Deleted Tweets on @StopALB and @beetlebusters

Muira McCammon filed this request with the U.S. Department Of Agriculture, Office of the Secretary of the United States of America.
Tracking #

2020-APHIS-04627-F

Est. Completion None
Status
No Responsive Documents

Communications

From: Muira McCammon

To Whom It May Concern:

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

I would like copies of all tweets deleted by the two Twitter handles associated with the Department of Agriculture’s National Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program (@StopALB and @beetlebusters) from July 2009 to the present. This would include any tweets sent out on Twitter that were deleted or kept in draft form from the Twitter account @StopALB and @beetlebusters. ‏This request also would include copies of any e-mails or correspondence regarding the drafting and deletion of these tweets.

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.

I am a journalist whose works have appeared in Slate, VICE, the Massachusetts Review, Kill Screen, and elsewhere. This FOIA request is part of research for an ongoing piece of journalistic work, and as such, I am requesting a fee waiver. I have submitted versions of this FOIA request to other agencies, including the Office of Government Ethics, and in the process, I have been granted this fee waiver without question. My most recent article on this subject appeared in Slate in April 2018 and was titled “Can They Really Delete That?”.

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,
Muira McCammon
muira.mccammon@asc.upenn.edu

From: Muira McCammon

Hi,

I am requesting a status update and acknowledgment of my FOIA request, regarding deleted tweets on @StopALB and @beetlebusters.

I have not heard anything from your office since I filed my request on 8/23/2018. This is not acceptable, and I would appreciate your prompt attention.

Thank you,
Muira McCammon

From: U.S. Department Of Agriculture, Office of the Secretary

Good morning,

The agency’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) currently is processing you request. APHIS’s FOIA Office can be reached directly at FOIA.Officer@usda.gov<mailto:FOIA.Officer@usda.gov>. You may contact APHIS for status updates.

The Departmental FOIA Office

From: Muira McCammon

Hi,

I am requesting a status update and acknowledgment of my FOIA request, regarding deleted tweets on @StopALB and @beetlebusters.

I have not heard anything from your office since I filed my request on 8/23/2018. This is not acceptable, and I would appreciate your prompt attention.

I received the following message on 07/23/20: "The agency’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) currently is processing you request. APHIS’s FOIA Office can be reached directly at FOIA.Officer@usda.gov<mailto:FOIA.Officer@usda.gov>. You may contact APHIS for status updates. The Departmental FOIA Office."

So, I am contacting you all to see what is happening. Thank you in advance for any updates.

In gratitude,
Muira

Muira McCammon
Ph.D. candidate, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania
M.L., University of Pennsylvania Law School (2020)
M.A. in Translation Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (2016)

From: U.S. Department Of Agriculture, Office of the Secretary

Dear Mr. Muira,
I will like to apologize for the delay in responding to your FOIA request. Your request attached was recently assigned to me for processing on 6/5/2020. We are still awaiting the records from the program office for processing. Your request is currently number 8 in my queue. Please, I will ensure you are updated once we hear from the program office. Please, do contact me with any questions you may have regarding your request.
David Ajua
Government Information Specialist
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Legislative and Public Affairs
Room 2B-02.6
4700 River Road-Riverdale, MD 20737
david.ajua@usda.gov<mailto:david.ajua@usda.gov>
Phone: 301-851-4035

This electronic message contains information generated by the USDA solely for the intended recipients. Any unauthorized interception of this message or the use or disclosure of the information it contains may violate the law and subject the violator to civil or criminal penalties. If you believe you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and delete the email immediately.

From: Muira McCammon

Dear Mr. Ajua,

Thank you for acknowledging my request and providing these details. I am unclear how my request managed to be stalled within the Dept of Agriculture from 08/23/2018 until now. I guess someone sat on it at the USDA.

I reviewed the detail report that you have sent and would just like to call your attention to the fact that I did indeed ask for a fee waiver. I'm including my original request verbatim below just so there is not any ambiguity.

I'm available here and also at muira.mccammon@asc.upenn.edu to discuss this request further, and I really appreciate you giving me a sense of where the request stands in the queue. I would like to add that I am now a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, so if the fee waiver is denied for my status as a journalist, I would ask that it be considered under the basis that this is for my doctoral research, though, when I began this request on 08/23/2018, I had already enrolled in the Ph.D. program as well.

Appreciate you doing this labor during the time of the pandemic and also hope that you are well and continue to be well.

In gratitude,

Muira McCammon

***
To Whom It May Concern:

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

I would like copies of all tweets deleted by the two Twitter handles associated with the Department of Agriculture’s National Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program (@StopALB and @beetlebusters) from July 2009 to the present. This would include any tweets sent out on Twitter that were deleted or kept in draft form from the Twitter account @StopALB and @beetlebusters. ‏This request also would include copies of any e-mails or correspondence regarding the drafting and deletion of these tweets.

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.

I am a journalist whose works have appeared in Slate, VICE, the Massachusetts Review, Kill Screen, and elsewhere. This FOIA request is part of research for an ongoing piece of journalistic work, and as such, I am requesting a fee waiver. I have submitted versions of this FOIA request to other agencies, including the Office of Government Ethics, and in the process, I have been granted this fee waiver without question. My most recent article on this subject appeared in Slate in April 2018 and was titled “Can They Really Delete That?”.

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,
Muira McCammon
muira.mccammon@asc.upenn.edu

From: U.S. Department Of Agriculture, Office of the Secretary

Good Morning Sir,
I will like to acknowledge your concerns. There is been a huge backlog of FOIA requests. However, with regards to your request, we are just waiting for the responsive records from the program office. We are currently working with the program office to get those records as quickly as we can. I will advise that you don’t worry about the fee issue since you fall within the exempt category of requesters. I really look forward to processing your request as soon as possible and will keep you updated on the status.

V/R
David Ajua

From: U.S. Department Of Agriculture, Office of the Secretary

Good Morning Sir,
Attached is the final response letter to your FOIA request reference above.

I just want to ensure you understand there are no responsive records to your request per the program office. Your FOIA request final response letter was sent to the email address: muira.mccammon@asc.upenn.edu<mailto:muira.mccammon@asc.upenn.edu>

on the date reference on the letter. Sorry if you did not received that email

However, be advised that the request is now closed. Please, do contact me if you have any questions.

V/R

David Ajua

From: Muira McCammon

David,

Thank you for following up. While I appreciate your efforts, I will be filing an appeal shortly.

All best,

Muira McCammon

From: U.S. Department Of Agriculture, Office of the Secretary

Sir,

Per my Aug. 7, 2020 email to you, you were advised that there were no responsive records to your request and provided a Final Response Letter (attached).

However, be advised that the request is now closed. Please, do contact me if you have any questions.

V/R

David Ajua
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