Archive for November 12th, 2010

The DIA Tries to Tackle the FOIA, A Decade Too Late

Among researchers who use the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is notorious for the glacial slowness with which they process requests. Very few large agencies manage to consistently hit the laughable twenty-business-day deadline laid down in the law, but most other busy agencies – such as the FBI – at least manage to occasionally process something with some semblance of speed.

Not so the fine men and women at DIA. They, I have it on good authority, sometimes take three years just to forward requests to the correct – hell, any! – internal division. (Lest you think this is hyperbole, you beautiful and innocent child, I recently recieved a phone call from someone at DIA, saying they had just received a FOIA request of mine that was dated forty-nine months prior, and wanting to know if that was really the correct date. Yes, I told him – and added that his agency had at least one older request of mine still pending.) This makes attempting to do any sort of meaningful research via the FOIA there extremely difficult. You see something in the news, you file a FOIA request, and four or five or six or maybe seven years later you get a response, by which time nobody cares anymore, more often than not.

Anyway, there are faint signs that Mount Diafoipa may be experiencing some quiet seismic activity these days. Does this suggest the more timely ejection of released records might be forthcoming? I wouldn’t hold my breath. But, still…
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Published in: Geekiness, General | on November 12th, 2010 | No Comments »