ATF policy on preserving text messages

Shawn Musgrave filed this request with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives of the United States of America.

It is a clone of this request.

Tracking # 2015-0969
Due June 17, 2015
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Shawn Musgrave

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

All policy and guidance documents regarding the preservation of text messages.

A 2011 Attorney General memo (see http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/oip/legacy/2014/07/23/electronic-communications.pdf) directed that, "Each component should provide guidance to affected employees on how to preserve the various messaging formats (text, SMS, 1M, PIN, etc.), or any other e-communication that may contain potentially discoverable information. Where an e-communication containing potentially discoverable information cannot be preserved electronically or printed, the agency's inability to do so should be documented so that the preservation approach can be explained in court."

Per a March 2015 report from the Justice Department Office of the Inspector General (see https://oig.justice.gov/reports/2015/e1504.pdf#page=61): "It is ATF and DEA policy that all substantive case-related text messages be preserved and potentially be made available during discovery."

Given that this FOIA is submitted in my capacity as a journalist who has covered federal law enforcement extensively, I request that I be categorized as a media requester for the purpose of fees. Here is a selection of my published articles on MuckRock:

https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2015/jan/12/how-843-lbs-seized-pot-lead-customs-and-border-pro/

https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2015/mar/03/us-marshals-service-conceal-key-details-millions-s/

https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2015/feb/27/while-dodging-direct-question-fbi-commits-obama-st/

https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2015/feb/27/while-dodging-direct-question-fbi-commits-obama-st/

https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2015/feb/12/fbi-and-justice-department-cant-find-drone-privacy/

https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2015/jan/22/air-force-knows-how-many-mq-9-drones-it-wants-cant/

I have also been published in a number of other national media outlets on topics regarding federal law enforcement:

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-us-spent-360-million-on-border-drones-thanks-to-this-flimsy-report

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-air-force-says-it-needs-precisely-52-new-reaper-drones-cant-explain-why

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/do-the-fbis-drones-invade-your-privacy-sorry-thats-private

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/04/08/big-brother-better-police-work-new-technology-automatically-runs-license-plates-everyone/1qoAoFfgp31UnXZT2CsFSK/story.html

www.betaboston.com/news/2014/03/05/a-vast-hidden-surveillance-network-runs-across-america-powered-by-the-repo-industry/

https://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/02/05/nypd-social-media-policy-allows-catfishing-with-the-proper-paperwork.html

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2014/12/03/the-pentagon-finally-details-its-weapons-for-cops-giveaway

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/do-the-fbis-drones-invade-your-privacy-sorry-thats-private

https://news.vice.com/article/fbi-agent-who-killed-boston-bombing-suspects-friend-was-twice-accused-of-police-brutality

As the requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com and pertains to a matter of considerable public interest, I further request a full waiver of all fees.

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 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Shawn Musgrave

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 May 19, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

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 May 19, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — ATF

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

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 May 19, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2015-0969.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.

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 May 19, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2015-0969.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.

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