Surveillance equipment operational and data management protocols

Phil Mocek filed this request with the Seattle City Council of Seattle, WA.
Tracking # 2013-180
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Phil Mocek

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to RCW Ch. 42.56 (Public Records Act), I hereby request the following records:

Surveillance equipment operational protocols and surveillance equipment data management protocols provided to City Council since enactment of Seattle ordinance number 124142, including all draft and final versions received.

As you know, council bill 117730, passed unanimously by City Council on March 18, 2013, signed by Mayor Mike McGinn on March 26, 2013, and enacted as ordinance number 124142, required:

1. That each City department operating surveillance equipment prior to the effective date of the ordinance, for which City Council had not previously approved protocols by ordinance, to propose written propose written operational protocols consistent with SMC 14.18.20 no later than thirty days following the effective date of the ordinance for Council review and approval by ordinance

2. That each department operating surveillance equipment prior to the effective date of the ordinance to adopt written data management protocols consistent with SMC 14.18.30 no later than thirty days following the effective date of this ordinance and submit these protocols to the City Council for review and possible approval by ordinance.

More than five months have passed since the date by which City departments were required by law to provide City Council with the records I request.

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,

Phil Mocek

From: Winkler, Jennifer

[cid:image001.jpg@01CEC9BE.223F3520]

Legislative Department
Seattle City Council

October 15, 2013

Mr. Phil Mocek
Via Muckrock News
DEPT MR 7025
P.O. Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819

Via E-Mail Message

RE: Public Records Request No. 2013-180

Dear Mr. Mocek:

In accordance with RCW 42.56.520, this e-mail acknowledges receipt of your Public Records Request dated October 8, 2013 and received by the Legislative Department same date, whereby you request the following:

* Surveillance equipment operational protocols and surveillance equipment data management protocols provided to the City Council since enactment of Seattle ordinance number 124142, including all drafts and final versions.

The Legislative Department, which includes the Seattle City Council, Office of the City Clerk and Central Staff, has begun the process of determining whether or not it holds responsive records. Our office will contact you on or before November 22, 2013 with an installment of responsive records or a status update on your request. Of course if we complete our search sooner, any responsive records will be made available at that time.

Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or concerns.

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 Oct. 8, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2013-180.

Thank you for your help.

From: Winkler, Jennifer

Mr. Mocek,

We have received and acknowledged your request, please see the attached email for your acknowledgement letter. We are currently searching the records of the Legislative Department for potentially responsive documents and will provide you with an installment of records or status update on November 22, 2013 as the attached indicates.

Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Winkler


On behalf of Sharon Johnson, CPRO, MPS
Certified Public Records Officer
Legislative Department – Office of the City Clerk
600 Fourth Avenue, Floor 3
PO Box 94728
Seattle, WA 98124-4728
(206) 733-9597
Sharon.johnson@seattle.gov

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 Oct. 8, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2013-180.

Thank you for your help.

From: Winkler, Jennifer

Legislative Department
Seattle City Council

November 22, 2013

Mr. Phil Mocek
Via Muckrock News
DEPT MR 7025
P.O. Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819

Via E-Mail Message

RE: Public Records Request No. 2013-180

Dear Mr. Mocek:

In accordance with RCW 42.56.520, this e-mail is to provide you with a status update of your Public Records Request dated October 8, 2013 and received by the Legislative Department same date, whereby you request the following:

* Surveillance equipment operational protocols and surveillance equipment data management protocols provided to the City Council since enactment of Seattle ordinance number 124142, including all drafts and final versions.

The Legislative Department has concluded its search for responsive records and has begun reviewing documents. At this time there are no documents responsive to your request in the document sets we have reviewed. We continue to review the remaining document sets for responsive documents. Our office will contact you on or before December 6th, 2013 with an installment of responsive records or a status update on your request. Of course if we complete our search sooner, any responsive records will be made available at that time.

Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or concerns.

Jennifer Winkler

On Behalf of Sharon Johnson
Public Records Officer
Legislative Department, City of Seattle

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 Oct. 8, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2013-180.

Thank you for your help.

From: Winkler, Jennifer

Legislative Department
Seattle City Council

December 10, 2013

Mr. Phil Mocek
Via Muckrock News
DEPT MR 7025
P.O. Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819

Via E-Mail Message

RE: Public Records Request No. 2013-180

Dear Mr. Mocek:

In accordance with RCW 42.56.520, this e-mail is to provide you with a status update of your Public Records Request dated October 8, 2013 and received by the Legislative Department same date, whereby you request the following:

* Surveillance equipment operational protocols and surveillance equipment data management protocols provided to the City Council since enactment of Seattle ordinance number 124142, including all drafts and final versions.

