Text messages - Seattle Mayor Ed Murray 2016 (Deputy Mayor Joncas)

Phil Mocek filed this request with the Office of the Mayor of Seattle, WA.

It is a clone of this request.

Due July 1, 2016
Est. Completion Aug. 10, 2016
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Phil Mocek

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Text messages (i.e., SMS messages) and other mobile-phone-based text communications (e.g., Signal Messenger, WhatsApp, Wire, Wickr, Telegram, iMessage, Facebook Chat, SnapChat, Slack, Glip, Facebook and Twitter "direct messages," etc.), addressed or "CC'd" to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray or any alias of his, sent by the mayor, or sent on behalf of the mayor, in 2016, on personal or work-specific devices operated by or otherwise under the control of Deputy Mayor Kate Joncas. In the event that the search for responsive records involves a public employee's good-faith search of his or her personal device, please provide a reasonably detailed, nonconclusory affidavit attesting to the nature and extent of that search.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

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 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Phil Mocek

From: EXECPDR

Dear Mr. Mocek,

Please find attached all responsive text messages in response to your public records request as detailed below.

We have waived the cost for these records due to the amount of time it has taken to process this request. I anticipate being able to provide you another set of text messages around February 17, 2017.

There was one redaction (telephone number) in the attached records and it was redacted under RCW 42.56.420 (4) Information regarding the infrastructure and security of computer and telecommunications networks, consisting of security passwords, security access codes and programs, access codes for secure software applications, security and service recovery plans, security risk assessments, and security test results to the extent that they identify specific system vulnerabilities, and other such information the release of which may increase risk to the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of agency security, information technology infrastructure, or assets; This could cause an security risk to the City.

This closes the request for records for Deputy Mayor Joncas.

Sincerely,

Kimberly Ferreiro

[cid:image003.png@01D22DD2.B96F0AD0]

Kimberly Ferreiro, CPRO

Public Disclosure Advisor
Office of the Mayor
T: (206) 684.3252 | Kimberly.ferreiro@seattle.gov<mailto:Kimberly.ferreiro@seattle.gov>

All e-mail correspondence to and from this address is subject to the Washington State Public Records Act, which may result in monitoring, archiving, as well as disclosure to third parties upon request.

From: Phil Mocek

Dear sir or Madam:

I appeal. In her message of January 19, 2017, Kimberly Ferreiro cited RCW 42.56.420(4) as justification for redacting a telephone number from one or more records responsive to my request.

Nothing in RCW 42.56.420(4) is applicable. RCW 42.56.420(4) exempts from disclosure under the Public Records Act the following information relating to security: "Information regarding the infrastructure and security of computer and telecommunications networks, consisting of security passwords, security access codes and programs, access codes for secure software applications, security and service recovery plans, security risk assessments, and security test results to the extent that they identify specific system vulnerabilities, and other such information the release of which may increase risk to the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of agency security, information technology infrastructure, or assets."

A phone number does not consist of any of the following:

- a security password
- a security access code
- a security program
- an access code for a secure software application
- a security plan
- a service recovery plan
- a security risk assessment
- security test results that identifies a specific system vulnerability
- information the release of which may increase risk to the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of your agency's security
- information the release of which may increase risk to the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of your agency's information technology infrastructure
- information the release of which may increase risk to the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of your agency's assets

Further, a phone number is not information regarding the infrastructure and security of computer and telecommunications networks, so even if it did consist of any of the above (which it does not), it would not be exempt under RCW 42.56.420(4).

A phone number is simply a phone number. Until very recently, these were published in books that were dropped annually on everyone's doorsteps. At that time, one needed only to examine the so-called "blue pages" in order to discover the phone numbers of government agencies and personnel.

I believe strongly in the importance of both institutional transparency and individual privacy. If you would 1) recognize that this information is not exempt from disclosure, 2) inform me of to whose phone the redacted number is assigned, and 3) explain why you believe it would be in the best interest of the public to keep this number hidden from the public, I would be open to the possibility of voluntarily waiving my right to inspect these records without this redaction.

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

From: EXECPDR

Dear Mr. Mocek,

The purpose of this correspondence is to advise you that I received your appeal email as described below today February 15, 2017, in my "junk email" mailbox.

You can expect to hear from the Mayor's office Appeal Officer Ian Warner (Legal Counsel to the Mayor) on or before February 21, 2017, with a formal response.

Sincerely,

Kimberly Ferreiro

[cid:image003.png@01D22DD2.B96F0AD0]

Kimberly Ferreiro, CPRO

Public Disclosure Advisor
Office of the Mayor
T: (206) 684.3252 | Kimberly.ferreiro@seattle.gov<mailto:Kimberly.ferreiro@seattle.gov>

All e-mail correspondence to and from this address is subject to the Washington State Public Records Act, which may result in monitoring, archiving, as well as disclosure to third parties upon request.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

January 30, 2017
Office of the Mayor
Mayor's Office
P.O. Box 94749
Seattle, WA 98124-4749

This is a follow up to a previous request:

Dear sir or Madam:

I appeal. In her message of January 19, 2017, Kimberly Ferreiro cited RCW 42.56.420(4) as justification for redacting a telephone number from one or more records responsive to my request.

