Discussion of TSA "ID Requirements for Airport Checkpoints" Web page

Phil Mocek filed this request with the Transportation Security Administration of the United States of America.
Tracking # TSA11-0600 ; 2013-TSFO-00736
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Appeal

Communications

From: Phil Mocek

To whom it may concern:

Pursuant to the federal Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, I request access to and copies of all records of discussion of 2010 and 2011 updates to Transportation Security Administration's "ID Requirements for Airport Checkpoints" Web page and associated metadata.

I would like to receive the information in electronic format. (Attachments to e-mail if feasible, on CDROM if not.)

Please waive any applicable fees. Release of the information is in the public interest because it will contribute significantly to public understanding of government operations and activities. The requested records 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. This request is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I agree to pay up to $20 for these records. If fees exceed $20, please inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request.

If my request is denied in whole or part, I ask that you justify all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. I request that any deletions be "blacked out" rather than "whited out". I will also expect you to release all segregable portions of otherwise exempt material. I, of course, reserve the right to appeal your decision to withhold any information or to deny a waiver of fees.

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,

Phillip Mocek

From: Transportation Security Administration

From: Phil Mocek

In a letter dated May 18, 2011, an unnamed person at the TSA FOIA Office wrote, "After careful review of your FOIA request, we determined that your request is too broad in scope or did not specifically identify the records which you are seeking. Records must be described in reasonably sufficient detail to enable government employees who are familiar with the subject area to locate records without placing an unreasonable burden upon the agency. For this reason, §5.3(b) of the DHS regulations, 6 C.F.R. Part 5, require that you describe the records you are seeking with as much information as possible to ensure that our search can locate them with a reasonable amount of effort. Whenever possible, a request should include specific information about each record sought, such as the date, title or name, author, recipients, and subject matter of the records, if known, or the DHS component or office you believe created and/or controls the record. The FOIA does not require an agency to create new records, answer questions posed by requesters, or attempt to interpret a request that does not identify specific records. Please resubmit your request containing a reasonable description of the records you are seeking."

In response, I revise my request from the following:
"access to and copies of all records of discussion of 2010 and 2011 updates to Transportation Security Administration's `ID Requirements for Airport Checkpoints' Web page and associated metadata,"

to the following:
"access to and copies of all e-mail, letters, and memos addressed to or from TSA's Web site staff dated January 1, 2010, or later, which reference Transportation Security Administration's `ID Requirements for Airport Checkpoints' Web page (<http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/acceptable_documents.shtm>) and/or TSA's airline passenger identification policies, along with associated metadata."

From: Transportation Security Administration

Mr. Mocek,

Our office received your email defining the scope of your request for
information regarding TSA's "ID Requirements for Airport Checkpoints"
webpage - thank you. From a breadth perspective your request meets FOIA
standards and we can proceed with work on it.

That said, I do have concerns about the length of time it may take for
our agency to respond to your request because of the date scope (January
1, 2010 to present) you have provided. This arises out of speculation -
I have no actual knowledge of the number of responsive documents that
may exist - but I believe that searching 17 months of emails involving
anyone who may have worked on the TSA website would require multiple
keywords, all of which would produce documents both responsive and
non-responsive to the request, and the search would thus also require a
lot of culling of non-responsive material. Furthermore, if there was any
kind of extensive debate or discussion regarding what to put on that
webpage, I'd expect that there would be a high volume of documents to
process under FOIA, leading to further delays. Discussions of that sort
are likely to be protected under the deliberative process privilege
under FOIA Exemption (b)(5) and would require close review.

As I said, your amended request meets FOIA standards, so we can move
forward with processing it if you wish. I just wanted you to be aware
that there may be some delays because of the search and processing
involved. If there's a shorter timeframe you can narrow in on, that
would probably speed things up. Please let me know how you'd like to
proceed.

Paul Sotoudeh
Freedom of Information Act Office
Transportation Security Administration
(571) 227-1357

From: Phil Mocek

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 16, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Transportation Security Administration

Mr. Mocek,
We can't give an exact time when the FOIA will be completed. When the FOIA reach the last stage a specialist will give you a call if not before.

FOIA Assistant
gerri

From: Phil Mocek

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 16, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Phil Mocek

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 16, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Phil Mocek

RE: TSA FOIA request TSA11-0600

Dear Sir or Madam:

Please provide your estimated date of completion of my request, placed May 16, 2011.

As you probably know, the OPEN Government Act of 2007 imposed several requirements on agencies in connection with their monitoring or tracking of outstanding FOIA requests. In particular, under the Act, agencies must provide, upon request, "an estimated date on which the agency will complete action on the request." 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(7)(B)(ii)

Thank you for your continued assistance.

