Correspondence between LinkedIn and the FBI

Jeff Elder filed this request with the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America.
Tracking # NFP-46470
Est. Completion None
Status
Partially Completed

Communications

From: Jeff Elder

To Whom It May Concern:

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

I am a journalist for The Wall Street Journal seeking all correspondence between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and LinkedIn Inc. Please include any cross-referenced records and any Electronic Surveillance records.

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 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,

Jeff Elder

From: Sobonya, David P. (RMD) (FBI)

Dear Mr. Elder,

The FBI has received your Freedom of Information Act/Privacy (FOIPA) request and it will be forwarded to Initial Processing for review. Your request will be processed under the provisions of FOIPA and a response will be mailed to you at a later date.

Requests for fee waivers and expedited processing will be addressed once your request has been assigned an FOIPA request number. You will receive written notification of the FBI’s decision.

Information regarding the Freedom of Information Act/Privacy is available at http://www.fbi.gov<http://www.fbi.gov>/, http://www.fbi.gov/foia/ or http://www.justice.gov/oip. If you require additional assistance please contact the Public Information Officer.

Thank you,

David P. Sobonya
Public Information Officer/GIS
Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)
FBI-Records Management Division
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843
PIO: (540) 868-4593
Direct: (540) 868-4286
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997

From: Jeff Elder

Thank you. I look forward to seeing the documents. Can you estimate how long that will take?
Thanks,
Jeff
704-650-4130

From: Sobonya, David P. (RMD) (FBI)

Dear Mr. Elder,

The search for records responsive to your request is ongoing. When a request for an estimated date of completion is received while the search for records is not yet complete, estimated dates of completion are based on the median processing time of large queue requests. Accordingly, the estimated date on which the FBI will complete action on your request is 515 days from the date of your request.

Please contact me if you require further assistance.

Thank you,

Note: Once the search has been completed and if responsive records exist the request is forwarded to the backlog where it awaits assignment to a Government Information Specialist (GIS). The GIS reviews the records to determine if any redactions are required pursuant to subsections of Title 5, U. S. Code, Section § 552 and 552a. If no records are located, the requester is also notified.

David P. Sobonya
Public Information Officer/GIS
Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)
FBI-Records Management Division
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843
PIO: (540) 868-4593
Direct: (540) 868-4286
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997

From: Jeff Elder

515 days seems like a long time. Is there any way to expedite this? I ask in part because the FBI has a reputation for intentionally delaying FOIA requests:

https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2014/feb/12/quick-protip-better-fbi-foia-requests/

From: Sobonya, David P. (RMD) (FBI)

Dear Mr. Elder,

This is in reference to your inquiry related to the requirements for granting expedited processing. Pursuant to the U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) standards permitting expedition, expedited processing can only be granted when it is determined that a FOIPA request involves one or more of the below categories:

1. 28 C.F.R. § 16.5 (d) (1) (i): “Circumstances in which the lack of expedited treatment could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to life or physical safety of an individual.”
2. 28 C.F.R. §16.5(d) (1) (ii): “An urgency to inform the public about an actual or alleged federal government activity, if made by a person primarily engaged in disseminating information.”
3. 28 C.F.R. § 16.5 (d) (1) (iii): “The loss of substantial due process of rights.”
4. 28 C.F.R. § 16.5 (d) (1) (IV): “A matter of widespread and exceptional media interest in which there exist possible questions about the government’s integrity which affect public confidence.”

Requesters must submit a request for Expedited Processing and upon receipt and review, written notification will be mailed to the requester notifying them that Expedited Processing has been “granted” or “denied”. If approved, the Record/Information Dissemination Section will process the request “as soon as practicable.”

Additional information regarding Expedited Processing can be viewed by accessing the following: http://www.fbi.gov/foia/ and click on the U. S. Department of Justice Reference Guide link (Section VI: Expedited Processing).

