DHS Watchlist Analyst Course materials

Shawn Musgrave filed this request with the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Intelligence & Analysis of the United States of America.
Tracking # 2014-HQAP-00073 ; 2014-IAFO-0165
Status
Rejected

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 curriculum and training modules used as part of the DHS Watchlist Analyst Course taught in January 2014, as referenced in the attached notes from a Watchlisting Working Group.

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: I&AFOIA

Good afternoon Mr. Musgrave,

Please find attached an acknowledgment of your DHS I&A FOIA request.
V/r,

Priscilla Waters
Office of Intelligence and Analysis
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Officer
Unclass: (202) 447-4883
Unclass: Priscilla.Waters@hq.dhs.gov

"The only place success comes before hard work is in the dictionary." Vince Lombardi

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-IAFO-0165.

In its acknowledgement letter (attached), the DHS I&A FOIA 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 I&A FOIA staff have failed to adequately substantiate its basis for determining that I intend to use the requested information for commercial purposes. First, the fact that MuckRock is a commercial entity is irrelevant -- the vast majority of media outlets are similarly "commercial." What is determinative here is the purpose to which the requested documents are information are to be put. In this case, the requested documents will be posted online for free via MuckRock. I confirm that I hold no commercial interest in the requested documents, and I&A FOIA staff 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 I&A train DHS analysts to manage terrorist watchlists. Such materials are of particular public interest given the highly public instances of mismanagement of such lists to prevent air travel by individuals with no connection to terrorist activity.

The requested documents will contribute to public understanding of the DHS watchlisting history and evolution, as well as steps taken by DHS to address potential concerns over mismanagement.

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 DHS, 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-IAFO-0165.

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: I&AFOIA

Good afternoon Mr. Musgrave,

Please see attached for a fee letter/estimate applicable to processing your FOIA request dated May 30, 2014.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

V/R,

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Office
Office of Intelligence and Analysis
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
I&AFOIA@hq.dhs.gov<mailto:I&AFOIA@hq.dhs.gov>

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello,

I have appealed my designation as a commercial requester. This appeal was acknowledged via the attached letter. Please advise immediately if an appeal determination has been made that I have not yet received.

Best,
Shawn Musgrave

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 30, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2014-HQAP-00073 ; 2014-IAFO-0165.

Thank you for your help.

From: I&AFOIA

Good morning Mr. Musgrave,

An appeal determination has not yet been made by the Administrative Law Judge. I&A is awaiting final determination and will respond to your request as soon as we are made aware of the fee determination.

V/R,

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Office
Office of Intelligence and Analysis
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
I&AFOIA@hq.dhs.gov<mailto:I&AFOIA@hq.dhs.gov>

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 30, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2014-HQAP-00073 ; 2014-IAFO-0165.

Thank you for your help.

From: Meus, Lauren M CIV

Mr. Musgrave:

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

Thank you,

Lauren Meus
Hearing Docket Clerk
U.S. Coast Guard

From: I&AFOIA

Good morning Mr. Musgrove,

Please find attached a final response to your I&A FOIA request.

V/r

FOIA Officer
Office of Intelligence and Analysis
Unclass: (202) 447-4883
Unclass: I&AFOIA@hq.dhs.gov

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