The Freedom of Information Act

By Erik Hinch

The Freedom of Information Act is a law that was signed into law by former President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966.  Essentially, the proposal was made because many people felt they had a right to know certain aspects of business that were formerly kept from them and dealt with completely by the government.  With this law, millions of documents that would have been previously unreleased have now been fully or partially disclosed to the public.  This has brought to light many business practices, trade secrets, and other government activities that the people hadn’t previously known about. It helps keep business and government more accountable for their actions.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/269619.stm

This BBC article talks about the infamous Iran-Contra affair.  Then-President Ronald Reagan secretly and illegally gave the Contras a portion of the sales made by the US government of military arms to Iran.  When all of this news was finally reported to the public, there grew great opposition to the government’s activities. So, with information like this now known by the public, it forces the government to be held in check moreso than it was before.

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