The Legislative Department has concluded its search for responsive records and has begun reviewing documents. At this time there are no documents responsive to your request in the document sets we have reviewed. We continue to review the remaining document sets for responsive documents. Our office will contact you on or before December 20, 2013 with an installment of responsive records or a status update on your request. Of course if we complete our search sooner, any responsive records will be made available at that time.

Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or concerns.

Jennifer Winkler

On Behalf of Sharon Johnson
Public Records Officer
Legislative Department, City of Seattle

From: Winkler, Jennifer

Legislative Department
Seattle City Council

December 20, 2013

Mr. Phil Mocek
Via Muckrock News
DEPT MR 7025
P.O. Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819

Via E-Mail Message

RE: Public Records Request No. 2013-180

Dear Mr. Mocek:

In accordance with RCW 42.56.520, this e-mail is to provide you with a status update of your Public Records Request dated October 8, 2013 and received by the Legislative Department same date, whereby you request the following:

* Surveillance equipment operational protocols and surveillance equipment data management protocols provided to the City Council since enactment of Seattle ordinance number 124142, including all drafts and final versions.

The Legislative Department has concluded its search for responsive records and continues to review documents. The remaining document sets will require additional review. Our office will contact you on or before January 10, 2013 with an installment of responsive records or a final update on your request. Of course if we complete our search sooner, any responsive records will be made available at that time.

Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or concerns.

Jennifer Winkler

On Behalf of Sharon Johnson
Public Records Officer
Legislative Department, City of Seattle

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 Oct. 8, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2013-180.

Thank you for your help.

From: Winkler, Jennifer

Legislative Department
Seattle City Council

January 10, 2014

Mr. Phil Mocek
Via Muckrock News
DEPT MR 7025
P.O. Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819

Via E-Mail Message

RE: Public Records Request No. 2013-180 - status update #4

Dear Mr. Mocek:

In accordance with RCW 42.56.520, this e-mail is to provide you with a status update of your Public Records Request dated October 8, 2013 and received by the Legislative Department same date, whereby you request the following:

* Surveillance equipment operational protocols and surveillance equipment data management protocols provided to the City Council since enactment of Seattle ordinance number 124142, including all drafts and final versions.

The Legislative Department has concluded its search for responsive records and continues to review documents. We have identified 4 documents responsive to your request. The contents of the documents will require review by our legal counsel as to their disclosure status. We anticipate they will have rendered their decision by February 4th, 2013 at which time we will either release the documents or provide you with an exemption log for them.

Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or concerns.

Jennifer Winkler

On Behalf of Sharon Johnson
Public Records Officer
Legislative Department, City of Seattle

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 Oct. 8, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2013-180.

Thank you for your help.

From: Winkler, Jennifer

Legislative Department
Seattle City Council

February 4, 2014

Mr. Phil Mocek
Via Muckrock News
DEPT MR 7025
P.O. Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819

Via E-Mail Message

RE: Public Records Request No. 2013-180 - installment #1

Dear Mr. Mocek:

In accordance with RCW 42.56.520, this e-mail is to provide you with an installment of records responsive to your Public Records Request dated October 8, 2013 and received by the Legislative Department same date, whereby you request the following:

* Surveillance equipment operational protocols and surveillance equipment data management protocols provided to the City Council since enactment of Seattle ordinance number 124142, including all drafts and final versions.

The Legislative Department has concluded its search for responsive records and continues to review documents. We have identified 3 documents responsive to your request. Attached is one responsive document, the contents of the 2 remaining documents will require review by our legal counsel as to their disclosure status. We anticipate they will have rendered their decision by February 21st, 2013 at which time we will either release the documents or provide you with an exemption log for them.

Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or concerns.

Jennifer Winkler

On Behalf of Sharon Johnson
Public Records Officer
Legislative Department, City of Seattle

From: Phil Mocek

RE: My public records request of October 8, 2014 (your identifier: 2013-180)

Dear Ms. Winkler:

I received your e-mail of February 4, 2014, this afternoon. In it, you provided a single file, 588 KB, MD5 checksum 4a438609322d2306dcd69718fe5bc7d7. This record contains an unversioned, undated, draft policy for "Wireless Mesh Network Cameras." Presumably these are those cameras that Seattle Police Department sneaked onto Alki Beach last year under the guise of "Port Security" using funding from the United States Department of Homeland Security after City Council performed their annual rubber-stamping of the DHS Urban Areas Security Initiative grant.

I am concerned that almost a year after passage of an ordinance that required multiple city departments to provide City Council protocols like this for approval, it took three months for your office to locate any such records and provide just one of them to me.

Approximately how much time per week has been spent processing my request?

