Sunday, April 20, 2008

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE CONSPIRED WITH FBI TO LIMIT STATE'S OPEN GOVERNMENT LAW

ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CTR EPIC has obtained a memorandum of understanding between the FBI and the Virginia State Police that limits the state's open government law. The memorandum applies to the Virginia Fusion Intelligence Center, a database that collects information on ordinary citizens. The agreement requires the state agency to comply with federal regulations that restrict the disclosure of records about the Virginia Fusion Center that would otherwise be available to the public.

The federal regulations cited in the memorandum contain at least thirty-seven exemptions from open government and privacy laws. The mmorandum also requires the State Police to refer open government requests to federal agents if the requests relate to information shared by the FBI with the fusion center. In effect, the memorandum imposes additional limitations on the documents that can be accessed by the public under Virginia’s open records and privacy law.

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