FOIA Data Suggests FCC More Secretive Than CIA

Andre Kesteloot andre.kesteloot at
Tue Mar 27 21:14:20 CDT 2012

*FOIA Data Suggests FCC More Secretive Than CIA.* 
data suggests that the FCC, not the nation's intelligence leading 
agency, has been in at least one particular case the most secretive 
agency of the Obama Administration.

During a House appropriations subcommittee hearing Monday, Florida 
Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart noted that the FCC's denial rate of 
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests was significantly higher than 
the rest of the federal government.

Citing publicly available information from, the congressman 
noted that t*he 48 percent of FOIA requests the FCC rejected* in 2010 
was far higher than the *CIA's 0.7 percent *rate. The *National Security 
Agency denied 0.5 percent of requests*. Homeland Security denied 0.2 
percent. The rest of the government, the congressman noted, denied a 
collective 7.3 percent of FOIA requests during that same time.

"Why does the FCC all of a sudden have more secrets than the CIA when 
you're dealing with FOIA requests?" asked Diaz-Balart during the hearing.

"Well, I am not familiar with those numbers and I haven't heard them 
before, We'd be happy to look at them together with you, and try to 
understand the trends," Genachowski said to the congressman. "Certainly, 
we recognize our obligations under FOIA and we have a team of 
professionals who handle FOIA requests and understand their obligations 
to comply and meet their obligations under law."

Several of the requests, according to's data cited by the 
congressman, were denied under the justification that requests were "not 
reasonably described."

"Under your watch, the FCC denied about 16.4 percent of FOIA requests 
based on records that were not, quote, 'reasonably described,'" said 
Diaz-Balart to Genachowski. [Read more: Peterson/DailyCaller 

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