FBI Not Accepting Electronic FOIA Requests Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Government Regulations

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – the principal federal law enforcement agency of the United States – has announced that the Bureau is not accepting electronic Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act (FOIPA) requests though the FBI’s eFOIPA portal due to the emerging situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19). The FBI is still accepting FOIPA requests through standard mail.

A message posted on the eFOIPA portal reads: Due to the emerging COVID-19 situation, the FBI is not accepting electronic Freedom of Information/Privacy Act requests or sending out electronic responses through the eFOIPA portal at this time. You may still submit a FOIPA request via standard mail. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding.

The FBI’s eFOIPA portal was designed to allow requesters to submit and receive responses to FOIPA requests electronically 24 hours a day and seven days a week. With standard mail FOIPA requests, all correspondence received from the FBI will occur through standard mail. To make a standard mail FOIPA request, visit www.fbi.gov/services/information-management/foipa/requesting-fbi-records.

“The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) generally provides that any person has the right to request access to federal agency records or information except to the extent the records are protected from disclosure by any of nine exemptions contained in the law or by one of three special law enforcement record exclusions,” according to the U.S. Department of State website.

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