FBI raises eyebrows after saying it would not accept electronic FOIA requests due to coronavirus outbreak

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The FBI raised eyebrows on Tuesday when the agency announced that it would not be accepting electronic Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

As the spread of the virus continues to disrupt normal functions of society like schools, restaurants and sporting events, not many could have predicted that the electronic requests for FBI documents would be affected.

"Due to the emerging COVID-19 situation, the FBI is not accepting electronic Freedom of Information/Privacy Act requests or sending out electronic responses through the eFOIPA portal at this time. You may still submit a FOIPA request via standard mail. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding," a red-bolded disclaimer stated on the FBI website.

The sudden halt of electronic FOIA requests sparked puzzled reactions on social media.

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"This is crazy but, then again, FBI and FOIA is a disastrous combo," BuzzFeed senior investigative Jason Leopold tweeted.

"The FBI is responding to coronavirus by using it as an opportunity to kill off journalists who really want transparency. Even for the FBI, this is pretty FBI," Washington Examiner executive editor Seth Mandel wrote.

"They would prefer to receive only those requests laden with all of our germs and whatnot?" Reuters reporter Brad Heath asked.

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The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.