FOIA paranoia

Emma North-Best filed this request with the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States of America.
Tracking #


Due Nov. 1, 2016
Est. Completion None
Awaiting Response


From: Michael Best

To Whom It May Concern:

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

All information relating to a Privacy Act (or possibly FOIA) request made by a FOX Television writer researching a TV movie he was writing for FOX. According to CIA, the writer informed the Agency that "I am not writing an expose or hatchet job . . . I am doing a TV movie through Fox about a man who requests his materials from the government and the paranoia that comes from dealing with nameless and faceless administrators in Washington."

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.


Michael Best

From: Michael Best

I am appealing the Agency's de facto denial of my request. Despite filing the request months ago and attempting to follow-up several times, the Agency has refused to so much as confirm receipt of my request despite having passed the statutory limit for responding to it - several times over, in fact.

From: Central Intelligence Agency

A fix is required to perfect the request.

From: Michael Best

Unfortunately, I am only able to quote to you the information released publicly by your agency in the past. These remarks were made by a member of your FOIA staff. While I do not know whether that person is still a member of the staff, case law requires agencies to contact even _former_ members of their staff in a reasonable effort to locate the records. This provides a reasonable starting place for your search to begin, which is what the statute requires. Further, case law has established the "broad" and "vague" wording of the statute only applies to an agencies ability to interpret the request and identify records that are being searched for. As the search process, per case law, requires agencies to consult with staff members (both past and present), your "typical" requirement of indexed information is not applicable. Further, even assuming arguendo, your agencies digitization process should have incorporated these records and rendered them text searchable by this point.

I look forward to your fulfillment of my request per statute and case law.

Thank you for your help.