|Submitted||Oct. 10, 2013|
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To Whom It May Concern:
This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:
Any guidance, memo, protocol, directive or other document (or segment of another document) written by or for the Chief FOIA/Privacy Officer that provides departmental application of FOIA exemption 5 from 1990 to the day this request is processed.
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.
Attached is our acknowledgment to your DHS FOIA request. If you need to contact this office again concerning your request, please provide the DHS reference number. This will enable us to quickly retrieve the information you are seeking and reduce our response time. This office can be reached at 866-431-0486.
Thank you for acknowledging 2014-HQFO-00008. I must admit that I'm confused by your determination, as well as by DHS Privacy Office's general inclination of late toward classifying me as a commercial requester rather than as a representative of the news media.
It seems that your qualifications for who qualifies under which category are not being consistently applied. See, for instance, the attached letter classifying my intern, Zack Sampson, as an "all other" requester, rather than as a commercial requester. Please note that this determination was made by your office today.
Furthermore, I am undoubtedly a media requester. My work on national security and the government has been featured not only on MuckRock's original news site (muckrock.com/news), but in such outlets as the Boston Globe, VICE/Motherboard, The Phoenix, The Progressive, and a number of other outlets.
Now, I can certainly understand your confusion about the status of MuckRock overall, since in addition to conducting original investigations we also facilitate our users' requests, for which we do charge a processing fee to cover costs. This means that you must classify each MuckRock user individually into the appropriate fee category.
In my case, it could not be clearer that I am a media requester.
Good Morning, Attached is our final response to your request. If you need to contact this office again concerning your request, please provide the DHS reference number. This will enable us to quickly retrieve the information you are seeking and reduce our response time. This office can be reached at 866-431-0486. Regards, DHS Privacy Office Disclosure & FOIA Program