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

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 16, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Phil Mocek

Dear Sir or Madam:

Please provide your estimated date of completion of my request, placed May 16, 2011.

As you probably know, the OPEN Government Act of 2007 imposed several requirements on agencies in connection with their monitoring or tracking of outstanding FOIA requests. In particular, under the Act, agencies must provide, upon request, "an estimated date on which the agency will complete action on the request." 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(7)(B)(ii)

Thank you for your continued assistance.

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

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 16, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #TSA11-0600.

Thank you for your help.

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 16, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #TSA11-0600.

Thank you for your help.

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 16, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #TSA11-0600.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA

Dear Requester:
Thank you for contacting the Freedom of Information Act Office (FOIA)
within the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This
acknowledges that we have successfully received your email message.
Therefore, no further action is required by you at this time.
Your correspondence is being reviewed by the FOIA triage team, and in a
subsequent communication, we will provide pertinent information and/or
guidance to ensure the timely processing of your request. Should you
have any questions, you may contact this office at 1-866-364-2872.

From: Phil Mocek

RE: TSA FOIA request TSA11-0600

Dear Sir or Madam:

Please provide your estimated date of completion of my request, placed May 16, 2011.

As you probably know, the OPEN Government Act of 2007 imposed several requirements on agencies in connection with their monitoring or tracking of outstanding FOIA requests. In particular, under the Act, agencies must provide, upon request, "an estimated date on which the agency will complete action on the request." 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(7)(B)(ii)

Thank you for your continued assistance.

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

From: FOIA

Good morning,
Your FOIA request has been received in the office for processing. The cases are processed on a first in first out basis. We cannot provide a timeframe in which your FOIA will be released to you because of the many requests we receive. A specialist will contact you when your FOIA is cleared for release.
Thank you for your patience in this matter.

Gerri Lewis
Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
Freedom of Information Act Office (FOIA)
1-866-364-2872

From: Phil Mocek

RE: TSA FOIA request TSA11-0600

Dear Sir or Madam:

Please provide your estimated date of completion of my request, placed May 16, 2011.

As you probably know, the OPEN Government Act of 2007 imposed several requirements on agencies in connection with their monitoring or tracking of outstanding FOIA requests. In particular, under the Act, agencies must provide, upon request, "an estimated date on which the agency will complete action on the request." 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(7)(B)(ii)

Thank you for your continued assistance.

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

From: FOIA

Dear Requester:
Thank you for contacting the Freedom of Information Act Office (FOIA)
within the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This
acknowledges that we have successfully received your email message.
Therefore, no further action is required by you at this time.
Your correspondence is being reviewed by the FOIA triage team, and in a
subsequent communication, we will provide pertinent information and/or
guidance to ensure the timely processing of your request. Should you
have any questions, you may contact this office at 1-866-364-2872.

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 16, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #TSA11-0600.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA

Dear Requester:
Thank you for contacting the Freedom of Information Act Office (FOIA)
within the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This
acknowledges that we have successfully received your email message.
Therefore, no further action is required by you at this time.
Your correspondence is being reviewed by the FOIA triage team, and in a
subsequent communication, we will provide pertinent information and/or
guidance to ensure the timely processing of your request. Should you
have any questions, you may contact this office at 1-866-364-2872.

From: FOIA

Good morning,

Your FOIA request has been received in the office for processing. The cases are processed on a first in first out basis. We cannot provide a timeframe in which your FOIA will be released to you because of the many requests we receive. We receive many cases in the office daily; in addition to having a backlog. Your FOIA will be processed in the order received.
Thank you for your patience in this matter.

Gerri Lewis
Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
Freedom of Information Act Office (FOIA)
1-866-364-2872

From: Phil Mocek

RE: TSA FOIA request TSA11-0600

Dear Sir or Madam:

On September 12, 2013, in response to my repeated requests for estimated date of completion, Gerri Lewis at TSA FOIA office wrote via e-mail, "We cannot provide a timeframe in which your FOIA will be released to you because of the many requests we receive."

Since passage of the OPEN Government Act of 2007, you are required by law---5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(7)(B)(ii)---to provide upon request "an estimated date on which the agency will complete action on the request." I request that you provide your estimated date of completion of my request, placed May 16, 2011.

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

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 16, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #TSA11-0600.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA

Dear Requester:
Thank you for contacting the Freedom of Information Act Office (FOIA)
within the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This
acknowledges that we have successfully received your email message.
Therefore, no further action is required by you at this time.
Your correspondence is being reviewed by the FOIA triage team, and in a
subsequent communication, we will provide pertinent information and/or
guidance to ensure the timely processing of your request. Should you
have any questions, you may contact this office at 1-866-364-2872.

