MuckRock emails (Federal Communications Commission)

Emma Best filed this request with the Federal Communications Commission of the United States of America.
Tracking #

FCC-2018-000695

Multi Request MuckRock emails
Due Oct. 23, 2018
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Emma 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 "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.

Sincerely,

Emma Best

From: Federal Communications Commission

This message is to confirm your request submission to the FOIAonline application: View Request. Request information is as follows: (https://foiaonline.regulations.gov:443/foia/action/public/view/request?objectId=090004d281962f12)
* Tracking Number: FCC-2018-000695
* Requester Name: Emma Best
* Date Submitted: 06/05/2018
* Request Status: Submitted
* Description: 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.

From: Federal Communications Commission

Dear Ms. Best:

We have received your FOIA request seeking emails containing the terms "MuckRock", "Muck Rock" or "MuckRock.com", excluding emails sent to or from a MuckRock.com email address. Your request has been assigned FOIA Control No. 2018-695. The Commission does not maintain a unified, searchable e-mail repository, and thus individual staff members search for records responsive to a particular FOIA request. Given that the Commission has approximately 1,700 employees, it is not feasible to ask each employee to search for responsive records. Was there a particular employee or office whose records you were interested in? A listing of Commission offices can be found at https://www.fcc.gov/bureaus-offices.

If you would like to discuss your request, please feel free to contact me.

Stephanie Kost
FCC FOIA Public Liaison
Federal Communications Commission
Office of Managing Director
Performance Evaluation and Records Management
445 12th St., Washington, DC 20554
Telephone number: 202-418-1379

From: Federal Communications Commission

Dear Ms. Best:

We have received your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for emails containing the terms "MuckRock", "Muck Rock" or "MuckRock.com", excluding emails sent to or from a MuckRock.com email address. Your request has been assigned FOIA Control No. 2018-695. Before we can proceed with your request, we require clarification regarding the scope of the records you seek.

You have not specified what Bureaus/Offices you would like to search for records, and we are unable to determine what Bureaus/Offices would be most likely to have responsive records. Searching the records of all the Commission's approximately 1,700 employees is not feasible. Please inform us of what Bureaus/Offices you would like us to search. A list of Commission Bureaus/Offices and their functions can be found at https://www.fcc.gov/about-fcc/organizational-charts-fcc.

Please let us know how you would like to proceed no later than June 26, 2018. If we do not hear from you by then, we will assume you are no longer interested in this request and will close it as withdrawn.

If you would like to discuss your request, please feel free to contact me.

Stephanie Kost
FCC FOIA Public Liaison
Federal Communications Commission
Office of Managing Director
Performance Evaluation and Records Management
445 12th St., Washington, DC 20554
Telephone number: 202-418-1379

From: Emma Best

It appears your agency uses Microsoft Exchange, which allows for the search requested to be centrally performed, per https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd298021(v=exchg.160).aspx

I hope that helps.

From: Emma Best

It appears your agency uses Microsoft Exchange, which allows for the search requested to be centrally performed, per https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd298021(v=exchg.160).aspx

I hope that helps.

From: Federal Communications Commission

Ms. Best –

One additional question. Could you please let us know the time period you would like us to search?

Stephanie Kost
FCC FOIA Public Liaison
Federal Communications Commission
Office of Managing Director
Performance Evaluation and Records Management
445 12th St., Washington, DC 20554
Telephone number: 202-418-1379

From: Federal Communications Commission

Ms. Best,

Given the current state of the FCC’s FOIA technology, we do not do agency wide searches for e-mails. The agency does not maintain a single, readily-searchable repository of e-mails. Instead, we conduct custodian-by-custodian searches based on the persons likely to have responsive material. This method of searching comports with both the agency’s regulations and the FOIA’s requirement to conduct a reasonable search. Therefore, we would need to know which bureaus/offices you would like us to search in order to respond to your FOIA request. Thank you for your assistance!

Stephanie Kost
FCC FOIA Public Liaison
Federal Communications Commission
Office of Managing Director
Performance Evaluation and Records Management
445 12th St., Washington, DC 20554
Telephone number: 202-418-1379

From: Federal Communications Commission

Ms. Best,

We are currently processing your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, FOIA Control No. 2018-695, seeking “all emails containing the terms “MuckRock”, “Muck Rock” or “MuckRock.com”, excluding emails sent to or from a MuckRock.com email address.”

The Commission does not maintain a unified, searchable correspondence repository, and thus individual staff members search for records responsive to a particular FOIA request. Given that the Commission has approximately 1,700 employees, it is not feasible to ask each employee to search for responsive records. Is there a particular bureau/office you are interested in? A list of Commission bureaus/offices can be located at https://www.fcc.gov/offices-bureaus<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.fcc.gov_offices-2Dbureaus&d=DwMFAg&c=4ZIZThykDLcoWk-GVjSLmy8-1Cr1I4FWIvbLFebwKgY&r=mBwmhst5-RI-G4kCpzNx5Be6jJdl2iy2Er4qjlxHsxLVAa7qN1-iaVv7vzzXsWTT&m=ZeITwhP8veL2CnBr14ebm5tL_i0LcFd7IY6ovvT_9k0&s=Spnrk_c0iVCeJ_1zzvDx1IARJHhOZEChgoOiRx6ivc8&e=>.

Please let us know what offices you would like us to search by Monday, July 23. If we do not hear from you by then, we will assume you are no longer interested in this request and will close it accordingly.

Stephanie Kost
FCC FOIA Public Liaison
Federal Communications Commission
Office of Managing Director
Performance Evaluation and Records Management
445 12th St., Washington, DC 20554
Telephone number: 202-418-1379

From: Emma Best

I'm interested in all offices. Microsoft exchange should allow for a centralized search. Regarding the feasibility of the request, please see Shapiro v. CIA, No. 14-00019, 2016 WL 1069646 (D.D.C. Mar. 17, 2016) (Cooper, J.), which found that "FOIA's reasonable-description requirement does not doom requests that precisely describe the records sought, even if compliance might overwhelm an agency’s response team."

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