ACTION ALERT: What Does the Government Know About You?
March 7, 2006
People for the American Way
Not since the Nixon Era has a government been so steeped in secrecy. People For the American Way has launched a new Web tool to make it easy for you to assert your right to know what the government knows about you. The basic information needed to complete a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request is now online and takes less than a minute to enter.
WASHINGTON (March 6, 2006) — There are few things that the Bush administration hates more than sharing information — that's why it's willing to use every trick in the book to keep its secrets.
After excessive secrecy helped bring down the Nixon administration, Congress strengthened the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to guarantee citizens' right to know what their government is doing.
Over the years, People For the American Way has asserted this right by filing numerous FOIA requests. Most recently, PFAW Foundation demanded in court that the NSA reveal how many people it had spied on through its illegal domestic surveillance program and whether it had collected any information on our organization.
In order to bring the power of FOIA to you, People For the American Way launched FOIARequest.org last week. Designed to make it easy for you to assert your right to know what the government knows about you, the basic information needed to complete a FOIA request takes less than a minute to enter.
In the past five days, over 10,000 people have used this service to try to find out whether the Bush administration has been monitoring their phone calls or reading their email.
If you're concerned the government has spied on you, you can visit FOIARequest.org right away.
FOIARequest.org is part of our four-part campaign to restore our constitutional system based on the principles of transparency, accountability, oversight, and public vigilance. Congress' Republican leadership, under pressure from Vice President Cheney, appears to be retreating from its oversight obligations and its demands for transparency.
It's up to citizens like you and me to use tools like the Freedom of Information Act to demand the information necessary to hold administration officials accountable if they have broken the law.
• You can fill out a FOIA request by visiting FOIARequest.org.
Also, please help us spread the word about FOIARequest.org. We can't promise the Bush administration will be forthcoming, but if Americans don't assert their right to know, we may lose it altogether.
Ralph G. Neas is President of People for the American Way.
P.S. Please support our campaign to hold the Bush administration accountable for illegal spying with a secure credit card contribution.