Nothing in RCW 42.56.420(4) is applicable. RCW 42.56.420(4) exempts from disclosure under the Public Records Act the following information relating to security: "Information regarding the infrastructure and security of computer and telecommunications networks, consisting of security passwords, security access codes and programs, access codes for secure software applications, security and service recovery plans, security risk assessments, and security test results to the extent that they identify specific system vulnerabilities, and other such information the release of which may increase risk to the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of agency security, information technology infrastructure, or assets."

A phone number does not consist of any of the following:

- a security password
- a security access code
- a security program
- an access code for a secure software application
- a security plan
- a service recovery plan
- a security risk assessment
- security test results that identifies a specific system vulnerability
- information the release of which may increase risk to the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of your agency's security
- information the release of which may increase risk to the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of your agency's information technology infrastructure
- information the release of which may increase risk to the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of your agency's assets

Further, a phone number is not information regarding the infrastructure and security of computer and telecommunications networks, so even if it did consist of any of the above (which it does not), it would not be exempt under RCW 42.56.420(4).

A phone number is simply a phone number. Until very recently, these were published in books that were dropped annually on everyone's doorsteps. At that time, one needed only to examine the so-called "blue pages" in order to discover the phone numbers of government agencies and personnel.

I believe strongly in the importance of both institutional transparency and individual privacy. If you would 1) recognize that this information is not exempt from disclosure, 2) inform me of to whose phone the redacted number is assigned, and 3) explain why you believe it would be in the best interest of the public to keep this number hidden from the public, I would be open to the possibility of voluntarily waiving my right to inspect these records without this redaction.

Cordially,
Phil Mocek
---

On Jan. 19, 2017:
Dear Mr. Mocek,

Please find attached all responsive text messages in response to your public records request as detailed below.

We have waived the cost for these records due to the amount of time it has taken to process this request. I anticipate being able to provide you another set of text messages around February 17, 2017.

There was one redaction (telephone number) in the attached records and it was redacted under RCW 42.56.420 (4) Information regarding the infrastructure and security of computer and telecommunications networks, consisting of security passwords, security access codes and programs, access codes for secure software applications, security and service recovery plans, security risk assessments, and security test results to the extent that they identify specific system vulnerabilities, and other such information the release of which may increase risk to the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of agency security, information technology infrastructure, or assets; This could cause an security risk to the City.

This closes the request for records for Deputy Mayor Joncas.

Sincerely,

Kimberly Ferreiro

[cid:image003.png@01D22DD2.B96F0AD0]

Kimberly Ferreiro, CPRO

Public Disclosure Advisor
Office of the Mayor
T: (206) 684.3252 | Kimberly.ferreiro@seattle.gov<mailto:Kimberly.ferreiro@seattle.gov<mailto:Kimberly.ferreiro@seattle.gov%3cmailto:Kimberly.ferreiro@seattle.gov>>

All e-mail correspondence to and from this address is subject to the Washington State Public Records Act, which may result in monitoring, archiving, as well as disclosure to third parties upon request.
---

From: Irwin, Stacy

Dear Mr. Mocek:

Thank you for the opportunity to address your appeal regarding your Public Records Request 16372 received by the Mayor's Office July 26, 2016, detailed as follows:
"Text messages (i.e., SMS messages) and other mobile-phone-based text communications (e.g., Signal Messenger, WhatsApp, Wire, Wickr, Telegram, iMessage, Facebook Chat, SnapChat, Slack, Glip, Facebook and Twitter "direct messages," etc.), addressed or "CC'd" to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray or any alias of his, sent by the mayor, or sent on behalf of the mayor, in 2016, on personal or work-specific devices operated by or otherwise under the control of Deputy Mayor Kate Joncas. In the event that the search for responsive records involves a public employee's good-faith search of his or her personal device, please provide a reasonably detailed, nonconclusory affidavit attesting to the nature and extent of that search."
In your administrative appeal you state that the redaction of the telephone number for the EOC Director phone number under RCW 42.56.420(4) is not applicable, citing that a phone number is not information regarding the infrastructure and security of computer and telecommunications networks. To provide some background on the specific redacted telephone number, it is one of the numbers in the EOC emergency operations room that is kept confidential. When there is an emergency and the EOC is activated, that number is used. It would clearly be detrimental to emergency operations and may pose a security risk if that number was released.

For your reference I have provided a link Here<https://www.seattle.gov/emergency-management/about-us/contact-us> to the Emergency Management Department which lists their contact telephone numbers for the public.

Under the Public Records Act (PRA), an agency may apply redactions using appropriate exemptions to redact specific information and then provide the explanation to the requester.

After reviewing the records, redaction and exemption, I have determined that the redaction is appropriate and falls under the original exemption of RCW 42.56.420(4), as it is "information the release of which may increase risk to the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of agency security . . . or assets."

Based on my review, I am upholding the City's response to your public disclosure request.

Thank you for your inquiry and appeal submittal on this matter.

