NSA Contracts with Glimmerglass Networks

Heather Akers-Healy filed this request with the National Security Agency of the United States of America.
Tracking # 75386B
Status
Rejected
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Communications

From: Heather Akers-Healy

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

Copies of contracts with Glimmerglass Networks, Inc. and any final reports generated and delivered by Glimmerglass Networks, Inc. to the agency over the past 10 years. Glimmerglass is located at 26142 EDEN LANDING RD, HAYWARD, CA, 94545-3710.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, 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,

Heather Akers-Healy

From: National Security Agency

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: Heather Akers-Healy

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on October 31, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

-------------
To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

Copies of contracts with Glimmerglass Networks, Inc. and any final reports generated and delivered by Glimmerglass Networks, Inc. to the agency over the past 10 years. Glimmerglass is located at 26142 EDEN LANDING RD, HAYWARD, CA, 94545-3710.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, 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,

Heather Akers-Healy

From: National Security Agency

A fix is required to perfect the request. The request has been rejected as being too vague, burdensome or otherwise unprocessable.

From: Heather Akers-Healy

To Whom it May Concern:

This is in response to the NSA’s letter dated December 19, 2013 regarding FOIA case number 75386. I would like to clarify my request and appeal your determination that I am an “all other” requester for fee purposes.

Firstly, since the completion of my original request appears to be burdensome, if possible I ask that you please provide an index of the file on Glimmerglass. File indexes are a standard records keeping practice when dealing with large amounts of documents and usually include the date of the document, the document title, a description of the document, and the author. As a courtesy I also ask that you provide free of charge the documents retrieved in the two hours of search time referenced in the December 19 letter.

If an index cannot be provided, please continue with the processing of the original request for contracts and reports. If my appeal of the fee waiver (below) is not approved I am willing to pay up to $300 and may pay additional fees if I am provided with an estimate of the remaining cost.

Secondly, I am appealing your determination that I do not qualify for a fee waiver. In response to your points:

My Personal Qualifications and the Nature of My Research-
I am a trained paralegal with a background in legal research. Additionally I have experience in interpreting contracts and invoices, and experience in technology applications. I have established a project at MuckRock looking into the activities of the NSA and other intelligence agencies. Despite the short time I have been making and publishing requests through MuckRock, this project has garnered impressive media attention and was recently written up in Forbes. (http://www.forbes.com/sites/runasandvik/2013/11/26/illuminating-the-united-states-billion-dollar-intelligence-budget-project-spylighter-documents-surveillance-technology-used-by-the-nsa/) The Forbes article was covered in several other media outlets, and even reported in Spanish. (http://www.desdeabajo.info/actualidad/internacional/item/23165-spylighter-documenta-la-compra-de-tecnolog%C3%ADa-de-vigilancia-masiva-por-parte-de-la-nsa.html)

I am now working with Runa Sandvik (the author of the article at Forbes) on another article regarding the responses I have received to my FOIA requests.

This Information Will be Widely Disseminated and Analyzed-
All documents released to MuckRock are published on the MuckRock website. The documents are not merely posted, but analyzed by journalists at MuckRock and media outlets around the world. MuckRock has over 1,000 active users and tens of thousands of readers. An incomplete list of outlets reporting news broken at MuckRock can be found here:
https://pinboard.in/u:morisy/t:muckrock_press/

My first successful request to the NSA for contracts with Vupen was widely reported. There was significant interest in the fact that the NSA was purchasing exploits services from a foreign contractor. A few examples of press regarding that release are below:
Threatpost: http://threatpost.com/nsa-bought-exploit-service-from-vupen-contract-shows
Gawker: http://gawker.com/nsa-paid-french-hackers-for-software-exploits-1341604032
The Register: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/09/17/nsa_vupen/
Information Week: http://www.informationweek.com/security/government/nsa-contracted-with-zero-day-vendor-vupe/240161389
Computing: http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/news/2295155/nsa-bought-zero-day-vulnerabilities-from-security-company-vupen
Slate: http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/09/17/nsa_paid_french_hacker_company_vupen_for_software_exploits.html
RT: http://rt.com/usa/nsa-vupen-exploit-hack-978/
Mashable: http://mashable.com/2013/09/17/nsa-french-hacking-tools-vupen/
The Hacker News: http://thehackernews.com/2013/09/nsa-bought-hacking-tools-from-vupen.html
The Daily Dot: http://www.dailydot.com/politics/nsa-malware-vupen/
Spiegel: http://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/netzpolitik/nsa-kauft-infos-ueber-sicherheitsluecken-von-vupen-a-922765.html

This Information Does Contribute to the Public Understanding-
With the release of the Snowden materials and the surrounding media coverage, the past few months have demonstrated a significant increase in the public’s interest in the activities of the NSA and other intelligence agencies. The release of details regarding the NSA’s “black budget” has been one of the biggest stories to break this year. It is in the public interest to understand how that money is being spent, and the relationship of the NSA with its private contractors.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this appeal.

