FOIA's 40th Birthday Marked By Plans to Weaken It

Jeffrey Addicott, Associate Professor of Law and the Director of the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas, will head a $1 million project funded by the U.S. government to produce a "model statute" to restrict information disclosed under the 40-year-old Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). "There's the public's right to know, but how much?" he told USA Today. "There's a strong feeling that the law needs to balance that with the need to protect the well-being of the nation." The First Amendment Center's Paul McMasters argues that there are significant downsides to restricting information released in the name of protecting national security. "The bad story is that it can also be a great instrument of control. ... To automatically believe that the less known the better is really not rational," he said.