Declassification and Review Guide (Department of Defense, Freedom of Information Policy Office)

Emma Best filed this request with the Department of Defense, Freedom of Information Policy Office of the United States of America.
Tracking # 17-F-0563
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Appeal

Communications

From: Michael Best

To Whom It May Concern:

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

An electronic copy of the most recently produced declassification and review guide describing the procedures and rules for reviewing, declassifying and redacting documents pursuant to Executive Order 13526. If a new copy is currently being prepared, then I request the most recent draft copy of it as well.

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities for AND Magazine, MuckRock and Glomar Disclosure and have an open arrangement with each. My articles have been widely read, with some reaching over 100,000 readers. 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 the non-profit Internet Archive, 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 such, my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available and I therefore 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,

Michael Best

From: Gerow, Corynne N CIV WHS ESD (US)

Good Afternoon, Mr. Best,

Please find attached our interim response to your Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA) request received in this office on February 15, 2017. If you have
any
questions, you may contact me, the action officer assigned your request,
directly.

Thank You,
Corynne N. Gerow
OSD/JS FOIA Specialist
571.372.0410

............................................................................
Please note that the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) offers
services to requesters who have disputes with Federal agencies. If you have
concerns about the processing of your request, please contact OGIS at:

Office of Government Information Services
National Archives and Records Administration
8601 Adelphi Road-OGIS
College Park, MD 20740
E-mail: ogis@nara.gov
Telephone: 202-741-5770

From: Gerow, Corynne N CIV WHS ESD (US)

Good afternoon, Mr. Best,

Thank you for your email concerning your recent FOIA request, 17-F-0563. Due to a substantial FOIA backlog, our best estimate for completion is May 19, 2017. Please note that this is merely our best estimate and is subject to change. Therefore, I will inform you with any adjustments to the date provided.

If you have any questions, please contact me, the Action Officer assigned your request, directly.

Thank you,
Corynne N. Gerow
OSD/JS FOIA Specialist
571.372.0410

........................................................................................................
Please note that the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) offers
services to requesters who have disputes with Federal agencies. If you have
concerns about the processing of your request, please contact OGIS at:

Office of Government Information Services
National Archives and Records Administration
8601 Adelphi Road-OGIS
College Park, MD 20740
E-mail: ogis@nara.gov
Telephone: 202-741-5770
Fax: 202-741-5769
Toll-free: 1-877-684-6448

From: Department of Defense, Freedom of Information Policy Office

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: Emma Best

I am appealing the decision to withhold some of the records as well as the integrity of these redactions, including but not limited to the notion that any part of the declassification guide is compiled for law enforcement and would allow people to circumvent the DOD's law enforcement duties.

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