The United States passed its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), giving the public the right to access certain government documents, in 1966.
Thirty years later, the act was amended to address electronic forms of data. From a global perspective, the public’s right to access government records is a privilege in some countries and an ongoing, heated debate in others.
Here is an overview of your rights under the U.S. federal FOIA, including its most recent changes. http://www.publicintegrity.org/tools/entry/310/
General Instructions for Filing Requests
Exemptions under the FOIA
Suggested FOI Resources
Sample FOIA Request Letter