I dunno. Other agencies of the Federal government also publish their exam question pools. I have an excellent memory and could have easily passed several different exams by recognition of questions and answers, however this is a very dicey way to get a license, particularly if knowledge content and mastery may mean a difference between life and death. I have a Master license from the USCG would never have thought to have tried to memorize questions from the USCG deck exams, because: 1) this is really an exercise in futility because of the large number of questions on the exam, 2) you have to provide a certificate (similar to a proof of passing certificate for an FCC exam) after completing a course of so many mandated classroom hours, and 3) your life, those on your vessel, and those at sea on other vessels may be endangered by your lack of mastery and assimilation of information.
NOT to target your relpy here, but I think this topic question should be answered by an attorney. One point of reference is Title 17 United States Code. The United States government cannot copyright its own 'work' (i.e., things like rules and regulations not subject to another Title on National Defense restrictions on revelation of certain information).
I can certainly understand the gravity of emergencies under SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) but there isn't quite the parallel to amateur radio licensing in my view. Under Part 97, Code of Federal Regulations, amateur radio has about the same importance to safety of life anywhere as Part 95, C.F.R. Since, by definition and technical regulations, USA amateur radio forbids any form of encryption for the purpose of hiding the contents of any transmission, it should not be used for messages having direct relation to National Defense classification.
"FCC tests" for amateur radio licensing are a means for the FCC to regulate all USA civil radio.
How the FCC does it is the FCC's matter and that seems to have been okay for legal reasons so far, despite a number of court cases on individual rulings over the years...and keeps a lot of attornies working. However, trying for the "importance"
of an amateur radio license and how each individual achieved it is, again in my view, more of an emotional issue for individuals than anything else.
The "Freedom of Information Act" has much to do with privacy of government information as it relates to individual citizens and whether or not certain items of information should be made public knowledge or whether such information should be kept away from public knowledge. That is, again in my view, a much larger subject, in fact a much, much larger subject than just some correct answers on an amateur radio license examination. As I understand it, it is still a large field of law under study today, but without any bearing on amateur radio.
As it is today and for about the last quarter century or so, the NCVEC originates the questions and answers for all USA amateur radio license examinations. The FCC no longer makes requirements on quantities of subjects in questions as they once did. All that is required in quantities is a minimum
number of questions (ten times) for requirements of individual test elements. The NCVEC can choose a larger minimum and does; the number of questions currently in the Question Pools are available on www.ncvec.org
. Entire pools are available for free downloading at the NCVEC website. Individual VEC teams apparently choose questions for their test sessions at random (or nearly so). The ARRL VEC uses pre-printed test-element questions and provides scoring templates for their VEC teams. The whole thing is much more open than any of the formal education tests I've taken in my lifetime.
The general topic of invoking some nebulous "FOIA" thing into modern-day amateur radio testing seems more nattering by others who don't have much knowledge in the rudiments of law in regards to testing in the USA. A lot of amateurs are seemingly too emotionally attached to their license and license class and thus miss the whole civil radio licensing effort put forth by the FCC.
73, Len K6LHA (not an attorney, just a retired electronics engineer)