Justice Department StingRay review memo

Shawn Musgrave filed this request with the Department of Justice of the United States of America.
Tracking # 1328989-000 ; DOJ-AP-2016- 003423
Est. Completion None
Status
Fix Required

Communications

From: Shawn Musgrave

To Whom It May Concern:

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

The memo, directive, or other document(s) that order a review of Justice Department and component policies regarding the use of cell site simulator devices, also called IMSI catchers or StingRays.

An article published in the Wall Street Journal (see http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-will-change-stance-on-secret-phone-tracking-1430696796) quoted a number of Justice Department officials, including a spokesman: 'A Justice spokesman said the department is “examining its policies to ensure they reflect the Department’s continuing commitment to conducting its vital missions while according appropriate respect for privacy and civil liberties.”'

Given that this FOIA is submitted in my capacity as a journalist who has covered the Justice Department and StingRays extensively, I request that I be categorized as a media requester for the purpose of fees. Here is a selection of my published articles on MuckRock:

https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2015/jan/12/how-843-lbs-seized-pot-lead-customs-and-border-pro/

https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2015/mar/03/us-marshals-service-conceal-key-details-millions-s/

https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2015/feb/27/while-dodging-direct-question-fbi-commits-obama-st/

https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2015/feb/27/while-dodging-direct-question-fbi-commits-obama-st/

https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2015/feb/12/fbi-and-justice-department-cant-find-drone-privacy/

https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2015/jan/22/air-force-knows-how-many-mq-9-drones-it-wants-cant/

I have also been published in a number of national media outlets on topics pertaining to national security, law enforcement and technology:

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-us-spent-360-million-on-border-drones-thanks-to-this-flimsy-report

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-air-force-says-it-needs-precisely-52-new-reaper-drones-cant-explain-why

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/do-the-fbis-drones-invade-your-privacy-sorry-thats-private

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/04/08/big-brother-better-police-work-new-technology-automatically-runs-license-plates-everyone/1qoAoFfgp31UnXZT2CsFSK/story.html

www.betaboston.com/news/2014/03/05/a-vast-hidden-surveillance-network-runs-across-america-powered-by-the-repo-industry/

https://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/02/05/nypd-social-media-policy-allows-catfishing-with-the-proper-paperwork.html

https://www.themarshallproject.org/2014/12/03/the-pentagon-finally-details-its-weapons-for-cops-giveaway

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/do-the-fbis-drones-invade-your-privacy-sorry-thats-private

https://news.vice.com/article/fbi-agent-who-killed-boston-bombing-suspects-friend-was-twice-accused-of-police-brutality

As the requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com and pertains to a matter of considerable public interest, I further request a full waiver of all fees.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, 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,

Shawn Musgrave

From: MRUFOIA Requests

Mr. Musgrave,

Please see the attached response to your FOIA request. Please note, your request has been assigned tracking number EMRUFOIA050515.
Thanks

MRU FOIA

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello -

I do not believe that this FOIA request should be referred to the FBI. Per all reporting and Justice Department statements on the matter, this order to review deployment of StingRays came from Justice Department policy officials and/or the Attorney General's office. The review is presented as having a cross-component scope. As such, please confirm that referring this FOIA to the FBI is an appropriate step in processing this request.

Respectfully,
Shawn Musgrave
MuckRock

From: Department of Justice

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello -

Please advise as to the status of this request. Earlier this month, I expressed concern that this request was referred to inappropriate offices.

Best,
Shawn Musgrave
Investigative reporter, MuckRock

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 5, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #1328989-000.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 5, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #1328989-000.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 5, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #1328989-000.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 5, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #1328989-000.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.

From: MRUFOIA Requests

Per our initial response to your FOIA request on May 5, 2015, we referred your request to the DOJ component(s) below: you have designated or, based on descriptive information you have provided, to the component(s) most likely to have the records. All future inquiries concerning the status of your request should be addressed to the office(s) listed below:

FOIA/PA
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Department of Justice
170 Marcel Drive
Winchester, VA 22602
(540) 868-4500

Please address any inquiries directly to the office(s) above.

Thank you,

MRU FOIA

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello -

Respectfully, please read this email in its entirety to avoid going around in circles. As I have articulated in previous communications (see below, emails dated 5/7/2015 and 5/28/2015), I believe that this FOIA has been inappropriately referred to the FBI. The policy in question covers all law enforcement components of the Justice Department, and not solely the FBI.

Please respond to this inquiry regarding whether this FOIA was appropriately referred to the FBI. If I do not receive a substantive reply, I will appeal your constructive denial of this request to the Office of Information Policy.

Respectfully,
Shawn Musgrave
MuckRock

From: MRUFOIA Requests

Shawn Musgrave,

Please see the attached response to your FOIA request. Please note, your request has been assigned tracking number EMRUFOIA102815-2.

Thank you,

MRU FOIA

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello -

Please advise as to the subject of FOIA EMRUFOIA102815-2, which was referred to the US Marshals. Your communication did not indicate the subject matter.

