This Site is a “wiki”, meaning it is a collaboratively created, edited, and maintained resource. For more information about the nature of a wiki, see [1]. As the FOIA Wiki is a collaborative effort with content provided and edited by multiple users, the Reporters Committee does not necessarily endorse or agree with any particular assertion or statement contained on the Site.

The policies and editorial guidelines for the FOIA Wiki are available at this page: FOIA Wiki Policies.

The Reporters Committee does not charge for access to or use of the FOIA Wiki. If you wish to support the Reporters Committee, you may make a donation here [2]

We reserve the right to modify and/or remove any information you post to the FOIA Wiki for any reason at any time. Other users of this Site may modify and/or remove information you post as well.

You may not use the FOIA Wiki to post material that is illegal, defamatory, threatening, infringing of intellectual property rights, or invasive of privacy.

The FOIA Wiki is presented solely for informational purposes. You may not use the FOIA Wiki to request or receive legal advice. This Site does not provide legal advice, and your use of this Site does not create an attorney-client relationship or constitute the receipt of legal advice from the Reporters Committee, any of its employees, or any other user of the FOIA Wiki.

If you are in need of legal representation you should contact an attorney licensed within your jurisdiction.

Copyright Information

The FOIA Wiki is published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0). A summary of this license is available here [3], and the full license is available here [4]. By using this Site, you agree that any contribution or edit you make to the FOIA Wiki will be published under the terms of this license.

Your FOIA Wiki Account

Anyone may access the FOIA Wiki without creating an account. However, to make additions or to edit the content of the FOIA Wiki you must register an account (“Your Account”). Registration for an account requires (1) a working email address and (2) a username.

To create an account, send an email with your desired username to foiawikireg *at* rcfp *dot* org. If approved, you will receive an email with instructions on how to set up and access Your Account.

In creating Your Account, you may not select a username or email address of another person with the intent to impersonate that person, or without such person's authorization. Failure to comply with this requirement shall constitute a breach of these Terms of Use, which may result in immediate termination of Your Account. You shall be responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of the password used to access Your Account, which you will not have to reveal to any representative of the Reporters Committee. The Reporters Committee reserves the right to limit, suspend, or terminate Your Account for any reason, at any time.

Privacy Policy, Security of Information, and Warranties

The FOIA Wiki is a public website, and any edit made to the FOIA Wiki creates a permanent, public record of such action. Each page’s history will show when your contribution or deletion was made, as well as your username and any other information you supply. RCFP may use your contributions to create new features or to learn more about how the FOIA Wiki is used.

When you create an account and/or use FOIA Wiki, the MediaWiki [5] software that the FOIA Wiki is based on automatically collects certain types of information, including the email address you provide for Your Account, the password for Your Account, and your IP address. Other types of data may be collected through a server access log when you browse, read, or download information from the Site. Also, because the FOIA Wiki requires users to be registered and logged in before making edits to the Site, it uses cookies to remember you.

RCFP will not intentionally disclose or sell the email address or password associated with Your Account to any other party under any circumstances, except in compliance with a properly issued subpoena or other legal process.

We have made and will continue to make reasonable attempts to maintain the security of this Site and of Your Account, but do not warrant that this information will be completely secure. We cannot make any guarantees of security and safety beyond the effort to provide password protection used in this site, along with any security measures implemented by our Web services provider, which includes the HTTPS protocol. The email address and password associated with Your Account will be stored in an encoded database on a public Web server, but may be subject to security threats from malicious outsiders.

This website's content is intended for adults; we will not knowingly collect personal information from children under 13 years of age. If you are a parent or legal guardian of a child under age 13 who you believe has submitted personal information to this site, please contact the Reporters Committee immediately.

Use of this Site is provided on an "AS IS" BASIS and WITHOUT WARRANTY, either express or implied, including, without limitation, warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.


If you believe there is information on this the FOIA Wiki that violates copyright law, please send a letter (“Takedown Notice”) to its Designated Agent by email or fax. A Takedown Notice must include substantially the following:

  1. A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
  2. Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site.
  3. Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the material.
  4. Information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted.
  5. A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
  6. A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

The information provided in a Takedown Notice will be forwarded to the person who provided the allegedly infringing content. 

If you wish to contest a Takedown Notice because you believe material you posted to the FOIA Wiki does not violate copyright law, please send a letter (“Counter Notification”) to the FOIA Wiki’s Designated Agent by email or fax. A Counter Notification must include substantially the following:

  1. A physical or electronic signature of the subscriber.
  2. Identification of the material that has been removed or to which access has been disabled and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed or access to it was disabled.
  3. A statement under penalty of perjury that the subscriber has a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled.
  4. The subscriber’s name, address, and telephone number, and a statement that the subscriber consents to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which the address is located, or if the subscriber’s address is outside of the United States, for any judicial district in which the service provider may be found, and that the subscriber will accept service of process from the person who provided notification under subsection (c)(1)(C) or an agent of such person.

The information provided in a Counter Notification will be forwarded to the person who submitted the Takedown Notice. 

You should know that under 17 U.S.C. § 512(f), any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material or activity is infringing, or that material or activity was removed or disabled by mistake or misidentification, may be liable for any damages, including costs and attorneys’ fees, incurred by the alleged infringer, by any copyright owner or copyright owner’s authorized licensee, or by a service provider, who is injured by such misrepresentation, as the result of the service provider relying upon such misrepresentation in removing or disabling access to the material or activity claimed to be infringing, or in replacing the removed material or ceasing to disable access to it.

The FOIA Wiki’s Designated Agent is:

Katie Townsend
Fax: (202) 795-9310

The Reporters Committee responds expeditiously to notices of claimed copyright infringement and terminates users or account holders who are repeat infringers. An account will be terminated as a repeat infringer when it receives three or more more “Copyright Strikes” within a one-year period. A “Copyright Strike” is given to a FOIA Wiki account when a Takedown Notice is submitted with respect to material posted through that account. A Copyright Strike will be removed from a FOIA Wiki account if and when a Counter Notification is submitted, unless and until the content is found to be infringing.

Modifications and termination

We reserve the right to change or discontinue any aspect of the Site at any time, including the availability of any feature or content. We may also impose limits on certain features and services or restrict your access to parts or all of the service without notice or liability.

The Reporters Committee also reserves the right to change, add or remove portions of these Terms of Use at any time.

If any of these rules or any future changes are unacceptable to you, you may cancel your account by contacting