|Submitted||May 23, 2018|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:
Copies of all emails containing the terms "MuckRock", "Muck Rock" or "MuckRock.com", excluding emails sent to or from a MuckRock.com email address. Please include the complete email exchange for each email, including any emails that are being replied to as well as any subsequent replies.
I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities. I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through non-profits such as the Internet Archive and MuckRock, 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 my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available, I request that fees be waived.
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.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has received the information you submitted to the FOIA@TREASURY.gov<mailto:FOIA@TREASURY.gov> mailbox.
If you are submitting a FOIA request, this courtesy reply does not replace the acknowledgement letter which will include a FOIA case number once your request has been entered into our FOIA Request Tracking System.
If you are seeking the status of a pending FOIA request for which you have a FOIA case number, please call (202) 622-0930 to obtain the status of your request.
Please visit our FOIA Library at http://www.treasury.gov/FOIA/Pages/reading_room.aspx.
Thank you for contacting the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
The Department of the Treasury is in receipt of your recently submitted FOIA request. Before we can process your request under the FOIA, additional information is required from you. Please review the attached letter and provide the requested information as outlined. You may copy me on any emails you submit but emails must be received via FOIA@Treasury.gov<mailto:FOIA@Treasury.gov>.
Courts have held that just such a request is reasonable, and that demanding the information you have requested is not required. Please proceed with the request as-is. Thanks!
Just a reminder if you haven’t done so already, please send all responses to the email address provided in the acknowledgement letter you receive. Following the process as indicated will ensure your email is processed appropriately and quickly.
When submitting additional information regarding your request, please include the FOIA number in the subject line of your request and send it to FOIA@Treasury.gov<mailto:FOIA@Trasury.gov>. You are more than welcome to copy me on the email but the follow up communication must be received via the email address provided to you.
Please see Treasury's second imperfect letter requesting additional information requited to process your request. Please note that all responses must be received via our mailing address or via FOIA@Treasury.gov<mailto:FOIA@Treasury.gov>; you are more than welcome to send me a courtesy copy of your response.