Freedom Of Information Act Machine Fights Government Secrecy By Automating Transparency Requests

Billy Gallagher | TechCrunch | July 18, 2013

The Freedom of Information Act Machine, an open online platform that automates Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, launched on Kickstarter two days ago and has already surpassed its funding goal. At the time of publication, it had cleared $20,000 in funding from over 600 backers.

The issue is simple — the state and federal laws and processes for FOIA requests are complex, often purposefully so, and it can be a pain for even experienced reporters to navigate the process.

The FOIA machine does three main things: it automates FOIA requests; it tracks requests, their progress and the dates you filed them; and it aggregates information about FOIA requests and helps build information around how to improve the requests in the future.