CBP UAS crash incident report (EXPEDITED)

Shawn Musgrave filed this request with the United States Customs and Border Protection of the United States of America.
Tracking # CBP-2014-013300
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Shawn Musgrave

To Whom It May Concern:

This is an EXPEDITED Freedom of Information Act request. I hereby request the following records:

The incident report, after-action report or other summary memorandum from the Predator B crash on January 27, 2014

I am an editor at MuckRock and regular contributor at VICE/Motherboard on unmanned aerial vehicles. I am writing an article, intended
for a wide public readership via both MuckRock and VICE/Motherboard, about CBP's response to the crash and administration of CBP's UAS/UAV program, and these records will be crucial in my attempt to provide the public with the most accurate possible information.

I am requesting Expedited Processing, which is permitted when there is a "compelling need" for it, defined by two circumstances: a) if "the information is urgently needed by an individual primarily engaged in disseminating information in order to inform the public concerning actual or alleged
Federal Government activity," and/ or, b] if failure to obtain the records "could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual."

VICE/Motherboard, for which I will be writing this piece, is an organization primarily engaged in disseminating information. The MuckRock-Motherboard Drone Census, in particular, has drawn considerable attention to the use of unmanned aerial vehicles by federal government agencies. As a journalist, I have an urgent need to inform the public concerning actual or alleged government activity. If I do not receive this information today or tomorrow, the public may be misinformed about CBP's activities.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

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: CBPFOIA@cbp.dhs.gov

Request CBP-2014-013300 has been processed with the following final disposition: Full denial based on exemptions

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Note: this email was originally sent to an invalid MuckRock email, and thus not seen until April 9, 2014.

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 Jan. 30, 2014. 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 Jan. 30, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello,

I have not received any sort of acknowledgement for this request, despite the requirement to respond to requests for expedited processing. I will be appealing this request immediately if I do not receive acknowledgement within three business days.

Thank you for your assistance.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello,

This request has not been acknowledged since it was submitted on Jan. 30, 2014. Diagnostic records show that it was sent to the correct fax number and arrived there.

Please advise as to the status of this request and when a response should be expected.

Respectfully yours,

From: TELL, STEPHANIE S.

Please be advised, we do not accept email requests for status updates or submission of new requests. Please use our FOIA Online system to check your status or to submit new request via: https://foia.cbp.gov/. This portal provides the public access to submit requests online, check status of their requests, and/or view CBP publicly available documents directly from their secure account.

Thank You -
Stephanie S. Tell, PHR, SWP, HCS

This communication may contain sensitive data that must be controlled and not to be released to the public or personnel who do not have a valid "need-to-know." Such data are subject to the For Official Use Only provisions in DHS Management Directive 11042.1.  Data containing Personally Identifiable Information (PII) must be secured in accordance with the DHS Handbook for Safeguarding Sensitive Personally Identifiable Information dated October 31, 2008. If you are not the addressee, or the person responsible for delivering it to the addressee, you are hereby notified that reading, disseminating, distributing or copying this message is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message by mistake, please immediately notify us by replying to the message and delete the original message immediately thereafter.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Respectfully, your agency has been utterly unresponsive. I am emailing because other forms of communication have failed, and because the FOIA Liaison, Sabrina Burroughs (cc'd) has not answered numerous attempts to reach her.

I submitted this request via fax on the date indicated below, and receipt was confirmed by our fax client. This being an expedited request, your agency has failed to meet its obligation to respond within 10 business days.

If you are unable to provide an update or response at this time, I will have no choice but to appeal.

Respectfully,
Shawn Musgrave

From: TELL, STEPHANIE S.

We've have responded to all of your emails on behalf of Sabrina Burroughs. All expedited requests and appeals must be submitted through the FOIA Online website.

Please be advised, this is the last email communication that this office will have with your company regarding status updates, new requests, expedited request, and appeals information. All of the information that you are seeking is available online via https://foia.cbp.gov/.

Thank You -
Stephanie S. Tell, PHR, SWP, HCS

This communication may contain sensitive data that must be controlled and not to be released to the public or personnel who do not have a valid "need-to-know." Such data are subject to the For Official Use Only provisions in DHS Management Directive 11042.1.  Data containing Personally Identifiable Information (PII) must be secured in accordance with the DHS Handbook for Safeguarding Sensitive Personally Identifiable Information dated October 31, 2008. If you are not the addressee, or the person responsible for delivering it to the addressee, you are hereby notified that reading, disseminating, distributing or copying this message is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message by mistake, please immediately notify us by replying to the message and delete the original message immediately thereafter.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Ms. Tell -

That is categorically untrue. CBP accepts FOIA requests by fax, in writing or via FOIA Online. Furthermore, as FOIA Liaison, Ms. Burroughs ought to be reachable by email.

Again, this is beyond a matter of nuisance. This is about CBP fulfilling its obligations under the FOIA.

I would be happy to discuss this matter further.

Respectfully,
Shawn Musgrave
MuckRock

From: TELL, STEPHANIE S.

Good afternoon,

I am responding on behalf of Sabrina Burroughs. Attached are the FOIA Requests number for each of your submission. Be advised, you can search by your name or your company to see all of your requests.

