Contracts and interested vendors for DHS Solicitation Number 271630

Heather Akers-Healy filed this request with the United States Secret Service of the United States of America.
Tracking # 20140076
Due Nov. 27, 2013
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response
Tags

Communications

From: Heather Akers-Healy

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

Contracts, memoranda, and correspondence relating to, and the list of vendors who submitted documents in response to, the Department of Homeland Security's Solicitation Number 271630 for an "Integrated Telecommunications Intercept System." This request was made on behalf of the United States Secret Service on May 12, 2011. (https://www.fbo.gov/?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=69dfadb4187e0e99b61a3aa9f06d69d4&tab=core&_cview=0)

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,

Heather Akers-Healy

From: FOIA

Dear Requester:

Please see the attached letter regarding your recent FOIA/PA Request submitted to the United States Secret Service. Failure to respond within 30 days will result in the administrative closure of your file.

Sincerely,

United States Secret Service

FOIA/PA Program

All e-mail to/from this account is subject to official review and is for official use only. Action may be taken in response to any inappropriate use of the Secret Service's e-mail system. This e-mail may contain information that is privileged, law enforcement sensitive, or subject to other disclosure limitations. Such information is loaned to you and should not be further disseminated without the permission of the Secret Service. If you have received this e-mail in error, do not keep, use, disclose, or copy it; notify the sender immediately and delete it.

From: Heather Akers-Healy

This is an appeal and further clarification regarding this agency's recent determination to deny my request to be considered a representative of the news media for FOIA fee categorization.

First, I ask that my request continue to be processed pending review of my appeal. I agree to pay up to $100 in fees if my appeal is denied, and do not wish to further delay this request pending appeal. If further clarification is needed, please let me know and I am happy to provide
it.

Secondly, I would like to appeal your determination that I am an "commercial" requester for fees purposes. I request that you please re-classify me as a media requester.

To address the standards for media requesters more fully:

1) Requester must be a person or entity that gathers information of
potential interest (news) to a segment of the public. The FOIA defines
'news' as information that is about current events or that would be of
current interest to the public.

Both MuckRock as an organization and I as an individual, gather and report news of great interest to the general public.

MuckRock requests and editorial pieces are regularly re-reported by local, national, and international news organizations, and have sparked congressional questioning, administrative reforms, and broader understanding.

For example, a MuckRock request and reporting on the TOR network:

https://www.muckrock.com/foi/united-states-of-america-10/silk-road-anonymous-marketplace-doj-801/
https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2012/jun/08/hunting-child-porn-fbi-stymied-tor-undernet/

Which in turn has been cited in numerous other reports:
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/06/fbi-halted-one-child-porn-inquiry-because-tor-got-in-the-way/
http://freebeacon.com/anonymous-jihad/

The Boston Phoenix provided an in-depth profile of our editorial operations:

http://thephoenix.com/boston/news/111660-muckrock-city/

While noted media commentator Dan Kennedy said MuckRock was a "first amendment hero in the making":

http://dankennedy.net/2010/11/18/a-first-amendment-hero-in-the-making/

An incomplete list of other outlets re-reporting news broken by MuckRock can be found here:

https://pinboard.in/u:morisy/t:muckrock_press/

My own individual requests are part of this editorial process, and already released documents have been analyzed and reported on at various media outlets:

Muckrock: https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2013/sep/17/nsas-contract-vupen-darth-vader-cybersecurity/

Gawker: http://gawker.com/nsa-paid-french-hackers-for-software-exploits-1341604032

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

2) Requester must use its editorial skills to turn the raw materials into a distinct work.

Unlike some FOIA repository sites, MuckRock also publishes a large amount of original editorial material based on the documents requested by its community. This editorial analysis and commentary is primarily published on its own site:

https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/

But occasionally syndicated or appearing in other publications under agreement, such as this investigative front-page story in the Boston Globe:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/04/08/big-brother-better-police-work-new-technology-automatically-runs-license-plates-everyone/1qoAoFfgp31UnXZT2CsFSK/story.html

The editorial capacity includes, but is not limited to, original analysis, original interviews, synthesis of materials, and added context around the documents. MuckRock's team consists of journalists with experience at a number of other more traditional news outlets including the Boston Phoenix, the Weekly Dig, the New York Daily News, the Boston Globe, and numerous other local, regional, and national publications, and they bring this experience and expertise to bear in analyzing and reporting on requested documents.

3) Requester must distribute that work to an audience.

MuckRock has over 1,000 active members and tens of thousands of readers, constituting a large and, as cited above, obviously influential audience of educated news consumers, so that news reported on the site spreads far beyond its direct readership. For further reference, I again point
this office to:

https://pinboard.in/u:morisy/t:muckrock_press/

Thank you for your consideration and prompt response to this request, and please do not hesitate to follow up with any further clarifications or questions.

Sincerely,

Heather Akers-Healy

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 Oct. 23, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #20140076.

