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FOIA - Privacy Act

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The Freedom of Information Act is intended by Congress to bring some measure of transparency to government. It can be used by whistleblowers, journalists, writers or anyone to obtain records of any federal executive agency unless a specific exemption applies. If the agency improperly denies or ignores a request, a requester may file a lawsuit with the United States District Court to obtain an order directing the agency to comply.

An individual may also obtain agency records relating to him or her under the Privacy Act. Again, if the agency improperly denies a request, the requester may file a lawsuit to obtain an order directing the agency to comply. In addition, the Privacy Act imposes civil liability on executive agencies for certain violations of the Privacy Act which cause harm to an individual.

Though records requests and lawsuits (when necessary), Gary Aguirre has obtained tens of thousands of records from federal agencies, including records from the Securities and Exchange Commission demonstrating its unlawful conduct. For more information, see Aguirre v. SEC and Mr. Aguirre’s article, The Dodd-Frank Act: A FOIA Exemption for SEC Misconduct?

 

 



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