I got a very surprising email this morning from the NSF. Someone made a Freedom of Information Act request to get a copy of one of my NSF grant proposals. Now, I know that technically this is allowed - in principle, if someone wanted to, they could get (via FOIA) copies of their direct competitor's federal grants (with certain privacy information like social security numbers redacted). However, I've never actually heard of anyone doing this in practice - it's just not cricket, so to speak. The NSF gave me the name of the person, and I'm left to wonder: did they do this just to see an example of a funded proposal? Why didn't they contact me directly? Did they know that NSF was going to tell me about this? It's all perfectly legal, but I find it unsettling, and I can't pinpoint the precise reason. Has this ever happened to anyone else out there?