FBI StingRay nondisclosure agreements

Shawn Musgrave filed this request with the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America.
Tracking # 1305255-000 ; AP-2015-01565
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:

A copy of all nondisclosure agreements signed between the FBI and state and local law enforcement agencies regarding cell site simulator equipment manufactured by the Harris Corporation.

I have attached one such NDA completed by the Tacoma Police Department in January 2013.

PLEASE BE CLEAR: this is NOT a request for a search of investigative materials, but for administrative records maintained by the Bureau regarding restrictions placed on technology developed by the Harris Corporation.

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: Sobonya, David P.

Dear Mr. Musgrave,

The FBI has received your Freedom of Information Act/Privacy (FOIPA) request and it will be forwarded to Initial Processing for review. Your request will be processed under the provisions of FOIPA and a response will be mailed to you at a later date.

Requests for fee waivers and expedited processing will be addressed once your request has been assigned an FOIPA request number. You will receive written notification of the FBI’s decision.

Information regarding the Freedom of Information Act/Privacy is available at http://www.fbi.gov<http://www.fbi.gov>/ or http://www.fbi.gov/foia/. If you require additional assistance please contact the Public Information Officer.

Thank you,

David P. Sobonya
Public Information Officer/GIS
Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)
FBI-Records Management Division
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843
PIO: (540) 868-4593
Direct: (540) 868-4286
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation - FBI

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

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 Oct. 9, 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 #1305255-000.

Thank you for your help.

From: Sobonya, David P.

Dear Mr. Musgrave,

Due to the voluminous requests that the FBI receives on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis, requesters are encouraged to utilize the online option to Check the Status of Your FOIPA Request by following the instructions in the attached sample. The last status update was performed on November 19, 2014.

Upon entering your FOIPA Request Number, the requester will be provided “ONE” of the following STATUS RESULTS:

The FBI’s FOI/PA Program is processing your request in accordance to the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act guidelines. *The Disclosure analyst is making a line by line, page by page review of the records to determine if any redactions are required pursuant to subsections of Title 5, U. S. Code, Section 552 and 552a. Upon completion, the records are forwarded to a supervisor for review, if approved, a release will be forthcoming.

The FBI’s FOI/PA Program is searching the FBI’s indices for potentially responsive documents. You may be contacted via form letter for all fees and/or negotiation issues that may apply. *Requests are received by Initial Processing (IP) where they are opened, assigned a FOIPA Request Number and correspondence mailed to the requester. The IP analyst searches for, retrieves and reviews potentially responsive records. If responsive records are located, they are forwarded to Disclosure for processing.

The FBI’s FOIPA Program has identified potential responsive information to your request and awaits assignment to a Government Information Specialist (GIS) for further processing. *Responsive information was located and has been forwarded to the “Backlog” where the request awaits assignment to a GIS for processing.

The information you have requested is part of a previously requested subject matter and will be preprocessed in accordance to the prior releasable information. *A previous request has already been made for the subject matter.

The request is currently in appeal status with the Office of Information Policy (OIP). *The FBI is not involved in the appeals process so please contact OIP’s Customer Service regarding appeal matters at (202) 514-3642.

The request is currently in litigation with Federal Court

The FOIPA number entered has been closed, and appropriate correspondence has been sent to the address on file. *Correspondence and/or a release of records were recently mailed. If you recently had a change of address please contact us at foiparequest@ic.fbi.gov<mailto:foiparequest@ic.fbi.gov>.

Please contact me if you require further assistance.

Thank you,

*Material is provided for information purposes

David P. Sobonya
Public Information Officer/GIS
Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)
FBI-Records Management Division
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843
PIO: (540) 868-4593
Direct: (540) 868-4286
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation - FBI

The request has been rejected, with the agency stating that the information or document(s) requested are exempt from disclosure.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Director, Office of Information Police (OIP)
US Department of Justice
1425 New York Ave, NW, Suite 11050
Washington, DC 20530-0001

January 2, 2015

To Whom It May Concern:

Per the attached rejection letter, the FBI has determined that the requested records for FOIA 1305255-000 are exempt from disclosure. I appeal this determination and request that FOIA 1305255-000 be remanded back to the FBI for a good faith search and release of responsive documents.

FOIA 1305255-000 pertains to non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) concluded between the FBI and state/local law enforcement agencies as a requirement prior to obtaining and operating certain
cell site simulator equipment manufactured by the Harris Corporation. Specifically, I request in FOIA 1305255-000, "A copy of all nondisclosure agreements signed between the FBI and state and local law enforcement agencies regarding cell site simulator equipment manufactured by the Harris Corporation."

Per the NDA released by the Tacoma Police Department, "Consistent with the conditions on the equipment authorization granted to Harris Corporation by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), state and local law enforcement agencies must coordinate with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to complete this non-disclosure agreement prior to the acquisition and use of the equipment/technology authorized by the FCC authorization." As such, it is reasonable to presume that the FBI has several such NDAs on file, and the FBI has not indicated that it does not have the requested records.

In the attached rejection letter, the FBI broadly invokes the law enforcement exemption. The FBI's rejection letter fails to substantiate its invocation of this exemption, but simply asserts that, "The records responsive to your request are law enforcement records; and release of the information in these responsive records would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions and disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law." The letter fails even to indicate which of the two classes — disclosure of techniques/procedures or disclosure of guidelines — is invoked. The letter likewise fails to indicate how the requested administrative records concerning which departments have entered into this NDA with the FBI falls into either category, or why the requested documents must be withheld in their entirety versus partially redacted.

The FBI has attempted to use similar tactics in response to FOIA requests regarding other technologies. Notably, the FBI's attempts to withhold every single piece of paper regarding its use unmanned aerial vehicles was rejected upon judicial review at considerable cost to the agency and to taxpayers. The present request similarly concerns a technology which the agency and dozens of law enforcement agencies around the country are known to deploy.

I respectfully request that the present request be remanded back to the FBI for full release of responsive documents.

Respectfully,
Shawn Musgrave
MuckRock

From: OIP-NoReply

Please do not reply to this e-mail, as this account is not monitored. To ensure a prompt reply, please direct any inquiries to the contact information listed in the correspondence provided to you. Thank you.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello -

Please provide an update on FOIA appeal AP-2015-01565, as I have not received any communications for several weeks.

Thank you,
Shawn Musgrave
MuckRock

From: OIP-NoReply


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