Operation Clear Voice

John Stanton filed this request with the USNORTHCOM - US Northern Command of the United States of America.
Tracking # FY13-16JAN2013-NNC19
Est. Completion None
Status
Payment Required

Communications

From: John Stanton

To Whom It May Concern:

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

All records, documents, and cross-references, including but not limited to, emails, memos, reports, proposals, audits, assessments, training materials, indexes, budgets, contracts, recordings, photographs, audiovisual materials, and legal opinions pertaining to Operation Clear Voice, also known by its acronym OCV.

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,

John Stanton

From: USNORTHCOM FOIA Officer - OMB

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Mr. Musgrave,

We have received your request. In accordance with the Department of Defense
Freedom of Information Act Program, DoD 5400.7-R and United States Code,
Title 5, Section 552 (a)(4)(a)(vi), we are processing your request for a fee
waiver for the subject request: Operation Clear Voice.

(1) Please provide justification supporting your fee waiver request:

(a) How do the records concern the operations or activities of the
government?

(b) Given the records concern the operations or activities of the government,
how will disclosure likely contribute to public understanding of these
operations and activities?

(c) If there is likely to be a contribution to public understanding, will
release of the requested records contribute significantly to public
understanding?

(d) Would disclosure be primarily in your commercial interest?

(e) Do you have the ability and intention to disseminate the information to
the general public or a reasonably broad audience of persons interested in
the subject?

(f) How and to whom do you intend to disseminate the information?

(g) How do you plan to use the information to contribute to public
understanding of the Government's operations or activities?

(2) Based on the information below we have categorized your fee category as
"All Others" where the requester should indicate a willingness to pay
assessable search and duplication costs if more than 2 hours of search effort
or 100 pages of records are required.

We estimate that in order to process your request that 12 hours of search and
review time and duplication costs are required for approx $440. The
breakdown of this fee is 12 hours of search time at the professional rate of
$44.00 per hour and 50 pages of document duplication at $0.15 per page.

Once you confirm your willingness to pay all assessable fees if your fee
waiver is not approved, I will assign a FOIA case number and send you a
letter of acknowledgement of your request. If no response regarding fees is
received by 4 Feb 13 we will consider your case closed and will take no
further action.

Kris

From: USNORTHCOM FOIA Officer - OMB

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Mr. Musgrave,

While you are considering our fee waiver questions sent on 11 Jan 13 (see
attached email), be advised that your USNORTHCOM FOIA Case number has been
assigned as FY13-16JAN2013-NNC19.

If no response regarding fee waiver or fees is received by 4 Feb 13 we will
consider your case closed and will take no further action.

Kris

From: John Stanton

Thank you for your email. In my initial request letter, I noted that
this request was 'processed by a representative of the news
media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for
commercial usage.' Please process my request in the News Media Fee
Category. News media requesters are only required to pay duplication
fees after the first 100 pages, and you have indicated that only 50
pages are expected to be found.

I believe this would eliminate all fees associated with this request.

If you deny my request news media requester status, please begin
processing this request anyways so as not to delay processing this
request. I agree to pay up to $440 in fees, but I do not waive my
right to appeal fees assessed, and I intend to appeal if my request is
not processed as a news media request.

Although fees should be a moot point, I have included my fee waiver
justification below:

(a) How do the records concern the operations or activities of the
government?

Operation Clear Voice is a military operation focused on information
dissemination throughout North America. Given strong prohibitions on
domestic propaganda and the relative lack of publicity, to date, of
North American operations of the VOICE program, this information
brings to light the operations of how and for what aims these programs
are being carried out.

(b) Given the records concern the operations or activities of the government,
how will disclosure likely contribute to public understanding of these
operations and activities?

In the past several years, the U.S. military's use of novel
information gathering and dissemination tactics has achieved a wide
public interest from its monitoring of foreign and domestic social
media to low-tech means of disseminating information in active hot
spots. Showing which of these strategies are being used in North
America, and why, allows the citizens to better understand how the
U.S. military is achieving its domestic and foreign objectives, as
well to monitor and independently decide how well these programs
operate in fiscal, civil liberties, and operational contexts.

(c) If there is likely to be a contribution to public understanding, will
release of the requested records contribute significantly to public
understanding?

Yes, without these documents, the above understanding of Operation
Clear Voice's role in the above is impossible. There has been very
little public reporting on Operation Clear Voice to date.

(d) Would disclosure be primarily in your commercial interest?

No.

(e) Do you have the ability and intention to disseminate the information to
the general public or a reasonably broad audience of persons interested in
the subject?

