Provided by The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
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First page of 1966 FOIA Bill

The federal Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"),[1] provides access to records of federal agencies in the executive branch, unless those records fall within one of nine categories of exempt information that agencies are permitted (but generally not required) to withhold.[2] By making records of federal agencies presumptively available upon request, FOIA guarantees the public’s right to inspect a storehouse of documents. Journalists, scholars, and the public have used FOIA to investigate a variety of news stories and historical events. Their discoveries have often brought about crucial change to many aspects of public life.

Explore the pages in this wiki to learn more about FOIA and how it works, or visit the FOIA Basics page if you're not sure where to start.


  1. 5 U.S.C. 552
  2. 5 U.S.C. 552(b)