Justice Department tracking of cell site simulator approvals under exigent circumstances

Shawn Musgrave filed this request with the Department of Justice of the United States of America.

It is a clone of this request.

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Awaiting Acknowledgement

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 list, database or other document by which the Criminal Division tracks approvals for the use of a cell site simulator pursuant to exceptional circumstances (i.e., instances in which the law does not require a search warrant and circumstances make obtaining a search warrant impracticable), as well as the number of times such approvals are issued.

Per the amended policy on cell site simulators, "Department of Justice Policy Guidance: Use of Cell-Site Simulator Technology" (available at http://www.justice.gov/opa/file/767321/download): "There may also be other circumstances in which, although exigent circumstances do not exist, the law does not require a search warrant and circumstances make obtaining a search warrant impracticable. In such cases, which we expect to be very limited, agents must first obtain approval from executive-level personnel at the agency's headquarters and the relevant U.S. Attorney, and then from a Criminal Division DAAG. The Criminal Division shall keep track of the number of times the use of a cell-site simulator is approved under this subsection, as well as the circumstances underlying each such use."

As I am submitting this FOIA request in my capacity as a journalist who has covered extensively the deployment of cell site simulators by law enforcement at the federal, state, and local levels, I assert that I am appropriately categorized as a media requester for the purpose of fees. As this request concerns a matter of intense public interest and responsive documents will be posted online for the public to review free of charge, I further request a waiver of any applicable fees.

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,

Shawn Musgrave
New England Center for Investigate Reporting

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