Sincerely,
Heather Akers-Healy

From: National Security Agency

A letter stating that the request appeal has been received and is being processed.

From: Heather Akers-Healy

To Whom It May Concern:

May I please have an estimated time of completion on this fee waiver appeal and the processing of request number 75386? Thank you.

From: Heather Akers-Healy

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Oct. 31, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #3882.

Thank you for your help.

From: Heather Akers-Healy

To Whom It May Concern,

I am requesting an estimated date of completion for FOIA case number 75386/Appeal number 3882. When requesting an estimated date of completion 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(7) states, in pertinent part, “Each agency shall … provide[ ] information about the status of a request to the person making the request … , including … an estimated date on which the agency will complete action on the request.”

Pursuant to this statute, I hereby formally request that the NSA provide me with a written estimated date on which the agency will complete action on this FOIA request. A mere statement of the request’s place in your queue will not satisfy this status request. Similarly, a statement that the agency has a significant backlog of requests and cannot provide an estimated date of completion will not satisfy this status request. Only “an estimated date on which the agency will complete action on the request” will satisfy this status request and the agency’s statutory responsibility.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,
Heather Akers-Healy

From: foiarsc, foiarsc

Ms. Akers-Healy,

This email responds to your status check regarding FOIA Case 75432 of 1 Nov. 2013, wherein you requested "contracts with Glimmerglass Networks, Inc. and any final reports generated and delivered by Glimmerglass Networks, Inc. to the agency over the past 10 years. Glimmerglass is located at 26142 Eden Landing Rd, Hayward, CA 94545-3710." Our Office of General Counsel received your appeal of your fee category and denial of fee waiver on or about 9 Jan. 2014, and assigned it Appeal No. 3882. Any further updates regarding your Appeal should be directed to the General Counsel's office via email FOIA_Appeal_Status@nsa.gov<mailto:FOIA_Appeal_Status@nsa.gov>. You status request specifies that you wish to receive an estimated completion date. Unfortunately we are unable to provide an estimated date for the reasons outlined below.

As noted in our interim correspondence dated 19 Dec. 2013, the search for records constitutes a voluminous search. Furthermore, your request for final reports also represents a search that would be overly broad and burdensome for this Agency's contract and acquisition office. You were advised to provide a specific contract, and clarify the type of final report you seek. To date, we have not received this information from you. To date, we have not received this information from you.

Your appeal letter included a clarification statement, requesting "an index of the file on Glimmerglass." As stated in previous responses to you, contract data is not maintained in list format, nor is it stored by company name; therefore no such index listing exists at this time.

Your appeal also included a willingness-to-pay statement ($300.00). However, we are unable to search for records that are overly broad and burdensome. Please be advised that the FOIA was not intended to reduce government agencies to full-time investigators on the behalf of requesters. If you are able to provide additional information regarding the contract data you seek (i.e. a contract number, and limit the scope of the request a bit more), this Agency would be able to continue processing this request. Furthermore, we would be better able to provide an estimated completion date. If we have not heard back from you regarding clarification of this request within 14 days, we will assume you are no longer interested and discontinue processing.
Regards,

Cindy Blacker
NSA/CSS FOIA Customer Service Center
(301)688-6527

From: Heather Akers-Healy

Hi Cindy,

Thanks for speaking with me on the phone earlier. To memorialize our conversation: I clarified that I was asking for a file index of documents relating to the work performed by Glimmerglass, and was not asking for a contract index. Per your information, this is not possible because documents relating to the work performed are kept with contracts and acquisition paperwork and those files are typically only accessed by the contract number. Since an index cannot be provided, please narrow my search to contracts and statements of work from the last two years as we discussed.

Please feel free to call me if the request needs further clarification. Thanks!

From: National Security Agency

The request has been rejected, with the agency stating that the information or document(s) requested are exempt from disclosure.

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