BIA Webpage Photo Album

Matthew Hoppock filed this request with the Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review of the United States of America .
Tracking #

2018-51081, DOJ-AP-2019-000697, 2020-15975

2018-51081, DOJ-AP-2019-000697

2018-51081

Status
Completed

Communications

From: Matthew Hoppock

To Whom It May Concern:

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

The BIA Webpage, screenshots of which were produced in response to FOIA Request Number #2018-40907, indicate there is a portion of the BIA Webpage called "Photo Album." A link to this is contained on the page entitled "Workspace." There is also a reference to the "Photo Album" on the sitemap that was produced. According to the sitemap there are 808 "items" in the BIA Photo Album. We are requesting

(1) a screenshot of what comes up if someone clicks on the link "Photo Album" from the Workspace page, and
(2) the 808 items referred to in the Sitemap as existing in the Photo Album.

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,

Matthew Hoppock

From: Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review

Matthew, please see response for FOIA 2018-51081. Wr/JRS

From: Matthew Hoppock

The 808 photos the agency withholds under exemption B6 are not exempt. They are public photos of EOIR events, including an investiture ceremony. They are hosted on a BIA server accessible to all agency employees. The agency has not identified any specific privacy concern. Even if the photos show agency employees, they are not confidential “personnel” files. 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(6); Aguirre v. SEC, 551 F. Supp. 2d 33, 54 (D.D.C. 2008) ("Correspondence does not become personal solely because it identifies government employees."); Leadership Conference on Civil Rights v. Gonzales, 404 F. Supp. 2d 246, 257 (D.D.C. 2005) (finding that the names and work telephone numbers of Justice Department paralegals do not meet the threshold for Exemption 6 on the basis that information is not "similar to a 'personnel' or 'medical' file"), motion to amend denied, 421 F. Supp. 2d 104, 107-10 (D.D.C. 2006), appeal dismissed voluntarily, No. 06-5055, 2006 WL 1214937 (D.C. Cir. Apr. 28, 2006); Gordon v. FBI, 390 F. Supp. 2d 897, 902 (N.D. Cal. 2004) (deciding that names of agency employees are not personal information about those employees that meets Exemption 6 threshold), summary judgment granted, 388 F. Supp. 2d 1028, 1040-42 (N.D. Cal. 2005) (concluding that Exemption 6 does not apply to the names of agency's "lower-level" employees, and likewise opining that "[t]he [agency] still has not demonstrated that an employee's name alone makes a document a personnel, medical or 'similar file'"); Darby v. U.S. Dep't of the Air Force, No. 00-0661, slip op. at 10-11 (D. Nev. Mar. 1, 2002) (rejecting redaction of names in IG report on basis that such documents "are not 'personnel or medical files[,]' nor are they 'similar' to such files"), aff'd on other grounds sub nom. Darby v. DOD, 74 F. App'x 813 (9th Cir. 2003); Providence Journal Co. v. U.S. Dep't of the Army, 781 F. Supp. 878, 883 (D.R.I. 1991) (finding investigative report of criminal charges not to be "similar file," on basis that it was "created in response to specific criminal allegations" rather than as "regularly compiled administrative record"), modified & aff'd on other grounds, 981 F.2d 552 (1st Cir. 1992); Greenpeace USA, Inc. v. EPA, 735 F. Supp. 13, 14 (D.D.C. 1990) (opining that information pertaining to an employee's compliance with agency regulations regarding outside employment "does not go to personal information . . . [e]ven in view of the broad interpretation [of Exemption 6] enunciated by the Supreme Court").

Second the agency has not proven releasing these photos which are hosted on the BIA’s intranet and are accessible to all agency employees "would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” The privacy right belongs to the employee, not the agency. If there were genuine privacy concerns the agency wouldn’t have posted these photos on its generally-accessible intranet site. We are unaware of any case that says a photo of an employee accessible to all other agency employees on its website is nevertheless “private.”

Finally, there is no reason provided that the photos can’t be redacted if there are specific genuine privacy concerns.

Further, even if there are specific photos that may contain private

From:

This message is to notify you of a new appeal submission to the FOIAonline application. Appeal information is as follows:
* Appeal Tracking Number: DOJ-AP-2019-000697
* Request Tracking Number: 2018-51081
* Requester Name: Matthew Hoppock
* Date Submitted: 10/30/2018
* Appeal Status: Submitted
* Description: EOIR Appeal

From: Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review

see attached

From: Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review

DOJ-AP-2019-000697 has been processed with the following final disposition: Completely Reversed/Remanded

  • Other-20190917143726-Hoppock, Matthew EOIR DOJ-AP-2019-000697 appeal response (9-16-19) remand,processing

From: Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review

Matthew, please see partial FOIA response attached.

Wr/
Joseph R. Schaaf
Supervisory Attorney-Advisor
Executive Office for Immigration Review

From: Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review

Matthew, please see final FOIA response attached.

Wr/
Joseph R. Schaaf
Supervisory Attorney-Advisor
Executive Office for Immigration Review

Files

pages

Close