NSA FOIA processing/"neither confirm or deny"

Jason Smathers filed this request with the National Security Agency of the United States of America.
Tracking # 63168
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Jason Smathers

To Whom It May Concern:

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

All records which help a person who processes FOIA requests for the NSA determine if they should respond by neither confirming or denying the existence of the responsive records.

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 10 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Jason Smathers
Filed via MuckRock.com
185 Beacon St. #3
Somerville, MA 02143

Daytime: (857) 488- 3081
E-mail: requests@muckrock.com

From: National Security Agency

See attached document, "neitherconfirmnordeny.pdf"

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Oct. 6, 2010. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #63168.

Thank you for your help.

From: National Security Agency

Mr. Smathers,

I have checked the status of your request and found that it is still in our backlog queue waiting to be assigned to a reviewer. This Agency has a significant backlog of cases in various stages of processing. Additionally, the material responsive to your request has been placed in the first-in-first-out processing queue for Non-Personal Easy cases along with a previous case (FOIA Case 62606). Both cases will be processed together since the responsive documents for that case are also the responsive documents in your case. We separate cases by volume and level of difficulty into several queues so that easier cases are not significantly held up by extremely complex cases; however, it can still be a lengthy process. Please be advised that all cases go through at least two levels of review prior to release.

We appreciate your patience as we work our FOIA cases in the order in which they were received, in accordance with established regulations. Please feel free to check back with us in about six months or so.

Cindy B.
POC, FOIA Requester Service Center
National Security Agency
(301) 688-6527

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Oct. 6, 2010. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #63168.

Thank you for your help.

From: National Security Agency

Mr. Smathers,

The status of your request is essentially the same as the update I provided you on 5 Mar 2013 (below). We appreciate your patience as we work our FOIA cases in the order in which they were received, in accordance with established regulations. Please feel free to check back with us in about six months or so.

Cindy B.
POC, FOIA Requester Service Center
National Security Agency
(301) 688-6527

From: Jason Smathers

Thank you for your response. I would like to get an estimated date of completion. Please let me know the estimated date that this request will be completed.

Best Regards,
Jason Smathers

From: NSA/CSS FOIA Officer. POC

Mr. Smathers,

We have received the fax via MuckRock regarding the status request of your FOIA Case #63168, wherein you state, “I would like to get an estimated date of completion.” Allow me to explain a bit more about our review process.

All cases must go through two levels of review before a release determination is made. As we have summarized below, the NSA/CSS processes cases on a first-in, first-out basis, which is based on the original date of the request. The NSA/CSS frequently receives referrals and consultations from other agencies that often pre-date the cases in our review queue. Other agencies, with similar backlogs, may have a case for a year or more before determining that they need to consult or refer their case to the NSA. When this happens, Department of Justice mandate requires this Agency to place a referral/consultation ahead of others. Therefore our backlog queue has a tendency to fluctuate over time with regard to where each FOIA case stands. This is also why it is difficult to provide an estimated response date as it could change.

I was able to determine that your Case 63168 is pending assignment for 2nd level of review, but there are a number of cases ahead of yours. We estimate another 6-8 months before we are able to adjudicate the release determination. I appreciate your patience as we continue work our backlog. Feel free to check back to see if your case has moved or been assigned.


Cindy Blacker
NSA/CSS FOIA Officer. POC
(301)688-6527

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Oct. 6, 2010. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #63168.

Thank you for your help.

From: NSA/CSS FOIA Requester Service Center Officer. POC

Mr. Smathers,

Regarding your status request sent via fax on 19 May 2013 - unfortunately there has been no change in status since the previous update I provided on 19 April 2013

NSA/CSS FOIA Requester Service Center Officer. POC
(301)688-6527

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Oct. 6, 2010. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #63168.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Oct. 6, 2010. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #63168.

Thank you for your help.

From: foiarsc, foiarsc

Good Morning Mr. Smathers,

Regarding your status requests sent in June and July 2013:

Your case remains in the backlog queue and is pending review assignment. Feel free to check back with us in about 6 months if you have not heard back prior to that.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to work through our backlog.

Cindy Blacker
NSA/CSS FOIA Officer. POC
(301)688-6527

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Oct. 6, 2010. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #63168.

Thank you for your help.

From: foiarsc, foiarsc

Mr. Smathers,

There has been no change to the status of FOIA Case 63168

Cindy Blacker
NSA/CSS FOIA Officer. POC
(301)688-6527

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Oct. 6, 2010. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #63168.

Thank you for your help.

From: foiarsc, foiarsc

Mr. Smathers,

Our final response was mailed to you on or about 27 Sep 2013. You should be receiving the correspondence in the near future.

From: National Security Agency

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: National Security Agency

A cover letter granting the request and outlining any exempted materials, if any.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Oct. 6, 2010. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #63168.

Thank you for your help.

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