What is the Electronic Reading Room?

The FOIA Electronic Reading Room is provided as a public service by the Directorate of Digital Innovation's Information Management Services.  It has recently been enhanced and updated, and while many of the updates happened behind the scenes, we'd like to highlight several of the changes.

  • Additional processing power and capacity have been added behind the scenes, which will allow for faster document searching, load times, and the ability to upload larger collections of released documents.
  • Search functionality has been enhanced to allow full text searching using various search techniques noted in the “Search tips” link above. Users can benefit from additional metadata displayed on each PDF document’s landing page and by using the “FOIA Advanced Search” link above users can further filtering options such as the new capability to filter by publication date.
  • FOIA requests can now be made online in addition to the alternate options of submitting via fax and US Postal Service.  This electronic format has been designed to assist our FOIA requesters in providing the necessary information CIA needs to process public access requests.  Although these requests can now be made online, CIA will continue to respond through the US Postal Service.

Here you can view documents released through the FOIA and other CIA release programs. If you would like to view our previously released documents and collections, visit the Historical Collections page to Browse the Collections, which includes links to all collections previously found on the CREST: 25-Year Program Archive and Freqeuently Requested Records pages, as well as individual collections of documents on historically significant topics compiled by our office. Please note that not all documents reside in collections, so you may wish to perform an overall document search as well as browse the collections you are interested in. You can search all the documents by using the search bar on the Advanced Search page. Because of CIA's need to comply with U.S. national security laws, some documents - or parts of documents - cannot be released to the public. Specifically, the CIA has the responsibility to protect intelligence sources and methods from disclosure.

On the FOIA Electronic Reading Room, you can also submit and check the status of your FOIA request online. To learn how to submit requests for information to CIA under the FOIA and Privacy Act, check the status of your request, access other information on administration of the FOIA, and view annual reports, visit the Requestor Portal section.

Additional Information

We also provide basic guidance to assist you in exercising your rights to request and view government records through the following disclosure statutes:

This guidance is not intended to be a comprehensive treatment of the complex issues associated with these laws, but rather an overview of how they are carried out at CIA.

Learn more if you are interested in submitting a FOIA request or Privacy Act request.