NYPD online alias proposals

Shawn Musgrave filed this request with the New York City Police Department of New York City, NY.
Tracking # 15PL1558
Status
Rejected

Communications

From: Shawn Musgrave

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the New York State Freedom of Information Law (1977 N.Y. Laws ch. 933), I hereby request the following records:

-All online alias requests that were disapproved by commanding officers since September 2012.

-All online alias requests that were approved by commanding officers and forwarded to bureau chiefs/deputy commissioners since September 2012 for investigations that have been closed and/or completed.

Per NYPD Operations Order No. 34 (a copy of which can be viewed here: https://muckrock.s3.amazonaws.com/foia_files/1-13-15_MR14466_RES_ID2014-PL-11102.pdf), officers requesting approval to use an online alias must consult with his/her supervisor, who then prepares a request addressed to the relevant bureau chief/deputy commissioner on typed letterhead that includes the following information:

a. Purpose for the request type of investigation, etc.);
b. Tax registry number of requesting member;
c. Username (online alias);
d. Identifiers and pedigree to be utilized for the online alias, such as email address, username and date of birth;
e. Indicate whether there is a need to requisition a Department
laptop with aircard;
f. A copy of the approved photograph and indication as to how photograph was obtained.

Per the same operations order, the commanding officer is to issue an approval/disapproval within one day of the original request, and if approved, immediately forward approval to bureau chief/deputy commissioner concerned, through
channels, for informational purposes. Commanding officers also are to file copies of requests in command.

Per the same operations order, the bureau chief/deputy commissioner is to maintain a folder for each approved online alias, as well as designate an administrator for the online alias.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, 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 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Shawn Musgrave

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 4, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: New York City Police Department

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 4, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2015-PL-1558.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 4, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2015-PL-1558.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 4, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2015-PL-1558.

Thank you for your help.

From: New York City Police Department

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 4, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2015-PL-1558.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 4, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2015-PL-1558.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 4, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2015-PL-1558.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 4, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2015-PL-1558.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 4, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2015-PL-1558.

Thank you for your help.

From: New York City Police Department

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

From: Shawn Musgrave

Jonathan David, Records Access Appeals Officer
New York City Police Department
One Police Plaza, Room 1406
New York, NY 10038

To Whom It May Concern:

This is an appeal for the denial in full of my request under the Freedom of Information Law. The NYPD assigned my request tracking number 2015-PL-1558.

On 02/05/2015, I requested the following documents:

-All online alias requests that were disapproved by commanding officers since September 2012.
-All online alias requests that were approved by commanding officers and forwarded to bureau chiefs/deputy commissioners since September 2012 for investigations that have been closed and/or completed.

In the attached letter dated July 16, 2015, Lt. Richard Mantellino rejected my request in full.

Foremost, none of the exemptions invoked by the NYPD's blanket denial addresses why the requested documents must be withheld in full, rather than released in part. Furthermore, the NYPD's blanket response is hardly even specified to the request at hand. As such, I consider the department's rejection insufficiently detailed to the particulars of my request.

Furthermore, the NYPD's invoked exemptions do not apply to the present request. As noted in my original request, the NYPD's use of online aliases is a matter of public records. Per NYPD Operations Order No. 34 (a copy of which can be viewed here: https://muckrock.s3.amazonaws.com/foia_files/1-13-15_MR14466_RES_ID2014-PL-11102.pdf), officers requesting approval to use an online alias must consult with his/her supervisor, who then prepares a request addressed to the relevant bureau chief/deputy commissioner on typed letterhead that includes the following information:

a. Purpose for the request type of investigation, etc.);
b. Tax registry number of requesting member;
c. Username (online alias);
d. Identifiers and pedigree to be utilized for the online alias, such as email address, username and date of birth;
e. Indicate whether there is a need to requisition a Department laptop with aircard;
f. A copy of the approved photograph and indication as to how photograph was obtained.

Per the same operations order, the commanding officer is to issue an approval/disapproval within one day of the original request, and if approved, immediately forward approval to bureau chief/deputy commissioner concerned, through
channels, for informational purposes. Commanding officers also are to file copies of requests in command.

Per the same operations order, the bureau chief/deputy commissioner is to maintain a folder for each approved online alias, as well as designate an administrator for the online alias.

This procedure is already a matter of public record. As such, releasing the requested documents cannot be construed to "reveal" the practice. Similarly, the invoked exemptions addressing enforcement proceedings, intra-agency materials, and technological asset security in no way justify withholding responsive documents in full. Any sensitive or deliberative portions may be redacted, as necessary, to prevent release of such information.

In light of the above, I request that you remand this FOIL back to the NYPD for a good faith search and provision of responsive documents.

Respectfully,
Shawn Musgrave
Investigative reporter, MuckRock

From: New York City Police Department

A letter stating that the request appeal has been rejected.

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