The Department of Homeland Security has a reputation among journalists and other government officials for being hard to get a straight answer from. For instance, there was its highly publicized refusal, in the face of repeated attempts by reporters and state and local governments, to say one way or the other whether local authorities could opt out of an immigration program called Secure Communities.
Now, Federal Times, a newspaper and website devoted to covering the workings of the federal government, reports that DHS won't even give it the work phone numbers and email addresses of its public affairs officers — the people it pays to deal with the press and the public. The only information it will give out is the number of the main public affairs switchboard.
The reason? In a response to a Freedom of Information request for public numbers and addresses, DHS said revealing the information — which would simply allow citizens and journalists to reach spokesmen for the government at their government offices — would be an invasion of privacy. Federal Times said DHS cited the provision of FOI law that is supposed to protect medical records.
Tales of a DHS FOIA (Federal Times)