Ian Warner, Legal Counsel to Mayor Murray

From: Phil Mocek

Dear Mr. Warner:

I received your e-mail of February 23. In it, you misrepresented my appeal. Until you notified me of such in said e-mail, I was unaware of to whose phone the redacted number is assigned. Can you confirm that the only redacted phone number in the records provided to me in response to this request was that of the Emergency Operations Director?

You wrote that you "have determined that the redaction is appropriate and falls under the original exemption of RCW 42.56.420(4), as it is `information the release of which may increase risk to the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of agency security . . . or assets.'" That a particular telephone number is such does not alone qualify it for exemption under the cited paragraph.

Is it your position that EOC Director telephone number is information regarding the infrastructure and security of a computer network or of a telecommunications network?

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

From: Irwin, Stacy

Dear Mr. Mocek,

In response to your February 24, 2017, email (below) I can confirm that the number redacted in your public records request 16372, is the number assigned to the Director during EOC activation and is only manned when activated. Providing the number could allow someone to "spoof" or otherwise interfere with an emergency response. It is exempt under RCW 42.56.420(4). In addition, the number is exempt under RCW 42.56.240(1) because the nondisclosure is also essential to effective law enforcement.

Sincerely,

Ian Warner, Legal Counsel to Mayor Murray

From: EXECPDR

Dear Mr. Mocek,

Another installment of records is currently in the final review process and we hope to have another installment of records ready for you on or around April 12, 2017. We will of course provide the records sooner if they become available.

Thank you for your patience and please let me know if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Stacy Irwin
Public Disclosure Advisor
Mayor's Office

[cid:image003.png@01D22DD2.B96F0AD0]

Stacy Irwin, CPRO

Public Disclosure Advisor
Office of the Mayor
T: (206) 386.1251|
Stacy.irwin@seattle.gov

From: EXECPDR

Please note that this request has been formally closed and you were previously notified.

Sincerely,

City of Seattle
Mayor's Office

From: Phil Mocek

Dear Ms. Irwin,

On April 6, 2017, I received an e-mail from you in which you wrote, "Another installment of records is currently in the final review process and we hope to have another installment of records ready for you on or around April 12, 2017." The next contact I received regarding this request (sent June 24, 2016 for Murray-Joncas messages) was an unsigned e-mail from your office on April 21, 2017, in which someone wrote, "Please note that this request has been formally closed and you were previously notified."

Please advise.

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

From: EXECPDR

Thank you for your email.

This request has been fulfilled and is closed.

Kimberly Ferreiro, CPRO
Office of the Mayor

]

From: Phil Mocek

Dear Ms. Ferreiro,

I appeal.

On June 24, 2016, I submitted to your office a Public Records Act request for text messages and other mobile-phone-based text communications to, from, or on behalf of Mayor Ed Murray in 2016, on personal or work-specific devices operated by or otherwise under the control of Deputy Mayor Kate Joncas. I requested that if the search for responsive records involved a public employee's good-faith search of his or her personal device, then you would include a reasonably detailed affidavit attesting to the nature and extent of that search. I provided e-mail and postal mail addresses for you to contact me regarding the request and to deliver the records. My intent is to share these records with other interested members of the public, and thus every communication sent to either of those addresses is automatically published on a Web [page][1] that anyone can review.

[1]: <https://www.muckrock.com/foi/seattle-69/text-messages-seattle-mayor-ed-murray-2016-deputy-mayor-joncas-26420/>

Despite 15 requests for update I e-mailed to you--about once every three weeks--the first contact I received regarding this request was your e-mail of January 19, 2017. You provided no explanation for the delay of more than six months.

On April 6, 2017, I received an e-mail regarding this request from Stacy Irwin at your office in which Ms. Irwin wrote, "Another installment of records is currently in the final review process and we hope to have another installment of records ready for you on or around April 12, 2017." The next contact I received regarding this request was an unsigned e-mail from your office on April 21, 2017, in which someone wrote, "Please note that this request has been formally closed and you were previously notified." On April 25, I requested explanation of the installment of records that never came. On May 10, I again requested a status update, and you replied, stating only that my "request has been fulfilled and is closed."

Based in part on statements from your office about one or more additional installments of records that were undergoing review in April of this year, I believe I have not received all responsive records. I also believe that Ms. Joncas' personal devices were not searched in accordance with the law for public records responsive to my request.

In 2015, the Washington Supreme Court unanimously affirmed lower courts in holding "that text messages sent and received by a public employee in the employee’s official capacity are public records of the employer, even if the employee uses a private cell phone" [Nissen v. Pierce County, 183 Wn.2d 863][2].

[2]: <http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/?fa=opinions.disp&filename=908753MAJ>

The court provided a method for separating personal messages from public messages on a public employee's personal device:

"Where an employee withholds personal records from the employer, he or she must submit an affidavit with facts sufficient to show the information is not a `public record' under the PRA. So long as the affidavits give the requester and the trial court a sufficient factual basis to determine that withheld material is indeed nonresponsive, the agency has performed an adequate search under the PRA. When done in good faith, this procedure allows an agency to fulfill its responsibility to search for and disclose public records without unnecessarily treading on the constitutional rights of its employees."

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

From: Phil Mocek

Please provide an update on the status of my appeal, filed May 15, 2017.

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