MuckRock emails (Federal Aviation Administration)

Emma North-Best filed this request with the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States of America.

It is a clone of this request.

Multi Request MuckRock emails
Due June 12, 2019
Est. Completion None
Awaiting Response


From: Emma North-Best

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 "", excluding emails sent to or from a 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.


Emma Best

From: Federal Aviation Administration

Dear Ms. Best,

Your request does not meet the regulatory requirements for a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The FAA is a nationwide agency, which employs nearly 50,000 people. Requests for emails about a subject, without confining search parameters, are not considered proper if they do not specify a time period, sufficiently defined subject matter to permit an adequate search, and identify specific persons.

Please be advised that pursuant to the FOIA, the standard for determining whether a particular request is reasonable is the ability of a professional agency employee to reasonably ascertain exactly which records are being requested and to locate them. Requests that are so broad and sweeping that they lack specificity are not reasonably described.

The FOIA was not intended for government agencies to be full-time investigators on behalf of requesters or to allow requesters to browse agency files (the courts have described it as conducting fishing expeditions).

We must ask that you please identify the specific individual(s) whose emails you would like to have searched, a date range, and either a subject matter or specific search terms.

If you have any questions or wish to discuss reformulation, please contact our FOIA Public Liaison at (202) 267-7799 or by email to<> with “Public Liaison” in the subject line.

If we do not hear from you by June 19, 2018, we will consider this FOIA Closed/Cancelled without any further action on our part.



From: Emma North-Best

Your agency appears to use Microsoft Exchange which allows for the search to be performed simply and centrally, regardless of the number of users. Please see

I hope that helps.

From: Federal Aviation Administration

Ms. Best,

We still require the names of the employees and the time frame to be searched. If you have any additional questions or wish to discuss reformulation, please contact our FOIA Public Liaison at (202) 267-7799 or by email to<> with “Public Liaison” in the subject line.


From: Emma North-Best

Except as I've already stated, that's not how your system actually works.


There are no files associated with this request.