Horst Feistel

Charles Berret filed this request with the National Archives And Records Administration – Archival Or Special Access of the United States of America.
Tracking #

20-12443

Est. Completion None
Status
No Responsive Documents

Communications

From: Charles Berret

To Whom It May Concern:

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

A copy of National Archives And Records Administration – Archival Or Special Access files on Horst Feistel (1915-1990), a German-born cryptographer who emigrated to the US and worked on the design of ciphers at IBM.

As an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia, I request that the fees be waived for these documents pertaining to my historical study of cryptography research during the Cold War.

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,

Charles Berret

From:

This is an automated reply to inform you that the National Archives and Records Administration received your e-mail.

We have received your request and will respond within 20 working days. Please note that submitting duplicate requests will increase wait times.

If you have any questions, you can call our office at 301-837-3190. You can also visit our web page at www.archives.gov/research/foia.

Thank you.

From: National Archives And Records Administration – Archival Or Special Access

December 11, 2019

Reply to RDT2 20-12443LT

MuckRock News

Dept MR 84142

411A Highland Ave

Somerville, MA 02144

ATTN: Mr. Charles Berret

Dear Mr. Berret,

This is in response to your Freedom of Information Act request of December
6, 2019 for records relating to Mr. Horst Feistel and his work on the
design of ciphers at International Business Machines (IBM). Your request
was forwarded to the Textual Reference Branch at the National Archives at
College Park for a search of records and a response. Your inquiry was
received in this office on December 10, 2019 and assigned FOIA case number
20-12443.

We began our search within our available finding aids in Record Group 457 –
Records of the National Security Agency/Central Security Service, searching
in series relating to cryptology and cipher development, focusing more on
series from the 1960s and 1970s, when Mr. Feistel was working with IBM.
Keywords we included in the search were his name, “cipher”, “German
scientist”, “IBM”, and “Lucifer”, the name of the system he developed
during that time. We were unable to locate records relating specifically to
Mr. Feistel or his work developments.

We broadened our search to Record Group 242 – National Archives Collection
of Foreign Records Seized. Within this group, we located the series “German
Records Relating to Cryptography” (Entry UD 48-F), but were unable to
locate records of Mr. Feistel’s work. We were unable to locate records
relating to your topic using the same search terms in these record groups.

We also searched Record Group 340, Record Group 341, and Record Group 342.
These records are from the US Air Force and include research and
development files, intelligence, and some series related to cryptography.
These record groups were searched due to the mention of him working on the
cipher with the US Air Force Cambridge Research Center (AFCRC). We searched
for research records of the center from the 1960s and 1970s within the Air
Force record groups, but were unable to identify relevant series.

We searched a series of Investigative Records Repository (IRR) Personal and
Impersonal Name Files (Entries A1 134-A & 134-B) in Record Group 319 –
Records of the Army Staff for both Mr. Feistel and “Lucifer”. We conduct
searches in these series when we encounter a person or subject related to
intelligence but the search yielded no results.

The Special Access/Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Office has a set of
“Digital Investigative Records Repository” files that our office cannot
access. Your request has been sent back to the FOIA office for a search of
these records and they will response to you separately.

We also searched on our Access to Archival Database (AAD) website (
www.aad.archives.gov), in order to search civilian records as well. We
focused this search on IBM cryptography and research; while we received
several hits for IBM records, they did not relate to Mr. Feistel or his
research specifically.

Within Record Group 21 – Records of the District Courts of the United
States, we located the series "Name Index to Petitions and Records of
Naturalization" and a document for Mr. Feistel. The link to a digital copy
of the record is https://catalog.archives.gov/search?q=65747055.

On our online Catalog (www.catalog.archives.gov), we did locate the series
“Laboratory Notebooks, 1941-1946” that includes records of Mr. Feistel at
the National Archives at Boston. However, the description notes the
collection contains research done at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology (MIT) and does not seem to include his work on the Lucifer
cipher with IBM. If you would like more information on this series or other
potentially relevant series in their collection, please contact:

National Archives at Boston (RE-BO)
380 Trapelo Road
Waltham, MA 02452-6399
Phone: 866-406-2379
Fax: 781-663-0156
Email: boston.archives@nara.gov

We do not consider this a denial of your FOIA request. However, if you are
not satisfied with our action on this request, your options for appeal and
dispute resolution are outlined in the attached enclosure.

This concludes the processing of your request.

Sincerely,

LAUREN THEODORE

Archives Specialist, Archives II Textual Reference Branch (RDT2)

National Archives at College Park, MD

FOIA Appeal and Dispute Resolution Options

You have the right to file an administrative appeal in writing via regular
U.S. mail or email. Your appeal should be received within ninety (90)
calendar days from the date of this letter and it should explain why you
believe this response does not meet the requirements of the Freedom of
Information Act. Please address it to the Deputy Archivist of the United
States (ND), National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi
Road, College Park, Maryland 20740. Both the letter and the envelope
should be clearly marked “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.” You may also
submit your appeal to FOIA@nara.gov also addressed to the Deputy Archivist.
All correspondence should reference your internal case tracking number
20-12443.

