81 State 341264

Emma North-Best filed this request with the U.S. Department of State of the United States of America.
Due Dec. 4, 2018
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Emma North-Best


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

A copy of State Department cable 81 state 341264.

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities, with some reaching over 100,000 readers in outlets such as MuckRock, Motherboard, Property of the People, AND Magazine, Unicorn Riot, and more. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through non-profits such as the library Internet Archive and and the journalist non-profit, MuckRock, disseminating them to a large audience. While my research is not limited to this, a great deal of it, including this, focuses on the activities and attitudes of the government itself. As such, it is not necessary for me to demonstrate the relevance of this particular subject in advance.

Additionally, case law states that “proof of the ability to disseminate the released information to a broad cross- section of the public is not required.” Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep’t of Justice, 365 F.3d 1108, 1126 (D.C. Cir. 2004); see Carney v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 19 F.3d 807, 814-15 (2d Cir. 1994). Further, courts have held that "qualified because it also had “firm” plans to “publish a number of . . . ‘document sets’” concerning United States foreign and national security policy." Under this criteria, as well, I qualify as a member of the news media.

Additionally, courts have held that the news media status "focuses on the nature of the requester, not its request. The provision requires that the request be “made by” a representative of the news media. Id. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II). A newspaper reporter, for example, is a representative of the news media regardless of how much interest there is in the story for which he or she is requesting information." As such, the details of the request itself are moot for the purposes of determining the appropriate fee category.

As my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available, I request that fees be waived.

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 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Emma Best

From: U.S. Department of State

Dear Emma Best,

This is in response to your email below concerning your FOIA case control number F-2019-00053.

Your request is in process. We will soon follow-up with your regarding request for an estimated date of completion in this case.
Please note that the Department currently has a backlog of approximately 11,000 cases. As the Department continues to work through its backlog, it is mindful of its accountability to the public.
We truly appreciate your continued patience.
If you have further concerns or any questions regarding any FOIA-related matter, please contact the FOIA Requester Service Center (FRSC) at 202-261-8484 or send an e-mail to foiastatus@state.gov<mailto:foiastatus@state.gov>.
Regards,
Katrina Wood
U.S. Department of State
FOIA Requester Service Center

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