A proposed rule to the Freedom of Information Act would allow federal agencies to tell people requesting certain law-enforcement or national security documents that records donât exist â even when they do. Under current FOIA practice, the government may withhold information and issue whatâs known as a Glomar denial that says it can neither confirm nor deny the existence of records. The new proposal â part of a lengthy rule revision by the Department of Justice â would direct government agencies to ârespond to the request as if the excluded records did not exist." Open-government groups object. "We donât believe the statute allows the government to lie to FOIA requesters,â said Mike German, senior policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, which opposes the provision. The ACLU, along with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and OpenTheGovernment.org said the move would âdramatically undermine government integrity by allowing a law designed to provide public access to government to be twisted. The Glomar denial arose in the mid-1970s when a Los Angeles Times reporter requested information about the CIAâs Glomar Explorer, built to recover a sunken Soviet submarine and the CIAâs attempt to suppress stories about it. But the advocacy groups propose another response: You have requested ââ¦records which, if they exist, would not be subject to the disclosure requirements of FOIA...â They prefer such language because a last resort is to sue to obtain the records, something people requesting information might not do if they assumed that no records existed. http://www.propublica.org/article/g...existence-of-records-under-foia-rule-proposal TL;DR (too long didn't read): Transparency Award winning Obama administration seeks to be able to lie about the very existence of records requested under the freedom of information act.