Americana: Good Intentions

Congress in 1975 gave Americans the right to find out what information is kept on them in Government files. However laudable the law's purpose, some of the Freedom of Information Act's most avid users have turned out to be criminals. Last month Convicted Felon Gary Bowdach told a Senate subcommittee that he had filed "scores" of FOI requests with the FBI for himself and fellow inmates at the federal penitentiary in Atlanta "to try to identify informants." Why? "To eradicate them," Bowdach replied.

Indeed, of the 60,000 FOI requests processed by the bureau, about 2,500 of them have come from curious criminals....

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