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To make government accountable, people have to know the facts. But prying secrets out of Washington is hard. FOIA Machine can help.
To make government accountable, people have to know the facts. But prying secrets out of Washington is hard. FOIA Machine can help.
2,071 backers pledged $53,654 to help bring this project to life.

FOIA Machine Open Beta Launch Event in San Francisco


The FOIA Machine team has been hard at work and is excited to show off the latest updates to the platform.

We will release the Open Beta during a launch event Wednesday, June 25 hosted by Mother Jones at their downtown San Francisco newsroom. This will be the first of at least five events in five different states as promised as part of our Kickstarter stretch goals.

Improving access to public records

The FOIA Machine team will be on hand to demo the site, help users activate accounts and explain how you can get involved with the project. We’ll show users how they can access open records officers’ contact information, state statutes and other vital data in FOIA Machine. The event will be more than that, however. We are planning an open discussion on how right to access laws could be improved and how we as citizens can better utilize existing laws when agencies try to stonewall access to information. 

The FOIA Machine team, along with the host Mother Jones and partner The Center for Investigative Reporting, are very interested in citizens’ right to access. We look forward to a lively discussion on these topics. Journalists and First Amendment advocates, with decades of experience in dealing with open records laws, will participate in a roundtable discussion on right to access. The focus will center on how we can better use existing laws and how we can improve upon the policies and laws that currently exist. We will also take questions from the audience and incorporate questions from people on Twitter and Facebook. We will use the hashtag #FOIAMachine so we can capture the conversation. Feel free to join in even if you can't make the event.

The event is free and will include complimentary food and beverages. Space is limited; please pre-register if you plan on attending.

We look forward to continuing an open discussion of improving open records access, which has been the core of this project from the beginning. More details on the panelists will be posted in the coming days.

Event details

Date: Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Time: Doors open at 6 p.m. Program begins at 7 p.m.

Location: Mother Jones office, 222 Sutter Street, Suite 600, San Francisco (Nearest intersection: Sutter and Kearny)

Link to register:

Emily Bryant, Cassandra Strawn, and 2 more people like this update.


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    1. Cassandra Strawn on June 11, 2014

      I would be particularly interested in access to the advocates roundtable discussion.

    2. Cassandra Strawn on June 11, 2014

      At this time, are there any plans to live broadcast the annoucement, or other parts of the event through YouTube or Google Hangouts? I know that many of us who cannot attend would love the chance to participate any way we can.

    3. Coulter Jones on June 11, 2014


      There will be an event in New York City and possibly one in New Jersey, as well. Those details aren't finalized yet, but I suspect it will be late summer or early fall for New York.

      Thanks for the interest.

    4. Eva C. Schweitzer on June 11, 2014

      Will there be an event in New York City, and do you have a date yet?