I'm baffled by your claim that draft versions of public policy must undergo legal review before disclosure to the public. Could you please explain just what makes you believe these are of such a sensitive nature?

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

From: Phil Mocek

Dear Ms. Winkler:

I have received no contact regarding this matter since I e-mailed to you nine days ago several questions about its processing.

Again: Approximately how much time per week has been spent processing my request?

It took your office three months from the time I requested these records until you provided to me what you called a first installment of responsive records. This delay is unreasonable, and seems to be a violation of the Public Records Act. Nobody has communicated any explanation of the delay. I expected that my request would be routed to the office of Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee, then delegated to a staff member charged with collecting these records that Mr. Harrell's committee requested by way of passing Council Bill 117730 in March of 2013, who would pull a file folder, scan its content, and e-mail it to me. I cannot imagine why this would have taken more than a week or so to complete.

The surveillance equipment acquisitions that prompted the aforementioned bill, now an ordinance which required city departments to submit to your office more than nine months ago the records I have requested of you, was a widely-reported matter of great public interest. Seattle Police Department repeatedly sidestep municipal oversight by using funding from the United States government to purchase surveillance equipment for use in performing suspicionless surveillance of City Council's constituency.

This is also an issue of great urgency. City Council's Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee discussed last week an ordinance allowing Seattle Police Department to accept *more* money from the United States Department of Homeland Security, similar to that which funded surveillance equipment that fueled public outrage a year ago. Seattle City Light are barreling ahead with plans to install so-called "smart meters" on ratepayers' homes to collect and report real-time data about our energy usage, yet as Josh Walter of City Light reported to me via e-mail on February 7, they have no criteria for selecting devices that properly safeguard this sensitive information about our homes.

The records I requested, if they exist, are undoubtedly well-known to people within City Council. If they do not exist, then it is indication that city departments are flouting the law City Council passed almost 11 months ago, and thus their lack of existence should be well-known to people within City Council. I can imagine no reason, and you have offered no reason, why four months after I requested these records, you have yet to either provide them to me or notify me that they do not exist.

You claimed in your e-mail to me on January 10 that the "contents of the documents will require review by our legal counsel as to their disclosure status." The people of this state, in delegating authority to the agencies that serve them, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. I repeat my request from nine days ago for you to explain what makes you believe that surveillance equipment operational protocols and data management protocols submitted to City Council for approval are of such a sensitive nature that you may have legal authority to hide them from the public.

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

From: Phil Mocek

Dear Ms. Winkler:

I have received no contact regarding this matter since I e-mailed to you three weeks ago with questions about its processing. On February 13, I repeated my request for you to tell me how much time per week has been spent processing my request since I placed it more than 20 weeks ago. I believe this delay in providing access to public records is unreasonable, but I have given you repeated opportunity to explain the delay. Yet you have not done so.

The records I requested were due *by law* to City Council in April of last year. I requested them in October. You acknowledged their existence in your e-mail to me of November 22. Since then, four months have passed, and you have provided only a subset of records you located---one record, e-mailed to me on February 4---and continue to withhold access to the other records you located. On *that* date, you estimated that by February 21, you would provide me with either the records I requested in October or an exemption log for them. It is February 26, and you have provided neither.

This is a matter of great concern to the public. Your delays are a hindrance to our understanding of the policies by which we are governed, they drastically reduce the possibility of informed public input on related matters such as the impending Council vote on more U.S. Department of Homeland Security funding for surveillance equipment for police, and they are a violation of the Public Records Act.

Please comply with the law and provide the records I requested 20 weeks ago.

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

From: Winkler, Jennifer

Legislative Department
Seattle City Council

February 26, 2014

Mr. Phil Mocek
Via Muckrock News
DEPT MR 7025
P.O. Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819

Via E-Mail Message

RE: Public Records Request No. 2013-180

Dear Mr. Mocek:

As a follow-up to my email of February 4th, this is to inform you that review of remaining documents has been completed. It has been determined that those documents are exempt under RCW 42.56.280 and are therefore being withheld in their entirety. An exemption log is attached.

If you wish to appeal the exemption of the listed documents, please submit your appeal in writing within five business days of receipt of this message to:

Monica Simmons
City Clerk
P.O. Box 94728
Seattle, WA 98124-4728
Monica.simmons@seattle.gov
(206) 684-8361

This concludes the Legislative Departments response to your request.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Winkler

On behalf of Sharon Johnson
Public Records Officer
Office of the City Clerk – Legislative Department
600 Fourth Avenue – Floor 3
PO Box 94728
Seattle, WA 98124-4728
Phone: (206) 733-9597
sharon.johnson@seattle.gov

Files

pages

Close