DHS social media risk assessments

Shawn Musgrave filed this request with the Department of Homeland Security of the United States of America.
Tracking # 2014-HQAP-00072 ; 2014-HQFO-00542
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Shawn Musgrave

To Whom It May Concern:

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

All social media risk assessment reports completed by the DHS Office of the Chief Information Security Officer, including but not limited to the report dated May 15, 2012

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,

Shawn Musgrave

From: Department of Homeland Security

Good Afternoon,
Attached is our acknowledgment of your DHS FOIA request.  If you need to contact this office again concerning your request, please provide the DHS reference number. This will enable us to quickly retrieve the information you are seeking and reduce our response time. This office can be reached at 866-431-0486.
Regards,
DHS Privacy Office Disclosure & FOIA Program
STOP 0655
Department of Homeland Security
245 Murray Drive, SW
Washington, DC 20528-0655
Telephone:  1-866-431-0486 or 202-343-1743
Fax:  202-343-4011
Visit our
FOIA website (http://www.dhs.gov/foia)

  • Department of Homeland Security FOIA 2014-HQFO-00542 Acknowledgment

From: Shawn Musgrave

Associate General Counsel (General Law)
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Mailstop 0655,
Washington, D.C. 20528

June 17, 2014

To Whom It May Concern:

This is an appeal of fee category for FOIA 2014-HQFO-00542.

In its acknowledgement letter (attached), the DHS Privacy Office has categorized me as a commercial requester.

As I have appealed repeatedly over the past several months, DHS and its component agencies persist in categorizing me as commercial (and in some cases of more gracious "administrative error," as non-commercial/other) when my correct category for the purposes of fees under FOIA is as a representative of the news media.

As appeals authorities for DHS have found in recent FOIA cases (see, for instance, the determination of appeal 20014-HQAP-00032 as submitted by Robert Delaware, another MuckRock user), here DHS FOIA staff have failed to substantiate any basis for determining that I intend to use the requested information for commercial purposes. The requested documents will be posted online for free via MuckRock. I confirm that I hold no commercial interest in the requested documents, and DHS has provided no basis for determining otherwise.

I have substantiated in countless previous instances that my intentions for requested documents are journalistic in nature. The requested documents concern a matter of broad public interest, namely the means by which DHS monitors social media and the privacy protections in place to prevent abuses. Such evaluations are of particular public interest given the pilot of such social media monitoring initiatives at the 2010 Winter Olympics and at a handful of other high-profile events. I have written about this initiative previously (see below).

The requested documents will contribute to public understanding of the DHS social media monitoring initiative's history and evolution, as well as steps taken by DHS to address potential privacy concerns.

Finally, the requested documents will be synthesized into a distinct journalistic work that will be disseminated to the public. My basis for this claim is not only that the requested documents will be posted in full online for the general public on MuckRock (although such posting is relevant as it relates to widespread dissemination in the public interest). My history of publication in a number of outlets — including via MuckRock's news coverage, as well as a range of print and online publications — substantiates my claim sufficiently to justify my categorization as a journalist for this request. This is particularly true for matters related to unmanned aerial systems, for which I have amassed a considerable body of work.

In keeping with the 2007 FOIA amendments and procedures for determining fee status as a journalist, here is a sampling of recent articles as proof of publication history:

https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2014/feb/18/dhs-vancouver-olympics-social-media/

betaboston.com/news/2014/03/05/a-vast-hidden-surveillance-network-runs-across-america-powered-by-the-repo-industry/

www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/12/14/boston-police-suspend-use-high-tech-licence-plate-readers-amid-privacy-concerns/B2hy9UIzC7KzebnGyQ0JNM/story.html

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

http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/syracuse-home-to-an-air-force-drone-squadron-banned-drones

The above is more than sufficient basis for amending my fee categorization from commercial to representative of the news media. In light of the above, I request that my categorization be changed immediately, and that DHS and its component agencies cease their ridiculous claims that my requests are appropriately categorized as commercial for the purposes of FOIA fees.

Respectfully,

Shawn Musgrave

From: Lasko, Linda

Mr. Musgrave,

Attached, please find an acknowledgment of your appeal of FOIA 2014-HQFO-00542.

Sincerely,

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

202-343-1743 (Main FOIA Number)
202-343-4011 (Fax)

Visit our FOIA website

This communication, along with any attachments, is covered by federal and state law governing electronic communications and may contain confidential and legally privileged information. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, use or copying of this message is strictly prohibited. If you have received this in error, please reply immediately to the sender and delete this message. Thank you.

From: FOIA

Good afternoon,

Attached is our final response to your request. If you need to contact this office again concerning your request, please provide the DHS reference number. This will enable us to quickly retrieve the information you are seeking and reduce our response time. This office can be reached at 866-431-0486.
Regards,

DHS Privacy Office
Disclosure & FOIA Program
STOP 0655
Department of Homeland Security
245 Murray Drive, SW
Washington, DC 20528-0655
Telephone: 1-866-431-0486 or 202-343-1743
Fax: 202-343-4011
Visit our FOIA website<http://www.dhs.gov/foia>

From: Meus, Lauren M CIV

Mr. Musgrave:

Please find attached the FOIA Appeal decision issued by Judge McKenna's office.

Thank you,

Lauren Meus
Hearing Docket Clerk

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