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The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a federal law that allows the full or partial release of information that was previously not disclosed by the government. It is often described as a law that allows citizens to know their government and its stance on various issues directly or indirectly affecting the nation.
The Freedom of Information Act permits the release of previously undisclosed information by the federal government. This act forces federal agencies and other information-handling institutions to make sure the public has access to government documents. The act has a nine exceptions where it cannot be applied, such as when the information protects interests such as personal privacy, national security and law enforcement. The FOIA is amended every year to revise the exception list.
The FOIA requires agencies to keep electronic records of data and make it available for citizens through electronic reading rooms where the records can be accessed.