Yes.

(f) How and to whom do you intend to disseminate the information?

MuckRock has a wide audience of both policy advocates, civil liberties
watchdogs, other members of the press, and the general reading public.
It has previously broken major national news stories on government
waste, improperly maintained government equipment, and dozens of other
major issues. MuckRock has been cited as a leading news source by the
New York Times, Huffington Post, The Washington Post, the Boston
Globe, and hundreds of other news sites.

(g) How do you plan to use the information to contribute to public
understanding of the Government's operations or activities?

By providing the documents, as well as original analysis and
synthesis, I believe I can better educate MuckRock's audience about
the Operation Clear Voice and help the public develop informed
perspectives on the program.

From: USNORTHCOM FOIA Officer - OMB

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Mr. Stanton,

Attached is an acknowledgment of your FOIA request: FY13-16JAN2013-NNC19.
We have categorized your fee category as: News Media.

We have also processed your fee waiver request and have approved of your fee

From: USNORTHCOM FOIA Officer - OMB

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Mr. Stanton,

USNORTHCOM has started processing your request, FY13-16JAN2013-NNC19, for
"All records, documents, and cross-references, including but not limited to,
emails, memos, reports, proposals, audits, assessments, training materials,
indexes, budgets, contracts, recordings, photographs, audiovisual materials,
and legal opinions pertaining to Operation Clear Voice, also known by its
acronym OCV."

We consider your current request vague and overbroad. Your request does not
set forth a time frame, nor does it indicate what aspect of Operation Clear
Voice is in your interest area. Your request will require us to locate,
review, redact, and copy a vast quantity of material potentially located on
classified systems.

Thus far our staff has expended approximately 10 hours searching for
responsive documents finding in excess of 500 MB of emails and 500 MB of
files. If we were to proceed with your request our staff will expend an
additional 600 man hours (estimated) reviewing the records for release
determination.

Although your fee category is considered "News Media," which indicates you
are assessed fees for any duplication charges in excess of 100 pages if more
than 100 pages of records are desired, we initially granted you a fee waiver
request. However, because a majority of these records will probably be
classified and require significant redactions, we will seek to have our IDA
rescind our full fee waiver grant, granting only a partial fee waiver for
those documents we provide you that do not have redactions under 5 USC
552(b)(1). We do not believe that the disclosure of redacted documents will
"be in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly
to the public understanding of the operations and activities of the
government."

Because of the voluminous amount of documentation found thus far, and our
possible need to consult with other agencies or components, we have
categorized your request as complex with unusual circumstances. We will not
be able to meet the 20-day response required by statute. If we can work
with you to narrow your request, this could change.

We offer the following questions/suggestions in an effort to narrow your
request:
1. Can we search only for documents that are unclassified on our
unclassified system?
2. May we focus on only the funding of the program?
3. May we focus on only the purpose of the program?

In other words, are there specific areas of interest you are focusing on
that will help us narrow our search and provide you with a faster response?

We look forward to your response. We cannot proceed until we have received
a response from you regarding narrowing your request.

Kris

KRISTINA L. ROTH, Civ, DAFC
Chief, FOIA and Privacy Act Requester Service Center
NORAD and USNORTHCOM Chief of Staff
250 Vandenberg St, Ste B016
Peterson AFB, CO 80914-3817
Coml (719) 554-7185

From: USNORTHCOM FOIA Officer - OMB

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Mr. Stanton,

We have not received a response to our 5 February 2013 e-mail requesting that
you either clarify and narrow the scope of your FOIA request or agree to pay
all fees we incur as indicated below. We anticipate that those charges will
be approximately $26,400 at this time.

If we do not receive a response to the below e-mail by 19 March 2013, we will
close your FOIA request and take no further action.

Kris

KRISTINA L. ROTH, Civ, DAFC
Chief, FOIA and Privacy Act Requester Service Center
NORAD and USNORTHCOM Chief of Staff
250 Vandenberg St, Ste B016
Peterson AFB, CO 80914-3817
Coml (719) 554-7185 / DSN 692-7185

From: USNORTHCOM FOIA Officer - OMB

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

19 March 2013

Mr. Stanton,

Due to no response to our 5 February 2013 or 26 February 2013 emails, we are closing your FOIA request and will take no further action.

Kris

KRISTINA L. ROTH, Civ, DAFC
Chief, FOIA and Privacy Act Requester Service Center
NORAD and USNORTHCOM Chief of Staff
250 Vandenberg St, Ste B016
Peterson AFB, CO 80914-3817
Coml (719) 554-7185 / DSN 692-7185

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