|Submitted||June 25, 2017|
To Whom It May Concern:
This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:
A copy of the guidelines referenced in the attached, declassified CIA document.
I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I am freelance writer who has previously written about the government and its activities for MuckRock, Motherboard, Unicorn Riot, AND Magazine and Glomar Disclosure. My articles have been widely read, with some reaching over 100,000 readers. My work has been further discussed in outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and BBC. 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. Per DOJ FOIA guidance, "a requester should be granted a fee waiver if the requested information (1) sheds light on the activities and operations of the government; (2) is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of those operations and activities; and (3) is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester." As this FOIA meets all of those requirements (see above regarding the subject and how I will apply the information), a fee waiver is warranted.
A no responsive documents response.
A letter stating that the request appeal has been received and is being processed.
I am appealing the decision to not search for the records. The referenced document was CIA originated and there is no reason to believe CIA would not have a copy of the guidelines. Indeed, the CIA document I supplied shows that the materials were in CIA's hands and CIA originated - they were further attached to a specific declassified document. The request, as written, falls fully under the auspices of CIA.
Please advise me on the status of this request.
An interim response, stating the request is being processed.
Attached is the final response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) query of 13 July 2017. Please review the attachment, and should you have any questions, please call the CIA FOIA Hotline at +1 (703) 613-1287.
Public Access Requests Branch
Central Intelligence Agency
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