As the slew of leaks from NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden keep coming -- revealing more and more about the near-totalized surveillance state overseen by the spy agency -- the public response has largely appeared one of sad resignation and generalized outrage. However, news that the NSA has this year been inundated with 1,054 percent more requests for information under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suggests that many thousands of individuals have been exercised by the revelations of government surveillance dragnets and spycraft and are demanding to know more.
From June 6 to September 4, the National Security Agency’s FOIA load increased 1,054 percent over its 2012 intake. In that three-month span, the agency received 3,382 public records requests. For comparison, the NSA received just 293 requests over the same period in 2012.
The statistics come from an internal agency email released to MuckRock last week. We requested the NSA’s FOIA logs for this year, as well as any internal communications regarding the agency’s FOIA receipts in 2013. We're still waiting for the most recent FOIA log... probably because the NSA FOIA office is buried under requests.
The emails show the FOIA flood unleashed when whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked information about Internet and telephone surveillance programs. The number of requests sent to the agency appears to be unprecedented.
Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email firstname.lastname@example.org.