From: FOIA

Good morning,
Your FOIA request has been received in the office for processing. The cases are processed on a first in first out basis. We cannot provide a timeframe in which your FOIA will be released to you because of the many requests we receive.

I can provide a status update. We have received documents back and they are in line for processing by a specialist.

A specialist will contact you when your FOIA is cleared for release.

Your FOIA case number for this request is 2013-TSFO-00736. We have switched to a new database and this is the new number. Rest assured it is the same case as TSA11-0600.

Thank you for your patience in this matter.

From: Phil Mocek

RE: my public records request of May 16, 2011 (your identifier: TSA11-0600 2013-TSFO-00736)

Dear Sir or Madam:

As I wrote to you on August 6, 2013, then again on September 12, you are required by law---5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(7)(B)(ii)---to provide upon request "an estimated date on which the agency will complete action on the request." I request that you provide your estimated date of completion of my request, placed May 16, 2011.

Despite my repeated requests for you to comply with the law, I received yet another anonymous e-mail from your office stating that you "cannot provide a timeframe in which [the public records I requested] will be released to [me]".

It has been more than two years since I requested these records. More than two years have passed since I requested these records. Please estimate when you will complete processing of my request and provide the records I requested.

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

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 16, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2013-TSFO-00736.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA

Good Afternoon,
Your FOIA request has been received in the office for processing. The cases are processed on a first in first out basis. We cannot provide a timeframe in which your FOIA will be released to you because of the many requests we receive. A specialist will contact you when your FOIA is cleared for release.
Thank you for your patience in this matter. Your new FOIA case number will be #2013-TSFO-00736.
FOIA Assistant
Emanda
1-866-364-2872

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 16, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2013-TSFO-00736.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA

Dear Requester:
Thank you for contacting the Freedom of Information Act Office (FOIA)
within the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This
acknowledges that we have successfully received your email message.
Therefore, no further action is required by you at this time.
Your correspondence is being reviewed by the FOIA triage team, and in a
subsequent communication, we will provide pertinent information and/or
guidance to ensure the timely processing of your request. Should you
have any questions, you may contact this office at 1-866-364-2872.
Sincerely,
TSA FOIA Office

From: FOIA

Good morning,

Your FOIA request has been received in the office for processing. The cases are processed on a first in first out basis. We cannot provide a timeframe in which your FOIA will be released to you because of the many requests we receive. We receive many cases in the office daily; in addition to having a backlog. Your FOIA will be processed in the order received. A specialist will contact you when your FOIA is cleared for release.
Thank you for your patience in this matter.

Gerri Lewis
Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
Freedom of Information Act Office (FOIA)
1-866-364-2872

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 16, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2013-TSFO-00736.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA

Good afternoon,

As I stated before, we receive many cases in the office daily; in addition to having a backlog. Your FOIA will be processed in the order received. A specialist will contact you when your FOIA is cleared for release.
Thank you for your patience in this matter.

Gerri Lewis
Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
Freedom of Information Act Office (FOIA)
1-866-364-2872

From: FOIA

Dear Requester:
Thank you for contacting the Freedom of Information Act Office (FOIA) within the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This acknowledges that we have successfully received your email message. Therefore, no further action is required by you at this time.
Your correspondence is being reviewed by the FOIA triage team, and in a subsequent communication, we will provide pertinent information and/or guidance to ensure the timely processing of your request. Should you have any questions, you may contact this office at 1-866-364-2872.
Sincerely,
TSA FOIA Office

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 16, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2013-TSFO-00736.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA

Dear Requester:
Thank you for contacting the Freedom of Information Act Branch (FOIA) within the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This acknowledges that we have successfully received your email message. Therefore, no further action is required by you at this time.
Your correspondence is being reviewed by the FOIA triage team, and in a subsequent communication, we will provide pertinent information and/or guidance to ensure the timely processing of your request. Should you have any questions, you may contact this office at 1-866-364-2872.
Sincerely,
TSA FOIA Branch

From: FOIA

Good morning,
Your FOIA request has been received in the office for processing. The cases are processed on a first in first out basis. We cannot provide a timeframe in which your FOIA will be released to you because of the many requests we receive in the office daily; in addition to having a backlog. Your FOIA will be processed in the order received. A specialist will contact you when your FOIA is cleared for release.

Thank you for your patience in this matter.

Gerri Lewis
Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
Freedom of Information Act Office (FOIA)
1-866-364-2872

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 16, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2013-TSFO-00736.

Thank you for your help.

