|Submitted||June 14, 2014|
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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:
Contracts, agreements, purchase orders, and any correspondence or
communications with Google Special Services, Inc. or Google Federal, including email. Their DUNS number is 965324705 and their CAGE code is 6MHC8. They are located at 1818 Library Street Ste. 400, Reston, Virginia, 20190.
I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I am making this request in the public interest, and as a member of the news media. I have established a project at MuckRock looking into the activities of the NSA and other intelligence agencies. Despite the short time I have been making and publishing requests through MuckRock, this project has garnered international media attention and was written up in Forbes. (http://www.forbes.com/sites/runasandvik/2013/11/26/illuminating-the-united-states-billion-dollar-intelligence-budget-project-spylighter-documents-surveillance-technology-used-by-the-nsa/) The Forbes article was covered in several other media outlets, and even reported in Spanish. (http://www.desdeabajo.info/actualidad/internacional/item/23165-spylighter-documenta-la-compra-de-tecnolog%C3%ADa-de-vigilancia-masiva-por-parte-de-la-nsa.html) I have an ongoing relationship with Runa Sandvik, a well-known journalist and technologist who wrote the article at Forbes.
I have also written at other media outlets about documents received from previous FOIA requests (http://www.occupy.com/article/why-we-need-whistleblowers).
All documents released to MuckRock are published on the MuckRock website. The documents are not merely posted, but analyzed by journalists at MuckRock and media outlets around the world. MuckRock has over 1,000 active users and tens of thousands of readers. An incomplete list of outlets reporting news broken at MuckRock can be found here: https://pinboard.in/u:morisy/t:muckrock_press/
My first successful request to the NSA for contracts with Vupen was widely reported. There was significant interest in the fact that the NSA was purchasing exploits services from a foreign contractor. A few examples of press regarding that release are below:
The Register: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/09/17/nsa_vupen/
Information Week: http://www.informationweek.com/security/government/nsa-contracted-with-zero-day-vendor-vupe/240161389
Computing: http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/news/2295155/nsa-bought-zero-day-vulnerabilities-from-security-company-vupen Slate:http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/09/17/nsa_paid_french_hacker_company_vupen_for_software_exploits.html
RT: http://rt.com/usa/nsa-vupen-exploit-hack-978/ Mashable: http://mashable.com/2013/09/17/nsa-french-hacking-tools-vupen/
The Hacker News: http://thehackernews.com/2013/09/nsa-bought-hacking-tools-from-vupen.html
The Daily Dot: http://www.dailydot.com/politics/nsa-malware-vupen/
The information sought does contribute to the public understanding and is in the public interest. With the publishing of the Snowden materials and the surrounding media coverage, the past few months have demonstrated a significant increase in the public’s interest in the activities of the NSA, the CIA, and other intelligence agencies. It benefits the public to understand how our money is being spent, and the relationship of agencies with their private contractors.
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.
An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.
This is response to a letter dated July 2, 2014 regarding FOIA request F-2014-01815. As you requested, to clarify, I would like correspondence and communications that are related to the contracts or agreements I requested. Please let me know if you have any questions or need further clarification.
To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on June 14, 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 #F-2014-01815.
Thank you for your help.
A letter stating the request for reduced or waived fees has been rejected.
Dear Ms. Meeks:
Thank you for the prompt response to my FOIA request number F-2014-01815. This letter serves as an appeal for the denial of my fee waiver request. However, in order to expedite processing of this request pending appeal, I am willing to pay $50 beyond the two hours of free search time.
My fee waiver appears to have been denied on the basis that the information I seek is not in the public interest, but it absolutely is in the public interest to have a clearer understanding of the services Google provides to federal agencies. Google is a publicly traded company, with vast resources and reach into the daily lives of millions of people. Its stockholders, and the public at large, have an interest, and a right, to know more about how it contracts with the federal government. As taxpayers we all have an additional interest in learning about how our money is spent. The release of these contracts will help tear down the veil of public ignorance about what the US federal government is doing with one of the most used online services in the world.
I urge you to reconsider my request for a fee waiver and release the documents requested in the public interest. Thank you.
A no responsive documents response.