NSA Implementation of National Insider Threat Policy

Kevin Gosztola filed this request with the National Security Agency of the United States of America.
Tracking # 77897A
Est. Completion None
Status
Partially Completed

Communications

From: Kevin Gosztola

Dear FOIA Officer,

This is a request for records under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5), 5 U.S.C. § 552, et seq. I am seeking copies of the National Security Agency’s files and any other documents, including any training materials, which NSA may have on the implementation of the National Insider Threat Policy as directed by Executive Order 13587.

It was reported by McClatchy Newspapers that this is an “unprecedented initiative” that is “sweeping in its reach.” It extends beyond “national security” agencies to “most federal departments and agencies nationwide.”

Even more specifically, the NSA has had to respond to an unprecedented event where a former contractor engaged in the unauthorized disclosure of a massive amount of national security secrets, which retired NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander has said jeopardized intelligence capabilities because “they’re being disclosed to our adversaries.”

Gen. Alexander stated during a wide-ranging interview published by the Australian Financial Review, “We’ve undertaken significant improvements inside NSA to ensure we don’t have another Snowden-like event.” He particularly stated that “42 different improvements to our systems” have taken place and those improvements have been shared “not only domestically but also with our allies.”

I request copies of any documents, files, papers or records which detail any and all definitions, concepts or interpretations of “insider threat” pursuant to the National Insider Threat Policy under EO 13587.

I also request any documents, files, papers or records, which detail any and all policies, processes or procedures, which may seek to address how to ensure the National Insider Threat Policy under EO 13587 does not infringe upon the ability of employees to make whistleblower communications without being unintentionally caught up in the Insider Threat program.

Furthermore, I specifically request any information related to these “42 different improvements” adopted to prevent another Snowden-like event, which Gen. Alexander mentioned in his “most comprehensive public interview” to date. I would also like documents, files, papers or records which may detail how these "42 different improvements" interface with or update previous National Insider Threat policies already in place under EO 13587.

A search for records responsive to this request should include, but not be limited to: main file records, cross-reference records, FOI/PA records, etc.

If you deny all or part of this request, please cite the specific exemptions you believe justify your refusal to release the information or permit the review and notify us of your appeal procedures available under the law.

I respectfully urge the agency to “black out” rather than “white out” or “cut out” material that must be redacted.

I call your attention to President BarackObama’s 21 January 2009 Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, which directs agencies to adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure and stating that government information should not be kept confidential “merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears.”

I am a salaried and employed journalist for Firedoglake.com, an Internet news website that has gained a level of notoriety for routine coverage of whistleblower-related stories and issues, and I am filing this request in my capacity as a journalist.

According to 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii), codifying the ruling of Nat’l Security Archive v. Dep’t of Defense, 880 F.2d 1381 (D.C. Cir. 1989), the term “a representative of the news media” means any person or entity that gathers information of potential interest to a segment of the public, uses its editorial skills to turn the raw materials into a distinct work, and distributes that work to an audience.

I have a clear intent to “publish[ ] or otherwise disseminate[ ] information to the public.” Id. at 1386 (quoting the following legislative history: 1) “It is critical that the phrase ‘representative of the news media’ be broadly interpreted if the act is to work as expected. . . . In fact, any person or organization which regularly publishes or disseminates information to the public . . . should qualify for waivers as a ‘representative of the news media.’” 132 Cong. Rec. S14298 (daily ed. Sept. 30, 1986) (emphasis in original quotation); 2) “A request by a reporter or other person affiliated with a newspaper, magazine, television or radio station, or other entity that is in the business of publishing or otherwise disseminating information to the public qualifies under this provision.” 132 Cong. Rec. H9463 (Oct. 8, 1986) (emphasis in original quotation)).

Therefore, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act and relevant case law, I, Kevin Gosztola, should be considered a representative of the news media and as such I am also requesting a public interest fee waiver.

Please ensure that, in accordance with the DC Circuit’s ruling in Chambers v. Dep’t of the Interior, 568 F.3d 998 (D.C. Cir. 2009), all records potentially responsive to this FOIA request are immediately preserved from destruction until the final resolution of this FOIA action. Destruction of potentially responsive records after the receipt of a FOIA request is considered “contumacious conduct” by the DC Circuit. See id. at 1004.

Under law, your agency must respond to this request within 20 working days. A failure to comply may result in the filing of civil action against your agency in a United States District Court.

Please provide any records that are located or found to be responsive to this request to me in electronic (soft-copy) form.

I recognize that you have experienced a deluge of FOIA requests in the past year. However, I have confidence that you will work to fulfill your job and respond to this request appropriately and in a timely manner, as the law requires.

Thank you for your cooperation. If you would like to discuss this request, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Sincerely,
Kevin Gosztola

From: National Security Agency

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

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 May 12, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #77897A.

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 May 12, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #77897A.

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 May 12, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #77897A.

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 May 12, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #77897A.

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 May 12, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #77897A.

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 May 12, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #77897A.

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 May 12, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #77897A.

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 May 12, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #77897A.

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 May 12, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #77897A.

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 May 12, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #77897A.

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 May 12, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #77897A.

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 May 12, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #77897A.

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 May 12, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #77897A.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.

From: foiarsc, foiarsc

Dear Mr. Gosztola,

This responds to your recent request for a status update on case 77897. Please be advised that this is currently in the approval queue for the final level of review. There are still several cases ahead of yours, and we estimate a response being sent within the next 12-18 months. However, please note that queue placement may fluctuate due to consults from other agencies that predate your requests.

We appreciate your patience thus far.
Regards,
Cindy B
NSA/CSS FOIA Requester Service Center
(301)688-6527

From: National Security Agency

A fix is required to perfect the request.

From: National Security Agency

A first set of responsive documents from the agency, with more to be sent at a specified date.

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