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Extra Credit and Updogs: One Year in FCC Documents

Inquiring minds want to know.

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

As part of the newsgathering process, The Verge sends Freedom of Information Act requests, asking for documents maintained under federal law. On a good day, we get something noteworthy; it’s how we got the Federal Communications Commission’s emails about John Oliver, for one example.

But here’s a secret: The majority of requests go exactly nowhere. For every story you read, there were a handful that never reached escape velocity — requests that were denied, where records didn’t exist, or where the documents handed over weren’t all that interesting.

That’s where it gets weird. The FCC closed at least 800 FOIA requests in 2015, according to a log of requests turned over as part of a FOIA request for FOIA requests. Here are a few highlights from that log.

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