'National Security' Increasingly Cited To Block FOIA Requests

The all-purpose excuse


The government is increasingly relying on a national security pretext to bolster its secrecy claims, an Associated Press report released yesterday reveals. Analysis conducted by the news agency shows that the Obama administration cited legal exemptions to deflect requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act more often in 2012 than in any previous year.

According to the AP report, to justify the withholding of information, the government cited exceptions under FOIA more than 479,000 times last year, a 22 percent increase from 2011. The CIA specifically cited the national security exception in response to 60 percent of the 3,586 requests it received – up from 49 percent in 2011.