Published: Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Public disclosure laws play a vital role in keeping governments in check. Documents released to the ACLU via public records requests served as the catalyst for many of our efforts, including our ongoing project on government surveillance. We encourage all of our activist members to file records requests to learn more about what the government “knows.” Washington has a robust public records law that requires government agencies to disclose all records, subject to a list of specific exemptions for privacy, law enforcement and security reasons. Additionally, the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts require all federal government agencies to disclose, upon request, a great deal of existing records. Learn more about requesting government records. You might be surprised what you can discover, if you simply ask.