MuckRock emails (National Archives and Records Administration)

Emma Best filed this request with the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States of America.

It is a clone of this request.

Tracking #

NARA-NGC-2018-000617

Multi Request MuckRock emails
Due July 18, 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: National Archives and Records Administration

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=090004d281963273)
* Tracking Number: NARA-NGC-2018-000617
* Requester Name: Emma Best
* Date Submitted: 06/05/2018
* Request Status: Submitted
* Description: 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: National Archives and Records Administration

Dear Ms. Best:

We received your FOIA request via the *FOIAonline *portal, however, we are
unable to process it without more specific information. In your request
you asked for:

"Copies of all emails containing the terms 'MuckRock,' 'Muck Rock,' or
'MuckRock.com,' excluding emails sent to or from a MuckRock.com email
address."

We need you to specify the following:
1. a time period you are asking us to search,
2. specify which components or offices of the National Archives you want
us to search, and
3. whether your request includes any email that mentions a Muck Rock
article?

Until you can provide more specific information, the 20 work days to
provide a response does not start to run.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Susan Gillett
Government Information Specialist
Office of General Counsel
National Archives and Records Administration
College Park, MD 20740-6001
301-837-3409
susan.gillett@nara.gov

From: Emma Best

Thanks for reaching out for clarification!

1. 2010 to present.
2. Each office and component.
3. Yes.

I hope this helps. Thank you so much for your help and patience. Let me know if there are any other points that need clarification, or if there's anything I can do to help make processing the request easier for you and your office.

- Emma Best

From: National Archives and Records Administration

Sent via FOIAOnline
July 19, 2018
Emma Best Dept. 55000
411A Highland Ave.
Somerville, MA 02144
Re: Freedom of Information Act Request NGC18-331
Dear Ms. Best:
Your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted on June 5, 2018 via FOIAonline was received in our office on the same day. We have assigned your request internal tracking number NGC18-331 in addition to the FOIAOnline tracking number NARA-NGC-2018-000617. In your request you asked for: Copies of all emails containing the terms “MuckRock,””Muck Rock,” or “MuckRock.com,” excluding emails sent to or from a MuckRock.com email address.”
I sent you an email on June 6, 2018 informing you that we could not process your request without more specific information. We asked you to specify a time period you wanted us to search, which components or offices of the National Archives you wanted us to search, and whether your request included any email that mentions a Muck Rock article. You responded in an email on June 25, 2018 that the time period you wanted was 2010 to the present (i.e. June 25, 2018); you wanted each NARA component and office; and you included emails that merely mention a Muck Rock article.
Our initial search returned just over 2 million emails because our system does not allow us to automatically remove emails sent to or from a MuckRock.com email address, and you have asked for almost 8 years of emails. Your request thus falls within one of the “unusual circumstances” categories contemplated by the FOIA, 5 U.S.C. 552 §§ (a) (6) (B) (iii) (II) and (III), and we need additional time to respond to your request beyond the twenty business days provided by the FOIA statute.
To enable us to respond more quickly to you, you do have the option to reformulate your request to reduce the amount of time required to complete our search and review, or to arrange an alternative time frame for the processing of this request. We regret the necessity of this delay, but assure you that your request will be processed as soon as possible. If you have any questions you may contact me. You may also contact our FOIA Public Liaison, Gary M. Stern for assistance at 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6002, 301-837-1750, Garym.Stern@nara.gov.

Sincerely,
Susan Gillett Government Information Specialist
Office of General Counsel
Tel: 301-837-3409
Email: susan.gillett@nara.gov

From: National Archives and Records Administration

Dear Ms. Best:

Please see the correspondence sent to you today via *FOIAonline. *

Your request as clarified on June 25, 2018 has returned over 2 million
emails in our search. We are going to need more time to eliminate emails
to and from MuckRock.com that you excluded, to remove duplicate emails, and
locate responsive documents. Currently your FOIA request is number 140 in
our queue.

Sincerely,

Susan Gillett
Government Information Specialist
Office of General Counsel
National Archives and Records Administration
College Park, MD 20740-6001
301-837-3409
susan.gillett@nara.gov

From: National Archives and Records Administration

Dear Ms. Best:

Thank you for your email of August 21, 2018.

As I mentioned in my email of July 19, 2018, the parameters you gave in
your request returned almost 2.5 million emails. Our office has to use
software to remove duplicates by searching one batch of 25,000 emails at a
time. Then once all batches have duplicates removed, we then search to
remove emails to and from a MuckRock.com address, as you requested. Only
then can we use search terms to find the relevant emails that fit the
parameters that you gave us. This is a very slow process because our
software can only do about 3 batches a day. We estimate we will be able to
start reviewing responsive records in early 2019. As of today, your
request is number 133 in the queue.

To enable us to respond more quickly to you, you do have the option to
reformulate your request to reduce the amount of time to complete our
search and review. If you want to discuss this, I will be happy to speak
with you.

Sincerely,
Susan Gillett
Government Information Specialist
Office of General Counsel
National Archives and Records Administration
College Park, MD 20740-6001
301-837-3409
susan.gillett@nara.gov

From: Emma Best

I appreciate your office's effort and diligence with this, and look forward to the beginning of the rolling release when it's turn comes up in the queue.

Files

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