AnonSec NASA hoax (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)

Emma North-Best filed this request with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States of America.
Tracking #


Multi Request AnonSec NASA hoax
Est. Completion March 18, 2019
Awaiting Appeal


From: Emma North-Best

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Files mentioning or generated as a result of the 2015 claim by "AnonSec" that NASA flight and radar logs and videos and documents had been hacked, along with a Global Hawk Drone. NASA responded by stating that the footage was already publicly available, and nothing had been hacked. At the time, NASA released a statement saying "Control of our Global Hawk aircraft was not compromised. NASA has no evidence to indicate the alleged hacked data are anything other than already publicly available data. NASA takes cybersecurity very seriously and will continue to fully investigate all of these allegations."

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.


Emma Best

From: National Aeronautics and Space Administration


From: National Aeronautics and Space Administration


From: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Hello Ms. Best,

The NASA Headquarters FOIA Office has completed the processing of your FOIA request, please see the above attachments. Thank you for your patience.
Best Regards,

The FOIA Staff

From: Emma North-Best

I am appealing the integrity of the search, as it appears no attempt was made to review the office's response or internal communications regarding the incident. It also fails to include records about NASA's public statements on the matter, which did not emerge without

From: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Good morning Ms. Best,

Attached please find the final response to your Freedom of Information Act request.

Have a wonderful day.

Mia Nyirenda
MSFC FOIA Public Liaison Officer
NASA Headquarters
MS 5-L9, 300 E Street, SW
Washington DC, 20546
Phone: (202) 358-0680