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 16, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2013-TSFO-00736.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA

Good morning
The cases are processed on a first in first out basis. We cannot provide a timeframe in which your FOIA will be released to you because of the many requests we receive. A specialist will contact you when your FOIA is cleared for release.
Thank you for your patience in this matter.

Gerri Lewis
Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
Freedom of Information Act Office (FOIA)
1-866-364-2872

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 16, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2013-TSFO-00736.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA

From: requests@muckrock.com [mailto:requests@muckrock.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2014 5:00 AM
To: FOIA
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information Request #2013-TSFO-00736

June 4, 2014
Transportation Security Administration
Transportation Security Administration
Kevin J. Janet
FOIA Officer, TSA-20
601 South 12th Street
Arlington, VA 20598-6033

This is a follow up to request number 2013-TSFO-00736:
Good morning,

Your FOIA request has been received in the office for processing and assigned case number 2011-TSFO-00736. Our office has received a high volume of requests which has resulted in a backlog. It is TSA’s practice to assign requests into one of two tracks based on the complexity of the request and to process cases within the two tracks on a first-in, first-out basis. Your request has been assigned to the complex track. At this time we anticipate an additional eleven months if complex track to complete the processing of your request. If you are interested in narrowing the scope of your request to reduce the processing time, we are available to discuss this with you, either by email to this address or by telephone at 1-866-364-2872. Thank you for your patience in this matter.
Also your TSA number has change to the year of your request.

Gerri Lewis
Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
Freedom of Information Act Office (FOIA)
1-866-364-2872

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 16, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2013-TSFO-00736.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA

Good Morning,

Your documents have returned to the FOIA office and are currently in process. Our office has received a high volume of requests which has resulted in a backlog. It is TSA’s practice to assign requests into one of two tracks based on the complexity of the request and to process cases within the two tracks on a first-in, first-out basis. Your request has been assigned to the complex track. At this time we anticipate an additional eleven months if complex track to complete the processing of your request.

Thank you,
FOIA

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 16, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2013-TSFO-00736.

Thank you for your help.

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 16, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2013-TSFO-00736.

Thank you for your help.

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 16, 2011. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #2013-TSFO-00736.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOIA

Good Morning,

This case was closed on 8/22/14 and correspondence was sent to the requester via postal mail. I have attached a copy of what was sent.

Thank you,
FOIA

From: Phil Mocek

RE: FOIA Appeal: SA11-0600, 2013-TSFO-00736

Ms. Deplitch:

I received your e-mail of October 8, 2014. In it, you claimed that correspondence was previously sent to me via postal mail. I received no such previous correspondence. I find it curious that after more than three years of contact regarding my records request of May 16, 2011 (your identifiers: TSA11-0600 and 2013-TSFO-00736), comprising almost 50 contacts exclusively by e-mail, you would suddenly switch to contacting me via postal mail. Nonetheless, I have received notification that you found no records that were responsive to my request.

I appeal the adequacy of the search for responsive records.

I believe it extremely unlikely that TSA's "ID Requirements for Airport Checkpoints" Web page was maintained throughout its years of revisions without any e-mail, letter, or memo to or from staff who maintain the TSA Website. Presumably, staff would be notified of the need for revisions, either by management or in an automated manner by their issue tracking system. It is unlikely that such changes would be managed exclusively verbally or performed unilaterally without any related communication.

Responsive records are likely located in TSA's central e-mail system, in the issue tracking system used to manage changes to TSA's website, and in the records of notifications generated by the revision control system in which the source code for TSA's website is maintained.

I believe the outcome of this request was a result of TSA staff acting in bad faith.

Previous FOIA requests I made have revealed e-mails showing that some of my FOIA requests to TSA were guided by political maneuvering, filtered through management to consider not the legality of releasing records, but the potential effect of public perception of TSA.

I was the target of unlawful arrest and detention at Albuquerque Sunport International Airport in September of 2009 after airport security guards were bothered by my lawful attempt to pass a TSA security checkpoint with only a valid boarding pass as documentation of my identity. A jury acquitted me of all charges in January of 2011. This resulted in a large amount of press coverage, as well as a post to the blog on TSA's website.

I have repeatedly attempted to notify TSA staff of inaccuracies of information on TSA's "ID Requirements for Airport Checkpoints" Web page, as verified by testimony of TSA security guard Jonathon Breedon on the witness stand during my trial.

TSA refuse to publish any internal policies regarding the questioning of passengers regarding their identities, instead leaving the public to scour press releases, "tips for travelers," and TSA Web pages in order to learn what we must do in order to avoid having our right to travel infringed.

Intentionally failing to produce records of maintenance of a Web page that is one of the public's few opportunities to read about their responsibilities at the airport seems to be another attempt to obscure any actual regulations regarding those responsibilities from the public.

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

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