Best,
Shawn Musgrave

From: MRUFOIA Requests

Good Morning,

The below FOIA request was initially referred to the FBI and then later to the USMS for response. Our office does not track the FOIA requests once they have been sent to the component so you will need to reach out to them directly. Below I have provide the contact information for both the FBI and USMS FOIA offices:

FOIA/PA

United States Marshals Service

Department of Justice

CS-4, 10th Floor

2604 Jefferson Davis Highway

Alexandria, VA 22301
(202) 307-9054

FOIA/PA
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Department of Justice
170 Marcel Drive
Winchester, VA 22602
(540) 868-4500
Thanks

MRU FOIA

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello -

I once again question whether it was appropriate to refer FOIA #EMRUFOIA102815-2 to components, given that the memo regarding StingRay policies — and the resulting change in policy — covered all Justice Department components.

Please advise as to this point specifically, rather than repeating once again that the FOIA has been referred to the FBI and USMS. I will appeal for constructive denial should your office fail to advise substantively on this matter.

Respectfully,
Shawn Musgrave

From: MRUFOIA Requests

Per our initial response to your FOIA request on May 5, 2015, we referred your request to the DOJ component(s) below: you have designated or, based on descriptive information you have provided, to the component(s) most likely to have the records. All future inquiries concerning the status of your request should be addressed to the office(s) listed below:

FOIA/PA
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Department of Justice
170 Marcel Drive
Winchester, VA 22602
(540) 868-4500

Please address any inquiries directly to the office(s) above.

Thank you,

MRU FOIA

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello -

Please read the following email in its entirety. Should I continue to receive boilerplate responses to the effect that this request has been referred to the FBI, I shall appeal for constructive denial.

As I've done before, I question whether it was appropriate to refer FOIA #EMRUFOIA102815-2 to components, given that the memo regarding StingRay policies — and the resulting change in policy — covered all Justice Department components.

Please advise as to this point specifically, rather than repeating once again that the FOIA has been referred to the FBI and/or USMS. I will appeal for constructive denial should your office fail to advise substantively on this matter by end-of-week.

Respectfully,
Shawn Musgrave

From: Department of Justice

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: Department of Justice

A cover letter granting the request and outlining any exempted materials, if any.

From: Shawn Musgrave

To Whom It May Concern:

This is an appeal for the partial denial of FOIA 1328989-000. I submitted a request in May 2015 seeking:

"The memo, directive, or other document(s) that order a review of Justice Department and component policies regarding the use of cell site simulator devices, also called IMSI catchers or StingRays."

In a release dated April 29, 2016, the FBI released a seven-page memo which was already available to the public, and withheld in full thirteen additional pages. In typical fashion, the FBi cited exemptions in its denial without explaining with specificity how any of the invoked exemptions was sufficient to justify withholding these additional pages. Statute and case law require the FBI to justify with specificity the invocation of exemptions to disclosure, as well as to construe such exemptions narrowly. The FBI has done neither.

In light of the FBI's failure to provide the requested documents in good faith, I request that you remand this search back to the FBI for search and disclosure of documents the release of which is squarely in the public interest.

Respectfully,
Shawn Musgrave

From: OIP-NoReply@usdoj.gov

06/07/2016 03:44 PM FOIA Request: DOJ-AP-2016-003423

From: Robinson, Nancy (USMS)

[USMS seal blue294 1in]

U.S. Department of Justice
United States Marshals Service

Office of General Counsel

CS-4, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20530-0001

July 11, 2016

Shawn Musgrave
MuckRock
DEPT MR 17737
PO Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-58189

Re: Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Request Nr. 2016USMS29342
Subject: Policy for Cell Cite Simulators

Dear Requester:

The United States Marshals Service (USMS) is responding to your request dated October 28, 2015. We have conducted a search for the USMS Cell Site Simulator policy and located 8 pages. These 8 pages originated with the Department of Justice, Office of the Deputy Attorney General. Therefore, the records have been referred to the Office of Information Policy for determination and direct response to you in accordance with 28 C.F.R. § 16.4(d). You may contact OIP as follows: Laurie Day, Chief, Initial Request Staff, Office of Information Policy, Department of Justice, Suite 11050, 1425 New York Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20530-0001.

Sincerely,

William E. Bordley
Associate General Counsel/FOIPA Officer
Office of General Counsel

From: Robinson, Nancy (USMS)

This is a copy of our response to your request.
---

Re: Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Request Nr. 2016USMS29342

Subject: Policy for Cell Cite Simulators

Dear Requester:

The United States Marshals Service (USMS) is responding to your request dated October 28, 2015. We have conducted a search for the USMS Cell Site Simulator policy and located 8 pages. These 8 pages originated with the Department of Justice, Office of the Deputy Attorney General. Therefore, the records have been referred to the Office of Information Policy for determination and direct response to you in accordance with 28 C.F.R. § 16.4(d). You may contact OIP as follows: Laurie Day, Chief, Initial Request Staff, Office of Information Policy, Department of Justice, Suite 11050, 1425 New York Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20530-0001.

From: OIP-NoReply@usdoj.gov

DOJ-AP-2016-003423 has been processed with the following final disposition: Affirmed on Appeal.

  • Musgrave, Shawn, AP-2016-003423 FBI.affirm.partly.modified.b5dpp.7e.dr

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