BCC Emails - Immediate Disclosure Request (SF City Atty)

Anonymous Journalist filed this request with the San Francisco City Attorney of San Francisco, CA .


From: Anonymous Journalist

RE: BCC Emails - Immediate Disclosure Request

To the Department Head:

Below are new Immediate Disclosure Requests (SF Admin Code 67.25(a)) directed to your agency and its department head. Your response is required by Feb 11, 2020. Rolling records responses are requested (SFAC 67.25(d)) if you are unable to immediately produce records. Exact copies of every responsive record are requested (Gov Code 6253(b)) - do not: provide mere URLs, print and scan electronic records, convert native files to PDFs, or provide black and white versions of any color record. Provide only copies of records not requiring fees and in-person inspection of all other records (GC 6253). Emails are requested in the easily-generated EML or MSG formats (SFAC 67.21(l)).

I am now auditing how the City appears to unlawfully withhold the BCC recipients of emails when they print out emails in certain formats. The identity of BCC recipients is not exempt. BCC is not an information security record that reveals vulnerabilities or increases chance of an attack. The BCC names was typed in by a human being and are not metadata. You must provide BCC just like you provide To or CC recipients. There is no legal authority to keep secret the identities of persons communicating with government officials, unless they are specifically confidential informants and such. If you withhold the BCC names, I will file complaints, separate and apart from email metadata complaints, which at this point I have already won (see SOTF 19044).

Your non-exhaustive obligations: All withholding of any information must be justified in writing (SFAC 67.27). All withholdings by masking or deletion (aka redactions) must be keyed by footnote or other clear reference to the specific justification for that redaction, and only the minimal exempt portion of any record may be withheld (SFAC 67.26). You must respond to emailed requests (SFAC 67.21(b)). You must notify us of whether or not responsive records exist and/or were withheld for each below request (Gov Code 6253(c), 6255(b)). You must state the name and title of each person responsible for withholding any information (Gov Code 6253(d)). Do not impose any end-user restrictions upon me (Santa Clara Co. vs Superior Ct, 170 Cal.App 4th 1301); so if you use a third-party website to publish records, please make them completely public without any login or sign-in.

Your agency must do all of the above things in your response, and you cannot wait until we file complaints.

****** We have no duty to, and we will not again, remind the City of its obligations. Instead, we will file complaints for every Sunshine Ordinance or CPRA violation. We will continue to file complaints until the City's procedures are modified to fully comply with the Sunshine Ordinance and CPRA, without caveat or exception. ******

1. An exact copy with all email headers (incl. but not limited to the BCC identities), attachments, color, formatting and all other parts of the record of the most recent 5 emails which have any BCC recipients which were sent by your Department Head on their government account . Note that you will have to search directly from the Department Head's computer or account in their Sent folder specifically (In many email systems, no other method will allow you to see the BCC recipients). In modern Outlook systems, the search query is as follows: (bcc:*)

Do not destroy or discard any responsive records - we will appeal all withholdings or Sunshine violations.

NOTE: Please be certain you have properly redacted all of your responses. Once you send them to us, there is no going back. The email address sending this request is a publicly- viewable mailbox. All of your responses (including all responsive records) may be instantly and automatically available to the public online via the MuckRock.com FOIA service used to issue this request (though the requester is an anonymous user, not a representative of MuckRock). Nothing herein is legal, IT, or professional advice of any kind. The author disclaims all warranties, express or implied, including but not limited to all warranties of merchantability or fitness. In no event shall the author be liable for any special, direct, indirect, consequential, or any other damages whatsoever. The digital signature, if any, in this email is not an indication of a binding agreement or offer; it merely authenticates the sender. Please do not include any confidential information, as I intend that these communications with the City all be disclosable public records.



From: San Francisco City Attorney


I am responding on behalf of the City Attorney's Office to your below records request. Attached please find the responsive records. Please note that on page 6 we redacted a personal email address due to privacy reasons, and that on page 8 we redacted the names of seven employees who were bcc recipients as this was a confidential personnel matter.

Office of City Attorney Dennis Herrera
(415) 554-4700 Reception
Find us on: Facebook<https://www.facebook.com/sfcityattorney/> Twitter<https://twitter.com/SFCityAttorney> Instagram<https://www.instagram.com/sfcityattorney/>

This message and any attachments are solely for the intended recipient and may include privileged or confidential information.
If you have received this communication in error, please notify the sender immediately, and permanently delete this message and any attachments.

From: Anonymous Journalist

Thank you, and also thank you for justifying your redactions as required. I am a bit confused though as I asked for Mr. Herrera's sent emails and these seem to be coming from Ms. Feitelberg.

From: San Francisco City Attorney

Dear requester,

Thanks for your email. The City Attorney sends and receives all email regarding City business using the email account of the office's Director of Executive Affairs, Brittany Feitelberg. The documents we produced on February 11 are emails sent by the department head, per your request.
Please send replies to cityattorney@sfcityatty.org<mailto:cityattorney@sfcityatty.org>

[cid:image002.jpg@01D5EE1D.CD055A40]Elizabeth A. Coolbrith
Office of City Attorney Dennis Herrera
(415) 554-4685 Direct
Find us on: Facebook<https://www.facebook.com/sfcityattorney/> Twitter<https://twitter.com/SFCityAttorney> Instagram<https://www.instagram.com/sfcityattorney/>