Thank You -
Stephanie S. Tell, PHR, SWP, HCS

This communication may contain sensitive data that must be controlled and not to be released to the public or personnel who do not have a valid "need-to-know." Such data are subject to the For Official Use Only provisions in DHS Management Directive 11042.1.  Data containing Personally Identifiable Information (PII) must be secured in accordance with the DHS Handbook for Safeguarding Sensitive Personally Identifiable Information dated October 31, 2008. If you are not the addressee, or the person responsible for delivering it to the addressee, you are hereby notified that reading, disseminating, distributing or copying this message is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message by mistake, please immediately notify us by replying to the message and delete the original message immediately thereafter.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello,

The attached spreadsheet indicates that this request (CBP-2014-013300) is "Closed." I have yet to receive any communication — neither acknowledgement nor closing letter — regarding this request.

I have also looked up this request on FOIAOnline, as you suggested. It includes no communications or explanation for why there is no due date indicated.

Please clarify.

-Shawn

  • CBP-2014-013300 -- FOIAOnline status check April 9 2014 .pdf

From: TELL, STEPHANIE S.

Attached is the final response letter. Also, be advised our office do not process appeals. Please see the appeals language in letter to reach out the appeals litigation branch.

Thank You -
Stephanie S. Tell, PHR, SWP, HCS

This communication may contain sensitive data that must be controlled and not to be released to the public or personnel who do not have a valid "need-to-know." Such data are subject to the For Official Use Only provisions in DHS Management Directive 11042.1.  Data containing Personally Identifiable Information (PII) must be secured in accordance with the DHS Handbook for Safeguarding Sensitive Personally Identifiable Information dated October 31, 2008. If you are not the addressee, or the person responsible for delivering it to the addressee, you are hereby notified that reading, disseminating, distributing or copying this message is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message by mistake, please immediately notify us by replying to the message and delete the original message immediately thereafter.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Thank you for sending this closing letter. It appears that it was originally sent requests@muckrock.com rather than requests@muckrock.com (note the B versus the 8), and thus not seen until you resent. Please note that numerous requests for update that were faxed to CBP went unanswered, and thus this miscommunication went on for nearly 2 months.

Thank you for resolving this issue. I consider this request closed.

-Shawn

From: Shawn Musgrave

U.S. Customs and Border Protection
FOIA Appeals, Policy and Litigation Branch
90 K Street, NE, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20229-1177

April 10, 2014

To Whom It May Concern:

This is an appeal of the rejection of FOIA CBP-2014-013300.

I appeal the blanket denial of records for this request. While I understand that there is an ongoing investigation into the cited crash, this investigation does not preclude the release (or necessitate the withholding) of all sections of the documents I have requested. In particular, summary memoranda regarding the crash ought to be releasable in part if not in whole. That is, portions of the requested documents that pertain to the ongoing investigation ought to be segregable or subject to redaction, so that other portions can be released.

The issue of UAS crashes is of incredible public interest, particularly as federal, state and local agencies continue to integrate UAS into domestic airspace. As a journalist, I request that this FOIA be remanded back to CBP for additional consideration and for release of the requested documents.

Thank you,

Shawn Musgrave

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello,

The appeal below has yet to be acknowledged. Can you confirm whether it was received?

Thank you.

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 Jan. 30, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #CBP-2014-013300.

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 Jan. 30, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #CBP-2014-013300.

Thank you for your help.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello,

The FOIA appeal submitted in April still has yet to be acknowledged in any way. Please advise.

-Shawn

From: LYNCH, PETER T

Mr. Musgrave. I wrote the attached message to you last month. Unfortunately, we are still working with A&M to get the AAR so we can forward it to you. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me directly.

"Mr. Musgrave: I have been assigned to respond to the FOIA appeal you filed which requested the after-action report for the UAV crash which occurred in January 2014. I have been in touch with our Office of Air and Marine Operations and have been informed that the after-action report is still ongoing and thus there are no currently available records. However, they have also told me that they anticipate that the investigation should be concluded in the three to four weeks and that the after-action report which you have requested should be available at that time. I am writing to let you know that I am working on obtaining the report for you and to ask for your forbearance until the report has been completed. Once it is final, I will forward you a copy (which may contain some redactions).
Thank you for your patience and understanding."

This message was sent to:
'requests@muckrock.com'
On May 13th 2014.

Peter T. Lynch, Senior Attorney
FOIA Appeals, Policy & Litigation Branch
Regulations and Disclosure Law Division
Office of International Trade
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
90 K Street, NE, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20229-1177
((202.325.0129
(  202.325.0152
 
This document may contain confidential data, attorney work-product, and/or information intended for U.S. Government use only. The information contained in this document is not for release, review, retransmission, dissemination or use by anyone other than the intended recipient(s) absent expressed consent of the originator. Further, this document is not intended to serve as legal precedent unless specifically stated. If you are not the intended recipient of this transmission, please delete all copies of the message and notify the sender immediately.

From: Bureau of Customs and Border Protection

A cover letter granting the request and outlining any exempted materials, if any.

From: Bureau of Customs and Border Protection

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: MuckRock

An unredacted copy of the report downloaded from the National Transportation Safety Board website.

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