Thank you,

David P. Sobonya
Public Information Officer/GIS
Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)
FBI-Records Management Division
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843
PIO: (540) 868-4593
Direct: (540) 868-4286
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A fix is required to perfect the request. The request has been rejected as being too vague, burdensome or otherwise unprocessable.

From: Jeff Elder

How is correspondence between the bureau and a social network too vague? I would like to see emails between the FBI and LinkedIn Inc. , the company. Can you please explain?
Thank you,
Jeff

From: Sobonya, David P. (RMD) (FBI)

Dear Mr. Elder,

The FBI has received your additional correspondence regarding your Freedom of Information Act/Privacy (FOIPA) request and it has been forwarded to Initial Processing or the assigned analyst for review. If appropriate, a response will be forthcoming.

Additional information regarding the FOIPA may be accessed at http://www.fbi.gov/, http://www.fbi.gov/foia/ or http://www.justice.gov/oip.

If you require additional assistance please contact me.

Thank you,

David P. Sobonya
Public Information Officer/GIS
Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)
FBI-Records Management Division
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843
PIO: (540) 868-4593
Direct: (540) 868-4286
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997

From: Jeff Elder

Is this an automated response? How is correspondence between one company and the FBI too vague? FYI, via the FOIA ombudsman's office I have won FOIA appeals with the Defense Department and Department of Homeland Security. One took a year and the other four months, and each took dozens of followups. I'm happy to do that again.

From: FOIPAQUESTIONS

Good morning,

In our letter dated May 22, 2015, you were advised that the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides for access to Government records where the records sought are “reasonably described” [Title 5, United States Code, Section 552(a)(3)(A)]. You were advised that your request letter did not contain enough descriptive information to permit a search of our records. In an e-mail dated June 11, 2015 you contacted this office inquiring as to why your request was deemed too vague.

For your information, the FBI Central Records System is not arranged in a manner that allows for the retrieval of information in the form for which you have requested. Items are indexed according to individual investigatory interests. Your request regarding “Communications between the FBI and LinkedIn, Inc.” has been deemed a Non-FOIPA because it does not provide any specification to the aforementioned individual investigatory interests that would allow our analysts to search for records responsive to your request.

In accordance with Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations Part 16.3(b), you may provide us with more specific information. This would entail a response to our office detailing the specific “communications between the FBI and LinkedIn, Inc.” referenced in your request letter dated May 18, 2015, or providing our office with what investigation you believe these communications are located within. If you are requesting any records that are potentially responsive to “LinkedIn, Inc.” or any potential investigations into “LinkedIn, Inc.” by the FBI, you may submit a new request for these records. This should not be taken as an indication that these records do, or do not, exist.

If you choose to make a new request, please note that the FOIA does not require federal agencies to answer inquiries, create records, conduct research, or draw conclusions concerning queried data. Rather the FOIA requires agencies to provide access to reasonably described, nonexempt records.

If you are not satisfied with the results of your request you may file an appeal with the Office of Information Policy (OIP), United States Department of Justice. Please follow the instructions below when submitting your appeal to OIP.

Please note: Do not submit your appeal to the FBI.

Appeals should be directed in writing to the following:

Director,
Office of Information Policy (OIP)
U. S. Department of Justice
1425 New York Avenue, N. W., Suite 11050
Washington, D, C. 20530-0001.

Your appeal must be received by OIP within sixty (60) days from the date of your letter in order to be considered timely. The envelope and the letter should be clearly marked, “Freedom of Information Appeal.” Please cite the FOIPA Request Number assigned to your request so that it may be indentified easily.

OIP’s Customer Service Number is #202-514-3642.

