PA State and Local Law Enforcement Agency Stingray Contracts (Pittsburgh Bureau of Police)

Dustin Slaughter filed this request with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police of Pittsburgh, PA.
Tracking # 00553
Due Feb. 26, 2014
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Dustin Slaughter

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to Pennsylvania Right to Know Act, I hereby request the following records:

All Stingray surveillance technology contracts between Melbourne, FL based Harris Corporation and the following law enforcement agencies: the Southeastern Pennsylvania Regional Task Force (SEPA-RTF), Pennsylvania State Police, Philadelphia Police Department, and the Pittsburgh Police Department.

The time frame for this request encompasses 1 January 2011 up to and including the date this request is officially processed.

I am providing the following keywords that records staff should use in their search for responsive documents: "Amberjack", "KingFish", "Harpoon", "RayFish", and "Stingray".

I expect to be provided with all segregable portions of otherwise exempt material. Please separately state your reasons for not invoking your discretionary powers to release requested documents in the public interest.

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,

Dustin Slaughter

From: Smith, Benjamin

February 21, 2014

Dustin Slaughter

MuckRock News

DEPT MR 10586

PO Box 55819

Boston, MA 02205

requests@muckrock.com

*RE: RTKL No. 2014-1-52*

Dear Mr. Slaughter:

On February 19, 2014, the City of Pittsburgh Open Records Office received
your written request for records pursuant to the Pennsylvania Right to Know
Law (RTKL), 65 P.S. §67.101 *et seq*. Your specific request is as follows:

"All Stingray surveillance technology contracts between Melbourne, FL based
Harris Corporation and the following law enforcement agencies: the
Southeastern Pennsylvania Regional Task Force (SEPA-RTF), Pennsylvania
State Police, Philadelphia Police Department, and the Pittsburgh Police
Department. The time frame for this request encompasses 1 January 2011 up
to and including the date this request is officially processed. I am
providing the following keywords that records staff should use in their
search for responsive documents: "Amberjack", "Kingfish", "Harpoon",
"RayFish" and "Stingray""

The RTKL requires that the City provide an initial response within five
business days of the request, or in this case, on or before *February 26,
2014*. The RTKL permits the City to take up to an additional thirty (30)
days to provide a final response where the nature or extent of the request
precludes an answer within the original time period (e.g. documents are not
easily retrievable within 5 business days) and/or where legal review is
needed to determine whether the record is subject to access under the Act.
See 65 P.S. §§67.902(a)(4)(7).

The City is obligated to redact any non-public information from public
records pursuant to any exceptions set forth in the RTKL. See 65 P.S.
§67.706. Note that the City is not required to create records which do not
currently exist or maintain information in a form in which it does not
currently exist. See 65 P.S. §67.705. Additionally, nothing in the RTKL
shall be construed to modify, rescind or supersede any of the City's record
retention policies. See 65 P.S. §67.507.

Please expect our final answer *within thirty (30) days of* *February 26,
2014*. Thank you for your patience in this matter.

Sincerely,

Benjamin Smith,

Open Records Officer

From: Dustin Slaughter

Thank you for your prompt response, Mr. Smith. I look forward to your response no later than Friday, March 28th.

Sincerely,
Dustin Slaughter

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. 19, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2014-1-52.

Thank you for your help.

From: Smith, Benjamin

March 10, 2014

Dustin Slaughter

MuckRock News

DEPT MR 10586

PO Box 55819

Boston, MA 02205

requests@muckrock.com

*RE: RTKL No. 2014-1-52*

Dear Mr. Slaughter:

On February 19, 2014, the City of Pittsburgh Open Records Office received
your written request for records pursuant to the Pennsylvania Right to Know
Law (RTKL), 65 P.S. §67.101 *et seq*. Your specific request is as follows:

"All Stingray surveillance technology contracts between Melbourne, FL based
Harris Corporation and the following law enforcement agencies: the
Southeastern Pennsylvania Regional Task Force (SEPA-RTF), Pennsylvania
State Police, Philadelphia Police Department, and the Pittsburgh Police
Department."

Upon investigation, I've determined that no such records exist and your
request is denied. No such contracts as referred to in your request were
ever entered into by the City. To the extent anything requested is not
being provided, the RTKL instructs that the City is not required to create
records which do not currently exist or maintain information in a form in
which it does not currently exist. See 65 P.S. §67.705. Additionally,
nothing in the RTKL shall be construed to modify, rescind or supersede any
of the City's record retention policies. See 65 P.S. §67.507.

