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Michael Morisy

Michael Morisy is the co-founder of MuckRock, a leading transparency non-profit that runs DocumentCloud, oTranscribe, and other open source transparency tools dedicated to an informed public.


75,000 FOIA Requests Can't Be Wrong: Lessons From a Decade of Transparency Spelunking

Over the past ten years, transparency non-profit MuckRock has helped thousands of requesters file tens of thousands of public records and Freedom of Information Act requests to government agencies large and small. In the process, they've unveiled everything from the government's program giving local schools grenade launchers brought back from war zones to the CIA's declassified board game collection. Join Michael on this walk through the government's fascinating hidden archives and learn the secrets of what actually works when it comes time to convincing agencies to give up some of their most closely held secrets. Throughout the conference, he'll also be helping conference attendees workshop their request ideas, and during the presentation the best ideas will be revealed with prizes for winning submissions and inspiration for everyone else.

Four Steps to FOIA Mastery (1)
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    Using public records laws can reveal everything from covert surveillance programs to hidden family history - but only if you know how to ask for it effectively. At this workshop, FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) masters from MuckRock and other leading transparency organizations will share their basic strategies for opening government at all levels. They'll go beyond magic keywords to include and teach participants how to get in the mind of government bureaucracy to file more precise, effective, and illuminating requests. In addition to strategies that will help new requesters and veterans alike improve their transparency strategies, the workshop will offer opportunities to receive advice and feedback on attendees' request ideas.