MuckRock emails (U.S. Department of State)

Emma Best filed this request with the U.S. Department of State of the United States of America.
Tracking #

F-2018-03988

Multi Request MuckRock emails
Due June 21, 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: U.S. Department of State

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: U.S. Department of State

Dear Ms. Best,

This email is in response to your fax dated August 6, 2018 regarding the status of FOIA Case Control Number F-2018-03988. The Office of Information Programs and Services electronic records system indicates that your request is pending processing. You will be notified of the Department's search and review effort in response to this request as soon as it becomes available.

The Department processes FOIA and Privacy Act requests on a first-in, first-out basis, and currently has a backlog of approximately 10,400 cases. As a result, there is presently a delay in the completion of FOIA and Privacy Act requests.

If you have any questions, please contact the FOIA Requester Service Center (FRSC) at (202) 261-8484, or fax us at (202) 261-8579 or send an e-mail to foiastatus@state.gov<mailto:foiastatus@state.gov>.

Sincerely,

J. Berhane

U.S. Department of State

FOIA Requester Service Center

(202) 261-8484

foiastatus@state.gov<mailto:foiastatus@state.gov>

Official - Transitory
UNCLASSIFIED

Official - Transitory
UNCLASSIFIED

From: U.S. Department of State

Dear Ms. Best,

This email is in response to your fax dated August 6, 2018 regarding the status of FOIA Case Control Number F-2018-053988. The Office of Information Programs and Services electronic records system indicates that your request is pending processing. You will be notified of the Department's search and review effort in response to this request as soon as it becomes available.

The Department processes FOIA and Privacy Act requests on a first-in, first-out basis, and currently has a backlog of approximately 10,400 cases. As a result, there is presently a delay in the completion of FOIA and Privacy Act requests.

If you have any questions, please contact the FOIA Requester Service Center (FRSC) at (202) 261-8484, or fax us at (202) 261-8579 or send an e-mail to foiastatus@state.gov<mailto:foiastatus@state.gov>.

Sincerely,

J. Berhane

U.S. Department of State

FOIA Requester Service Center

(202) 261-8484

foiastatus@state.gov<mailto:foiastatus@state.gov>

Official - Transitory
UNCLASSIFIED

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