In addition to your right to file an administrative appeal with the Deputy
Archivist, you may seek assistance from our FOIA Public Liaison (Acting),
Lynn Goodsell. Contact information for the FOIA Public Liaison at the
National Archives, Washington DC area is as follows:

*Accessioned Executive Branch Agency Records - Washington, DC Area*
FOIA requester Service Center telephone number: 301-837-3190
FOIA Public Liaison (Acting): Lynn Goodsell
8601 Adelphi Road, Room 5500
College Park, MD 20740-6001
E-mail address: DC.FOIA.LIAISON@NARA.GOV

Finally, the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) offers
mediation services to resolve disputes between FOIA requesters and Federal
agencies as a non-exclusive alternative to administrative appeals. Using
OGIS services does not affect your right to pursue an administrative
appeal. The contact information for OGIS is as follows:

Office of Government Information Services

National Archives and Records Administration

Room 2510

8601 Adelphi Road

College Park, MD 20740-6001

E-mail: ogis@nara.gov

Telephone: 202-741-5770

Facsimile: 202-741-5769

Toll-free: 1-877-684-6448
--
LAUREN THEODORE
Archives Specialist, Archives II Reference Section (RDT2)
National Archives at College Park, MD

From: National Archives And Records Administration – Archival Or Special Access

Dear Mr Berret,

I am writing in response to your Freedom of Information Act request of
December 9, 2019 for records in the custody of the National Archives and
Records Administration. Your request was received in our office on December
13, 2019 and assigned FOIA tracking number *RD 63623*.

I conducted a search of the Digital Investigative Records Repository (IRR)
files in the Records of the Army Staff (Record Group 319), but the series
does not contain any files related to Horst Feistel. Because we conducted a
reasonable search and could find no records responsive to your request, we
are denying the request on procedural grounds.

Records transferred to the custody of the National Archives are exempt from
the fee and fee waiver provisions of the Freedom of Information Act because
a fee schedule was in effect prior to enactment. The applicable section
states that “nothing in this subparagraph shall supersede fees chargeable
under a statute specifically providing for setting the level of fees for
particular types of records” (5 U.S.C. 552 (a)(4)(A)(vi)). The relevant fee
statute authorizes the National Archives “to charge a fee for making or
authenticating copies or reproductions of materials transferred to the
Archivist’s custody.” (44 U.S.C. 2116(c)). The inability to grant the
requested fee waiver does not constitute a denial under the terms of the
Freedom of Information Act.

This concludes the processing of your request. If you have any questions
please contact me directly at megan.dwyre@nara.gov or 301-837-0488.

If you are not satisfied with our action on this request, you have the
right to file an administrative appeal within ninety (90) calendar days
from the date of this letter. Appeals must be in writing and may be
delivered by regular U.S. mail or by e-mail. By filing an appeal, you
preserve your rights under the Freedom of Information Act and give the
deciding agency a chance to review your request and reconsider its
decision. If you submit your appeal by regular mail, it should be addressed
to the Deputy Archivist of the United States (ND), National Archives and
Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, Room 4200, College Park,
Maryland 20740-6001. Both the letter and envelope should be clearly marked
“Freedom of Information Act Appeal.” If you submit your appeal by email,
please send it to foia@nara.gov, addressed to the Deputy Archivist, with
the words “FOIA Appeal” in the subject line. Please be certain to explain
why you believe this response does not meet the requirements of the Freedom
of Information Act. All communications concerning this request should
reference FOIA tracking number *RD 63623*.

If you would like the opportunity to discuss our response and attempt to
resolve your dispute without initiating the appeals process, you may
contact our FOIA Public Liaison for assistance:

Accessioned Executive Branch Records – Washington, DC Area
FOIA Requester Service Center: 301-837-3190
FOIA Public Liaison: Lynn Goodsell (Acting)
8601 Adelphi Road, Room 5500
College Park, MD 20740-6001
Telephone: 301-837-3190
Email: dc.foia.liaison@nara.gov

If you are unable to resolve your dispute through our Public Liaison, the
Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) is the federal FOIA
ombudsman. OGIS offers mediation services to
help resolve disputes between FOIA requesters and federal agencies. You may
contact OGIS at the following address:

Office of Government Information Services (OGIS)
National Archives and Records Administration
8601 Adelphi Road, Room 2510
College Park, MD 20740-6001
ogis@nara.gov
202-741-5770
1-877-684-6448

Sincerely,

Megan Dwyre
Special Access and FOIA Staff
National Archives at College Park, MD
https://www.archives.gov/research/foia

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