Thank you,

Kimberly L. Deutsch
Management and Program Analyst/ Public Information Officer
Records/Information Dissemination Section Front Office
Records Management Division
Federal Bureau of Investigation
170 Marcel Drive Winchester, VA 22602
Personal Desk: (540) 868-4595
Public Information Desk: (540) 868-4593
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997

From: Jeff Elder

Re your last email, "In accordance with Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations Part 16.3(b), you may provide us with more specific information. This would entail a response to our office detailing the specific “communications between the FBI and LinkedIn, Inc.” referenced in your request letter dated May 18, 2015."
I am seeking correspondence between the FBI and LinkedIn Inc. related to FBI use of LinkedIn user profiles for purposes of investigations or surveillance.
Does that provide the specifics that you need? I am also happy to appeal, and to continue this correspondence daily ad nauseum. I think it might be more expedient if the FBI simply began looking.
Thank you,
Jeff Elder

From: FOIPAQUESTIONS

Good afternoon,

Unfortunately, the description that you’ve provided still does not provide enough information to be considered a proper FOIA request. Additional information that could be provided to perfect this request include the specific profiles or individuals you are looking for correspondence between, or by providing the specific investigation(s) you believe this tactic is used in.

Again, if you are not satisfied with the results of your request you may file an appeal with the Office of Information Policy (OIP), United States Department of Justice. You may follow the instructions below when submitting your appeal to OIP.

Please note: Do not submit your appeal to the FBI.

Appeals should be directed in writing to the following:

Director,
Office of Information Policy (OIP)
U. S. Department of Justice
1425 New York Avenue, N. W., Suite 11050
Washington, D, C. 20530-0001.

Your appeal must be received by OIP within sixty (60) days from the date of your letter in order to be considered timely. The envelope and the letter should be clearly marked, “Freedom of Information Appeal.” Please cite the FOIPA Request Number assigned to your request so that it may be indentified easily.

OIP’s Customer Service Number is #202-514-3642.

Thank you,
Kimberly L. Deutsch
Management and Program Analyst/ Public Information Officer
Records/Information Dissemination Section Front Office
Records Management Division
Federal Bureau of Investigation
170 Marcel Drive Winchester, VA 22602
Personal Desk: (540) 868-4595
Public Information Desk: (540) 868-4593
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997

From: Jeff Elder

The appeals form says I need my request number. I don't see that in our correspondence anywhere. What is it?

From: FOIPAQUESTIONS

Your request number is NFP-46470.

Thank you,
Kimberly L. Deutsch
Management and Program Analyst/ Public Information Officer
Records/Information Dissemination Section Front Office
Records Management Division
Federal Bureau of Investigation
170 Marcel Drive Winchester, VA 22602
Personal Desk: (540) 868-4595
Public Information Desk: (540) 868-4593
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997

From: Jeff Elder

Thanks very much. What is the estimated timeline on an appeal?

From: Jeff Elder

Thanks very much. What is the estimated timeline on an appeal?

From: FOIPAQUESTIONS

Good afternoon,

Appeals are filed to the Office of Information Policy and are not adjudicated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. All further inquiries regarding the status of your appeal should be directed to that office.

Thank you,
Kimberly L. Deutsch
Management and Program Analyst/ Public Information Officer
Records/Information Dissemination Section Front Office
Records Management Division
Federal Bureau of Investigation
170 Marcel Drive Winchester, VA 22602
Personal Desk: (540) 868-4595
Public Information Desk: (540) 868-4593
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997

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 May 18, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #NFP-46470.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIPAQUESTIONS

Dear Mr. Elder,

Your request was closed on 5-29-2015. If you are seeking an update on the status of your appeal, Appeals are filed to the Office of Information Policy and are not adjudicated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. All further inquiries regarding the status of your appeal should be directed to that office.

Thank you,

Lauren McGuinn
Public Liaison/GIS
Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)
FBI-Records Management Division
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843
PIO: (540) 868-4593
Direct: (540) 868-4286
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997
E-mail: foiparequest@ic.fbi.gov<mailto:foiparequest@ic.fbi.gov>
Questions E-mail: foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov<mailto:foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov>

Do you have further questions about the FOI/PA process? Visit us at http://www.fbi.gov/foia

Please check the status of your request online at http://www.fbi.gov/foia by clicking on the CHECK STATUS OF YOUR FOI/PA REQUEST under the FOIA INDEX located on the right side of the page. Status updates are performed on a weekly basis.

Files

pages

Close