CIA-DOJ liaisons 1970s (Department of Justice - FOIA/PA Mail Referral Unit)

Emma Best filed this request with the Department of Justice - FOIA/PA Mail Referral Unit of the United States of America.
Tracking #

EMRUFOIA101818-3

Multi Request CIA-DOJ liaisons 1970s
Due Nov. 28, 2018
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Emma Best


To Whom It May Concern:

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

Records mentioning or generated as a result of liaisons and contacts between CIA officials and the following DOJ personnel:

ESTRIN, Bary (Patent Section)
SPEVACK, David (Patent Section)
WERTH, Michael W. (Civil Division, patent law)

For the purposes of this request, the words "contacts" and "liaisons" are being used in the way CIA used them in CIA-RDP78-00300R000100090121-9 (dated 1975), which officially disclosed these relationships. A copy of the file can be found at https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP78-00300R000100090121-9.pdf. This request may be limited to the beginning of 1970 through the end of 1979.

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities, with some reaching over 100,000 readers in outlets such as MuckRock, Motherboard, Property of the People, AND Magazine, Unicorn Riot, and more. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through non-profits such as the library Internet Archive and and the journalist non-profit, MuckRock, disseminating them to a large audience. While my research is not limited to this, a great deal of it, including this, focuses on the activities and attitudes of the government itself. As such, it is not necessary for me to demonstrate the relevance of this particular subject in advance.

Additionally, case law states that “proof of the ability to disseminate the released information to a broad cross- section of the public is not required.” Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep’t of Justice, 365 F.3d 1108, 1126 (D.C. Cir. 2004); see Carney v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 19 F.3d 807, 814-15 (2d Cir. 1994). Further, courts have held that "qualified because it also had “firm” plans to “publish a number of . . . ‘document sets’” concerning United States foreign and national security policy." Under this criteria, as well, I qualify as a member of the news media.

Additionally, courts have held that the news media status "focuses on the nature of the requester, not its request. The provision requires that the request be “made by” a representative of the news media. Id. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II). A newspaper reporter, for example, is a representative of the news media regardless of how much interest there is in the story for which he or she is requesting information." As such, the details of the request itself are moot for the purposes of determining the appropriate fee category.

As my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available, I request that fees be waived.

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,

Emma Best

From: Department of Justice - FOIA/PA Mail Referral Unit

Please see the attached response to your FOIA request. Please note, your request has been assigned tracking number EMRUFOIA101818-3.

From: Department of Justice - FOIA/PA Mail Referral Unit

Good Morning Ms. Best:

The Civil Division received your request for records mentioning or generated as a result of contacts between the CIA and individuals at the Department of Justice, Civil Division. I’m writing to see if you can help us clarify your request. Due to the age of the records requested, the records, to the extent they exist, would be in hard copy. I’m not sure how we would be able to conduct a search of records “mentioning or generated as a result of these contacts.” Any additional information you can provide would be helpful. Thank you.

Hirsh

Department of Justice - FOIA/PA Mail Referral Unit
FOIA Office
101 Independence Avenue Southeast
Washington, DC 20530-0001

October 18, 2018

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Records mentioning or generated as a result of liaisons and contacts between CIA officials and the following DOJ personnel:

ESTRIN, Bary (Patent Section)
SPEVACK, David (Patent Section)
WERTH, Michael W. (Civil Division, patent law)

For the purposes of this request, the words "contacts" and "liaisons" are being used in the way CIA used them in CIA-RDP78-00300R000100090121-9 (dated 1975), which officially disclosed these relationships. A copy of the file can be found at https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP78-00300R000100090121-9.pdf. This request may be limited to the beginning of 1970 through the end of 1979.

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities, with some reaching over 100,000 readers in outlets such as MuckRock, Motherboard, Property of the People, AND Magazine, Unicorn Riot, and more. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through non-profits such as the library Internet Archive and and the journalist non-profit, MuckRock, disseminating them to a large audience. While my research is not limited to this, a great deal of it, including this, focuses on the activities and attitudes of the government itself. As such, it is not necessary for me to demonstrate the relevance of this particular subject in advance.

Additionally, case law states that “proof of the ability to disseminate the released information to a broad cross- section of the public is not required.” Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep’t of Justice, 365 F.3d 1108, 1126 (D.C. Cir. 2004); see Carney v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 19 F.3d 807, 814-15 (2d Cir. 1994). Further, courts have held that "qualified because it also had “firm” plans to “publish a number of . . . ‘document sets’” concerning United States foreign and national security policy." Under this criteria, as well, I qualify as a member of the news media.

Additionally, courts have held that the news media status "focuses on the nature of the requester, not its request. The provision requires that the request be “made by” a representative of the news media. Id. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II). A newspaper reporter, for example, is a representative of the news media regardless of how much interest there is in the story for which he or she is requesting information." As such, the details of the request itself are moot for the purposes of determining the appropriate fee category.

As my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available, I request that fees be waived.

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,

Emma Best

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PLEASE NOTE: This request is not filed by a MuckRock staff member, but is being sent through MuckRock by the above in order to better track, share, and manage public records requests. Also note that improperly addressed (i.e., with the requester's name rather than "MuckRock News" and the department number) requests might be returned as undeliverable.
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From: Department of Justice - FOIA/PA Mail Referral Unit

Good Morning Ms. Best:

I’m following up on this. Thank you.

Hirsh

Hirsh D. Kravitz
Senior Supervisory FOIA Counsel
Office of FOIA, Records, and E-discovery
Department of Justice-Civil Division
202-514-2319

From: Department of Justice - FOIA/PA Mail Referral Unit

Good Morning Ms. Best:

On October 24, 2018, the Civil Division contacted you regarding your request for records pertaining to contacts between the CIA and individuals at the Department of Justice, Civil Division . In our communication, we informed you that we received your request but asked for a clarification. In this communication, we informed you that we could not conduct a search for records mentioning or generated as a result of contacts between the CIA and individuals at the Department of Justice, Civil Division and sought your assistance in clarifying your request. Having failed to receive a response to our communication, we attempted to contact you again via email on October 29, 2018. As of October 30, 2018, we have not received a response. Therefore, due to our inability to search for records responsive to your request as currently written, we are now closing your request. If you wish to modify your request or provide additional clarification, please submit a new request to our office. Thank you.

From: Emma Best

Hirsh,

"A letter was also sent to the requestor advising him of this referral."

Wow, thanks for going out of your way to misgender a transgender person.

Further, I specified exact individuals, the subject and time frame. The request is specific enough as defined by caselaw and statute. I'm not sure how you would like me to refine the search for you, but if there's something you're unclear about, I'd love to see the actual question so that I might answer it.

Emma Best

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