FOIA Espionage Act (Department of Justice)

Emma North-Best filed this request with the Department of Justice - FOIA/PA Mail Referral Unit of the United States of America.
Tracking #

EMRUFOIA100317-4, DOJ-AP-2018-003750


Multi Request FOIA Espionage Act
Est. Completion None


From: Emma Best

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Materials mentioning, describing, or otherwise relating to the Intelligence Community's desire to prosecute James Bamford under the Espionage Act for refusing to return documents released to him under the Freedom of Information Act and later using the materials in his book, The Puzzle Palace. Please include in your response any materials relating to the related desire to pursue "Snepp-like" proceedings against Bamford based on his previous and unrelated Non-Disclosure Agreement/secrecy agreement with the government. The existence of these desires has been officially declassified and confirmed by document numbers CIA-RDP84B00890R000700020003-8, CIA-RDP84B00890R000700020002-9, and CIA-RDP84B00148R000100330001-9.

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities for AND Magazine, MuckRock and Glomar Disclosure and have an open arrangement with each. My articles have been widely read, with some reaching over 100,000 readers. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through the non-profit Internet Archive, disseminating them to a large audience. While my research is not limited to this, a great deal of it, including this, focuses on the activities and attitudes of the government itself. As such, it is not necessary for me to demonstrate the relevance of this particular subject in advance. Additionally, case law states that “proof of the ability to disseminate the released information to a broad cross-section of the public is not required.” Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep’t of Justice, 365 F.3d 1108, 1126 (D.C. Cir. 2004); see Carney v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 19 F.3d 807, 814-15 (2d Cir. 1994). Further, courts have held that "qualified because it also had “firm” plans to “publish a number of . . . ‘document sets’” concerning United States foreign and national security policy." Under this criteria, as well, I qualify as a member of the news media. Additionally, courts have held that the news media status "focuses on the nature of the requester, not its request. The provision requires that the request be “made by” a representative of the news media. Id. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II). A newspaper reporter, for example, is a representative of the news media regardless of how much interest there is in the story for which he or she is requesting information." As such, the details of the request itself are moot for the purposes of determining the appropriate fee category. As such, my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available and I therefore request that fees be waived.

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.

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.


Emma Best

From: MRUFOIA Requests

Please see the attached response to your FOIA request. Please note, your request has been assigned tracking number EMRUFOIA100317-4.

From: Department of Justice - FOIA/PA Mail Referral Unit

Good Morning,

Please see the attached original response to your FOIA request and contact the FOIA office listed on the letter.


From: Department of Justice - FOIA/PA Mail Referral Unit

Good Morning,

Please see the attached original response to your FOIA request and contact the FOIA office listed on the letter.


From: Emma North-Best

I am appealing the decision to refer the request to the FBI - I had sent a separate request to the Bureau, and would like the other DOJ consulting components to perform records searches as well. As the FBI is not solely responsible for prosecutorial decisions, referring the request to them does not satisfy the standard of being reasonably calculated.

From: Department of Justice - FOIA/PA Mail Referral Unit

04/04/2018 03:26 PM FOIA Request: DOJ-AP-2018-003750

From: Department of Justice - FOIA/PA Mail Referral Unit

DOJ-AP-2018-003750 has been processed with the following final disposition: Affirmed on Appeal -- Records referred at initial request level.

  • Best, Emma, AP-2018-003750, JMD - Affirm forwarding to FBI reasonable