Parallel Construction OIG Investigation

Avinash Samarth filed this request with the Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General of the United States of America.
Tracking # 15-OIG-148
Status
Rejected

Communications

From: Avinash Samarth

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

The website for the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General ("DOJ OIG") says that the DOJ OIG is:

examining the DEA’s use of administrative subpoenas to obtain broad collections of data or information. The review will address the legal authority for the acquisition or use of these data collections; the existence and effectiveness of any policies and procedural safeguards established with respect to the collection, use, and retention of the data; the creation, dissemination, and usefulness of any products generated from the data; and the use of “parallel construction” or other techniques to protect the confidentiality of these programs.

Office of the Inspector Gen., U.S. Dep't of Justice, USDOJ/OIG | Ongoing Work: DEA (Nov. 2014), http://www.justice.gov/oig/ongoing/dea.htm.

Additionally, it has been well-reported in the news that the Justice Department is reviewing law enforcement techniques used by the Drug Enforcement Administration that shield some initial sources for criminal investigations from being disclosed in court. E.g., Kevin Johnson, Justice Department Reviewing DEA's Shielding of Sources, USA TODAY (Aug. 5, 2013), available at http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/05/justice-dea-special-operations-shield/2620439/.

The DEA, in a recent FOIA production to MuckRock, identified four techniques by which it shields some initial sources for criminal investigations from the view of judges and/or the public. See January 2014 DEA FOIA Production at 158, https://muckrock.s3.amazonaws.com/foia_file/1-23-14_MR6434_RES_ID13-00541-F_1.pdf [hereinafter “January FOIA Production”]. Those methods were: (1) “parallel construction”; (2) a method relying upon the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
(“FISA”); (3) a method relying upon the Classified Information Procedures Act (“CIPA”); and (4) a method relying upon a Supreme Court case, Scher v. United States. Id. at 143-58.

*****

I hereby request:

(1) Any DOJ reviews or reports about the DEA's use of parallel construction or other techniques described in the above three paragraphs.

(2) Any and all data that underlies the DOJ OIG's examination or review of those techniques described in the above three paragraphs.

(3) Any and all written policies or practices of the DEA uncovered in the DOJ OIG's examination or review of those techniques described in the above three paragraphs.

*****

To the extent that any of these documents contain information that may be properly withheld under the FOIA, I ask that information be redacted, rather than the document be withheld in full. This is a requirement under Section (b) of the FOIA, which directs agencies to release to FOIA requesters any reasonably segregable, non-exempt information that is contained in those records. See 5 U.S.C. § 552(b) ("Any reasonably segregable portion of a record shall be provided to any person requesting such record after deletion of the portions which are exempt under this subsection.").

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,

Avinash Samarth

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 March 13, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: OIGFOIA (OIG)

Hello:
Attached is the OIG’s acknowledgement to your FOIA request. This response was originally sent to you on March 18, 2015.

Thanks.

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 March 13, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #15-OIG-148.

Thank you for your help.

From: OIGFOIA (OIG)

Hello:

Attached is the OIG’s response to your FOIA request.
Thanks

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