Shalom Lamm Tells About Freedom Of Information Act – USA

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The US is a liberal country and gives its people the right to freedom of expression and speech. The US government believes in equality and that every individual on earth can live up to their conditions unless or until these are harmful to others, said Shalom Lamm.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a federal law that generally provides that any person has a right, enforceable in court, to obtain federal agency records.

The Freedom of Information Act comes under Title 5, United States Code (USC), §552.

On July 4, 1966, this act was included signed into law by U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson that allowed the American citizens to see the documents of files kept about them by federal executive branch agencies. But since then, the act has been amended several times in history.  These federal executive branch agencies include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State and Defense departments, and the Internal Revenue Service.

The Freedom Of Information Act implements only by federal agencies. It does not implement only the data kept by Congress, the courts, or by state or local government agencies.

The 20 states of the USA have their own public access legislation that should be acquired for access to state and local records.

Exemptions

As per Shalom Lamm the exemptions of the Freedom Of Act Information  is categorized into three sections:

  • FOIA Exemptions
  • Privacy Exemptions
  • Statutory Authority

The nine  exemption listing  that allows the government agencies to  keep the information is:

  1. categorized information for national defense or foreign policy
  2. internal personnel rules and practices
  3. information that is exempt under other laws
  4. trade secrets and confidential business information
  5. inter-agency or intra-agency memoranda or letters that are protected by legal privileges
  6. personnel and medical files
  7. law enforcement records or information
  8. information concerning bank supervision
  9. geological and geophysical information

Exclusions

Congress provided special preserve in the Freedom Of Act Information, for three bounded sections of law enforcement and records for the national security. The provisions shielding that information are known as “exclusions”.

  1. The first exclusion shielding the existence of an ongoing investigation of criminal law enforcement when the subject of the investigation does not know about it, that it is still in the process and if revealed it could reasonably be anticipated to indulge with the proceedings of the enforcement.
  2.  The second exclusion is confined to criminal law enforcement agencies and shields the extant data providing records when the status of the informants is not yet officially confirmed.
  3. The third exclusion is confined to the FBI and shields the existence of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence, or international terrorism records when the availability of such records is categorized. . Records that come in this exclusion are not questioned to the requirements of the FOIA.

Shalom Lamm further added that according to this act, the agency is first to keep only information about a person that is relevant and important to achieve a purpose of the agency required to be achieved by statute or by executive order of the President and to record the information to a major extent practicable directly from the person.

Read More: Shalom Lamm Views on The Social security Act Of the USA

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