This is the fourth installment of a podcast following local activism efforts I am spearheading to address the surveillance state in Lexington, Ky. Through this series, you will get an inside look at boots-on-the-ground activism as it happens. The goal is to create a step-by-step how-to on tackling issues at the local level. You can access the other episodes HERE.

You can gather a great deal of information about government agencies and and their operations by simply making inquiries, and from publicly accessible websites. But a lot of information is not readily accessible by the public. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you can’t get it.

Virtually every state allows individuals to obtain documents and other information through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Once you make a request, in most cases, public agencies must – by law – provide you with the documents and information.

In this installment of the Activism 101 podcast, I explain FOIA requests I made to learn more about surveillance in my community and what I got for my efforts.


National Freedom of Information Coalition State Sample FOIA Request Letters

FOIA request to the Lexington Police Department

Image: Issac Bowen via Flickr/Creative Commons

Mike Maharrey

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