If you feel that any aspect of this response to your request is in error,
you may lodge an appeal by writing to Terry Mutchler, Executive Director,
Office of Open Records, Commonwealth Keystone Building, 400 North Street,
4th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17120. If you wish to take an appeal you must do
so within fifteen business days of the date of this letter. (See 65 P.S.
§67.1101).

Sincerely,

Benjamin Smith

Open Records Officer

From: Dustin Slaughter

Dear Mr. Mutchler,

This is an appeal to the Pittsburgh Police Department's denial of my Right-to-Know request, #2014-1-52 dated 19 February, 2014. This request seeks:

All Stingray surveillance technology contracts between Melbourne, FL based Harris Corporation and the following law enforcement agencies: the Southeastern Pennsylvania Regional Task Force (SEPA-RTF), Pennsylvania State Police, Philadelphia Police Department, and the Pittsburgh Police Department.

The time frame for this request encompasses 1 January 2011 up to and including the date this request was officially processed.

I am providing the following keywords that records staff should use in their search for responsive documents: "Amberjack", "KingFish", "Harpoon", "RayFish", and "Stingray".

On 10 March, 2014, Pittsburgh Police Department's (PPD) Open Records Officer responded as follows:

"Upon investigation, I've determined that no such records exist and your
request is denied. No such contracts as referred to in your request were
ever entered into by the City. To the extent anything requested is not
being provided, the RTKL instructs that the City is not required to create
records which do not currently exist or maintain information in a form in
which it does not currently exist. See 65 P.S. §67.705. Additionally,
nothing in the RTKL shall be construed to modify, rescind or supersede any
of the City's record retention policies. See 65 P.S. §67.507."

As this USA Today article on Stingray technology use by law enforcement agencies indicates, most major metropolitan departments either contract or have a sharing agreement with a federal agency, such as the FBI:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/12/08/cellphone-data-spying-nsa-police/3902809/

PPD's Open Records Officer cites 65 P.S. §67.705, in part, for denying my request. Specifically "...City is not required to create records which do not currently exist or maintain information in a form in which it does not currently exist."

I want to ensure that the PPD makes every effort to locate *any* responsive material and not use 65 P.S. §67.705 as a loophole by taking the word "contract" and using it to exclude any memorandums of understanding (MOU) or other documented sharing agreements between PPD and a federal agency such as the FBI.

I humbly request that this appeal, and your mediation, Mr. Mutchler, ensure that a good faith effort is made by PPD regarding both "contracts" and "MOUs"

I also would appreciate PPD signing an attestation of non-existence form for both "contracts" and "MOUs".

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and assistance, Mr. Mutchler, and I thank the Pittsburgh Police Department for their prompt response to my request.

I can be reached via this MuckRock email.

Sincerely,

Dustin Slaughter

From: MuckRock

Hello,

Attached please find an appeal of the below RTK submitted to the Pittsburgh Police Department.

Thank you.

  • Slaughter RTK appeal_Pittsburgh_StingrayContract-signed_.pdf

From: Sostar, Janelle K

Good Afternoon,

Please see the attached appeal that has been filed with the Office of Open Records. This matter has been assigned to an Appeals Officer (see page 4 of attachment for contact information). Please forward all future correspondence directly to the Appeals Officer and all other parties. Thank you!

[cid:image001.jpg@01CF3DF3.AB887DB0]

Janelle Sostar
Administrative Officer
Office of Open Records
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North Street, Plaza Level
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0225
(717) 346-9903<tel:%28717%29%20346-9903> | jsostar@pa.gov<mailto:jsostar@pa.gov>
http://openrecords.state.pa.us<http://openrecords.state.pa.us/>
Confidentiality Notice: This electronic communication is privileged and confidential and is intended only for the party to whom it is addressed. If received in error, please return to sender.

From: Smith, Benjamin

Mr. Brown:

In regards to the above-captioned appeal, please see attached.
Thanks,
Ben Smith

From: Shuman, Carolyn

Please see the attached Final Determination that has been issued today.

Thank you.

Carolyn Shuman
Administrative Officer
Office of Open Records
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North Street, 4th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0225
(717) 346-9903
carshuman@pa.gov
www.newPA.com<http://www.newpa.com/> | www.visitPA.com<http://www.visitpa.com/>

Confidentiality Notice: This electronic communication is privileged and confidential and is intended only for the party to whom it is addressed. If received in error, please return to sender

From: Pittsburgh Bureau of Police

A letter stating that the request appeal has been received and is being processed.

From: Pittsburgh Bureau of Police

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. 19, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #00553.

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. 19, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #00553.

Thank you for your help.

From: Pittsburgh Bureau of Police

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

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