Thank you for your help.

From: United States Secret Service

A letter stating the request for reduced or waived fees has been rejected.

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 Oct. 23, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #20140076.

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 Oct. 23, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #20140076.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA

Please be advised, we are processing your request for information. At this time, we do not have an estimated date of completion.

Sincerely,

United States Secret Service
FOIA/PA Program

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 Oct. 23, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #20140076.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA

Please be advised, our office is processing your request for information. As we continuously work to reduce our backlog we have encountered a delay in completing the processing of your request. We appreciate your continued patience and apologize for any inconvenience caused by our delayed response. If you have any further questions you may contact this office at (202) 406-5838.

Sincerely,

United States Secret Service
FOIA/PA Program

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 Oct. 23, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #20140076.

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 Oct. 23, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #20140076.

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 Oct. 23, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #20140076.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA

Please be advised, we have received responsive documents in this office pertaining to your request. Your file is now in processing. Once the processing is complete, we will forward all releasable information to you.

Sincerely,

United States Secret Service
FOIA/PA Program

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 Oct. 23, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #20140076.

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 Oct. 23, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #20140076.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA

Good Afternoon,

Your FOIA/PA Request is currently being processed by this office. Unfortunately, at this time, we do not have an estimated date of completion. If you have any questions regarding this matter please contact this office at (202) 406-5838.

Sincerely,

United States Secret Service
FOIA/PA Program

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 Oct. 23, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #20140076.

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 Oct. 23, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #20140076.

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 Oct. 23, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #20140076.

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 Oct. 23, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #20140076.

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 Oct. 23, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #20140076.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA

Reference is made to your Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Acts (FOIA/PA) request which was originally submitted to the United States Secret Service (USSS) on October 23, 2013, for information pertaining to contracts, memoranda, and correspondence relating to, and the list of vendors who submitted documents in response to, the Department of Homeland Security’s Solicitation Number 271630 for an “Integrated Telecommunications Intercept System.”

We are currenlty encountering some delay in processing your request. We sincerely apologize for the delay and any inconvenience it may have caused. However, we want to let you know that we have been making every effort to reduce the backlog of cases, and your file is scheduled to be reviewed in the near future.

For your information, a search for files responsive to your request is being conducted. The appropriate components of the USSS are being queried for responsive documents. If any responsive records are located, they will be reviewed for determination of releasability. Upon completion of the processing, all documents that can be released will be made available, to you, at the earliest possible date. You will be contacted before any additional fees are accrued.

We solicit your cooperation and assure you that the search is being conducted as expeditiously as possible. If you have any questions or would like to discuss this matter, please contact this office at (202) 406-5838. Please use the file number indicated above in all future correspondence with this office.

Sincerely,

FOIA/PA Program

From: Heather Akers-Healy

Thank you for the update on my request number 20140076. I'm writing to follow up on a voicemail I just left with your office regarding a question about the status. In July of 2014, I received an update saying that responsive documents had been received and were being processed for release. Your latest update indicates that the search is just now being conducted. This seems to be a contradiction. Please release the documents found previously as soon as possible. This request is now 1.5 years behind schedule. I appreciate your cooperation and attention to this matter. Thank you.

From: Heather Akers-Healy

Thank you for the update last month on my request number 20140076. Someone from your office called me shortly after I sent my last message and was going to research what had happened with this request, as per a previous update in July 2014 it appeared responsive documents had already been received. I would appreciate it if any previously discovered documents could be released ASAP. I appreciate your cooperation and attention to this matter. 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 Oct. 23, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #20140076.

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 Oct. 23, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #20140076.

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 Oct. 23, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #20140076.

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 Oct. 23, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #20140076.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.

From: FOIA

MuckRock
DEPT MR 8637
411A Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02144-2516
Attn: Heather Akers-Healy

File Number: 20140076

Dear Requester:

Reference is made to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, which was originally submitted to the United States Secret Service (Secret Service) on November 26, 2013, for information pertaining to Contracts, memoranda, and correspondence relating to, and the list of vendors who submitted documents in response to, the Department of Homeland Security’s Solicitation Number 271630 for an “Integrated Telecommunications Intercept System.”

In our acknowledgement letter to you, we advised you that due to the increasing number of FOIA requests received by this office, we could encounter some delay in processing your request. However, we want to let you know that we have been making every effort to reduce the backlog of cases.

For your information, your request is in processing. Upon completion of the processing, all documents that can be released will be made available to you at the earliest possible date.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this matter, please contact this office at (202) 406-6370. Please use the file number indicated above in all future correspondence with this office.

Thank you,

Freedom of Information Act & Privacy Act Program
United States Secret Service
245 Murray Lane, SW, Building T-5
Washington, DC 20223
Phone: (202) 406-6370
Fax: (202) 406-5586
Email: FOIA@USSS.DHS.GOV<mailto:Foia@usss.dhs.gov>

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