Sextortion Email Campaigns (Connecticut State Police)

Emma Best filed this request with the Connecticut State Police of Connecticut.
Tracking #

F-20-04236

Multi Request Sextortion Email Campaigns
Due May 22, 2020
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Emma Best


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

Documents, emails, memos, reports and other records mentioning or describing "sextortion emails" or CYIM 20-008, entitled "Sextortion Email Campaign."

According to CYIM 20-008, "This well-known scam addresses the targeted person by name and references one of their passwords, often in the subject line, to catch their attention. The email then claims to have hacked their computer and filmed them watching pornography. The malicious actor threatens to send the videos to all of the victim’s contacts unless they pay a bitcoin ransom. The passwords used in these scams are obtained from large data breaches that were leaked onto the web."

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities, with some reaching over 100,000 readers in outlets such as Gizmodo, MuckRock, Motherboard, Property of the People, Unicorn Riot, and The Outline, among others. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through non-profits such as the library Internet Archive and the journalist non-profit MuckRock, disseminating them to a large audience. While my research is not limited to this, a great deal of it, including this, focuses on the activities and attitudes of the government itself. As such, it is not necessary for me to demonstrate the relevance of this particular subject in advance.

As my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available, I request that fees be waived.

I also request that, if possible and pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 1-212(d), fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest and not made for commercial gain. The requested documents will be processed by a representative of the news media/press and made available to the public at MuckRock.com.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 4 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Emma Best

From: Connecticut State Police

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

From: Connecticut State Police

A fix is required to perfect the request.

From: Connecticut State Police

Attn: Emma Best

Please be advised that our agency is still devoting considerable resources to ensuring the safety of Connecticut residents during the ongoing global pandemic. We will address this record request as we are able. Please be advised that records that identify victims/witnesses, reveal information about ongoing criminal investigations and/or pose a safety risk to any person will not be provided. We will contact you when we have further information.

Janet K. Ainsworth
Staff Attorney 3/Ethics Liaison
Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection
(voice) 860-685-8150
(fax) 860-685-8611

From: Connecticut State Police

The request has been rejected, with the agency stating that the information or document(s) requested are exempt from disclosure.

From: Emma Best

Those "raw communications" are easily redacted of the names you suggest. A blanket denial is unnecessary and inappropriate.

From: Connecticut State Police

The previous communication was not a blanket denial. The documents will be redacted as indicated. Such redactions are supported by Connecticut law.

Janet K. Ainsworth
Staff Attorney 3/Ethics Liaison
Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection
(voice) 860-685-8150
(fax) 860-685-8611

From: Connecticut State Police

When you communicate with this office regarding one of your requests, please use our file number.

Janet K. Ainsworth
Staff Attorney 3/Ethics Liaison
Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection
(voice) 860-685-8150
(fax) 860-685-8611

From: Emma Best

"The documents will be redacted as indicated. "

Your letter, in fact, indicated no such redactions. "Therefore, I am withholding those records. See CGS 1-210(b)(3),(19)" was the extent of your addressing the matter, and no further release was indicated. For your convenience, I've attached a copy of your letter.

I am, however, gratified to hear that you will be releasing the raw communications and other records with redactions, rather than the blanket withholding described in your letter.

F-20-04236

From: Connecticut State Police

My apologies. I was looking at an earlier communication in the file. I do ask that you use our file numbers.

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From: Emma Best

I did use the file number in the last communication, as well as attach the relevant communication. I do ask that you be aware of what you have said, and that you address your self-contradictory statements. To confirm, contrary to what was in your letter, there will be further processing followed by a presumed release with redactions, correct?

I apologize for insisting on precision, accuracy and fidelity to the law in my legal communications with government lawyers, I'm sure it can be a pain. I also apologize for only quoting the entirety of our exchange of messages in one message, and sincerely regret the extra 45 seconds it must have taken to look the matter up.

F-20-04236 (70 business days overdue)

From: Connecticut State Police

There will be further processing.

From: Emma Best

Thank you! I wi look forward to a formal correction letter on your office's letterhead.

From: Connecticut State Police

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