Hackenberg: NASA - Uber communication

Robert Delaware filed this request with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States of America.
Tracking #

18-AFRC-F-00781

Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Appeal
Tags

Communications

From: Robert Delaware

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

All internal communications, memos, PowerPoint presentations, and emails sent to (including the cc and bcc fields) or from the email address of NASA engineer Davis Hackenberg which contain the following words or phrases: "UAM" "Urban Air Mobility" "Uber Air Mobility" “Uber” “UberElevate” “UberAir” “Jeff Holden” “Dara Khosrowshahi” “Travis Kalanick” “Mark Moore”.

In short, please consider this request for any Uber-related documents or communications sent or received by David Hackenberg.

Hackenberg is publicly described as helping to coordinate Urban Air Mobility operations at NASA:

https://www.nasa.gov/aero/taking-air-travel-to-the-streets-or-just-above-them

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.

Sincerely,

Robert Delaware

From: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

From: Robert Delaware

Hello. Thank you for the reply. Since I am looking for all emails related to Davis Hackenberg and his communications regarding the mentioned search terms, please include a time range of from the date of Mr. Hackenberg's email account creation to the day that the request was received (August 2nd, 2018).

From: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

From: Robert Delaware

Dear Martha Terry-

Hello! Thank you for the reply. I understand that my initial request might be far too broad, although I personally wouldn't characterize it as "fishing expedition." Considering that Uber has publicly stated that they hope to see drones carrying paying passengers flying over the city of Los Angeles by 2020, I believe that this (the NASA - Uber relationship) is an issue which will require transparency. Either now, in preparation of the start of this service, or after. How this impacts the public's view of NASA is probably a decision that NASA needs to sooner rather than later. I was personally acquainted with one of the Uber executives mentioned, and if you've read about the company, you know that they have a reputation from hiding information from regulatory agencies and journalists worldwide.

In order to expedite this request, which I will continue to pursue, perhaps there can be a small change in the request.

How about: "All emails sent to (including the cc and bcc fields) or from the email address of NASA engineer Davis Hackenberg which contain the following words or phrases in the subject line: "UAM" "Urban Air Mobility" "Uber Air Mobility" “Uber” “UberElevate” “UberAir” “Jeff Holden” “Dara Khosrowshahi” “Travis Kalanick” “Mark Moore”"Holden""Khosrowshai" and "Kalanick"

This would remove the search for memorandum or PowerPoint presentations, and would provide an easy way to query emails in either Thunderbird or Outlook or any email service that NASA employs. These types of searches are very easy to carry out, and can be accomplished in minutes.

I understand that two hours of time has already been spent in pursuit of the originally requested documents. I am perfectly willing to pay a modest fee for the time spent searching for these documents, provided that a rough estimate is provided before hand.

I look forward to continued communication about this topic, and I appreciate NASA's commitment to openness and transparency.

From: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Thank you, Mr. Delaware.
I will forward your clarification to the program office.

From: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

From: Robert Delaware

Hello-

This is in regards to the message that you just sent, claiming that the request continues to be too broad. Per the recommendation in the last message, why don't we amend the request to a time period of the last year. A time period between August 31 2017 to August 31 2018.

Here is the amended request:

All emails sent to (including the cc and bcc fields) or from the email address of NASA engineer Davis Hackenberg which contain the following words or phrases in the subject line: "UAM" "Urban Air Mobility" "Uber Air Mobility" “Uber” “UberElevate” “UberAir” “Jeff Holden” “Dara Khosrowshahi” “Travis Kalanick” “Mark Moore” "Holden" "Khosrowshai" and "Kalanick." Please limit the request to emails sent between August 31 2017 and August 31 2018.

From: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Good morning, Mr. Delaware:

Unfortunately, there are a massive number of emails and the program office (the subject matter experts) is currently in the process of reviewing the content of each for releasability. Once I receive their response, I will process. Once I’ve made the redactions, they must go through a legal review before we can respond.

Thank you for checking in.

Martha Terry
NASA FOIA Officer

From: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

From: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

From: Robert Delaware

Respectfully, I am appealing the "all other" fee requester determination for my request. After discussing my FOIA request on Twitter, a number of journalists and open records experts indicated that the fees were too high. They also indicated that under the Trump administration, NASA has moved towards a more opaque and less transparent approach to FOIA requests.

Considering that I have personal knowledge of the character of one of the Uber executives (since removed) involved in these discussions with NASA, I know that the type of discussions possibly included in these emails need to be released. Uber has a long history of defying government regulators and hiding information from journalists worldwide.

Please consider this as an appeal of the "all other" fee requester determination for my request. I consider myself an amateur historian, and numerous of my FOIA request have been deemed to be news worthy by media outlets.

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