Phineas Fisher (Drug Enforcement Administration)

Emma North-Best filed this request with the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States of America.
Tracking #


Multi Request Phineas Fisher
Est. Completion None
Awaiting Appeal


From: Emma North-Best

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following:

Documents, memos, reports, letters, emails, eChirps and other written, audio-visual or other recorded format mentioning or describing the hacktivist known as Phineas Fisher, AKA Phineas Phisher, HackBack and @GammaGroupPR, most famous for the data breaches of Gamma Group, Hacking Team, AKP and Cayman National Bank and Trust (Isle of Man). Please conduct the search between the years of January of 2014 and the date of this request.

Note that while the Bureau has previously refused to confirm or deny the existence of records under the b6 and b7C exemptions in FOIPA No. 1438975-000 (submitted by Emily Crose), a privacy waiver and authorization to file FOIA requests and receive responsive records on behalf of Phineas Fisher has been attached.

Reasonably Foreseeable Harm. The FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 amended the FOIA as follows (5 USC 552(a)(8)):

(A) An agency shall—

(i) withhold information under this section only if—

(I) the agency reasonably foresees that disclosure would harm an interest protected by an exemption described in subsection (b); or

(II) disclosure is prohibited by law; and

(ii) (I) consider whether partial disclosure of information is possible whenever the agency determines that a full disclosure of a requested record is not possible; and

(II) take reasonable steps necessary to segregate and release nonexempt information. . . .

Your agency should not fail to comply with this mandatory part of the FOIA as recently amended by Congress. The Agency is required to identify what reasonably foreseeable harm would flow from release of the information withheld, nor did it consider a partial disclosure of the information, taking reasonable steps to segregate and release nonexempt information.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, 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.


Emma Best (on behalf of Phineas Fisher) and Jason Leopold

From: Drug Enforcement Administration

Good Morning,

This email is in reference to your FOIA submission to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on May 4, 2020. We note that it appears you may have meant to send the request to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. If you are requesting a search of DEA files, please provide a completed DOJ 361 form for Phineas Fisher. The May 4, 2020, documentation for Phineas Fisher is insufficient. You may reply to this email with your response.

Thank you,

Freedom of Information & Privacy Act Unit (FSRF)
HQ Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

From: Emma North-Best

I did not mean to send it to the FBI, and the documentation IS sufficient. Case law has established that specific forms do not need to be used - only the information itself is required. If you refuse to process the request, then I am happy to pursue this matter in court, as has been the intent since before filing the request.

From: Drug Enforcement Administration

Good Morning,

Attached, please find the determination letter for your recently submitted Freedom of Information Act request. If you have any questions regarding your request, please contact our Customer Service Hotline on 202-307-7596. Thank you.

Josh Delo
Government Information Specialist
Freedom of Information & Privacy Act Unit (FSRF)
HQ Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

From: Emma North-Best

I am appealing the rejection in its entirety as a signed privacy waiver and limited power of attorney was provided and ignored.