SENSTUDY 75

Emma Best filed this request with the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America.
Tracking #

DOJ-AP-2018-001741

AP20181741,

1387588-000, DOJ-AP-2018-001741

Est. Completion None
Status
Payment Required

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Mark Zaid has agreed to provide pro bono representation to fight for the release of the FBI’s files on the Church Committee, but we need to raise $425 to cover court costs and filings fees. Money raised above that amount will help defray other legal expenses incurred while fighting for the full release of the 18,615 pages the FBI has on the Church Committee.

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Communications

From: Emma Best

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Files relating to, describing or released to the Church Committee, including but not limited to those labeled SENSTUDY, SENSTUDY 75, or Senate Study.

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I am freelance writer who has previously written about the government and its activities for MuckRock, Motherboard, Unicorn Riot, AND Magazine and Glomar Disclosure. My articles have been widely read, with some reaching over 100,000 readers. My work has been further discussed in outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and BBC. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through the non-profit Internet Archive, disseminating them to a large audience. While my research is not limited to this, a great deal of it, including this, focuses on the activities and attitudes of the government itself. As such, it is not necessary for me to demonstrate the relevance of this particular subject in advance. Additionally, case law states that “proof of the ability to disseminate the released information to a broad cross-section of the public is not required.” Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep’t of Justice, 365 F.3d 1108, 1126 (D.C. Cir. 2004); see Carney v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 19 F.3d 807, 814-15 (2d Cir. 1994). Further, courts have held that "qualified because it also had “firm” plans to “publish a number of . . . ‘document sets’” concerning United States foreign and national security policy." Under this criteria, as well, I qualify as a member of the news media. Additionally, courts have held that the news media status "focuses on the nature of the requester, not its request. The provision requires that the request be “made by” a representative of the news media. Id. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II). A newspaper reporter, for example, is a representative of the news media regardless of how much interest there is in the story for which he or she is requesting information." As such, the details of the request itself are moot for the purposes of determining the appropriate fee category. As such, my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available and I therefore request that fees be waived. Per DOJ FOIA guidance, "a requester should be granted a fee waiver if the requested information (1) sheds light on the activities and operations of the government; (2) is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of those operations and activities; and (3) is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester." As this FOIA meets all of those requirements (see above regarding the subject and how I will apply the information), a fee waiver is warranted.

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.

Sincerely,

Emma Best

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: Emma Best

I am appealing the decision to provide only previously processed documents.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

01/03/2018 03:03 PM FOIA Request: DOJ-AP-2018-001741

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

DOJ-AP-2018-001741 has been processed with the following final disposition: Completely reversed/remanded.

  • Best, Emma, DOJ-AP-2018-001741, FBI, Soft remand further search

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A letter stating that the request appeal has been received and is being processed.

From: Muckrock Staff

To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following request, copied below. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response.
Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.

From: Muckrock Staff

To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following request, copied below. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response.
Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A letter stating the requester must agree to or prepay assessed or estimated fees in order for the agency to continue processing the request.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Good afternoon Ms. Best,

Reference is made to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request # 1387588-000 for FBI records concerning Senstudy 75. The FBI has located approximately 18,615 pages that are potentially responsive to your request. Once requests go over a certain size, usually in the 50-100 page range, they become increasingly complex, greatly slowing down the time required for processing. Generally the larger the file, the longer it takes to process. Given our current workload and staffing levels, it may be a very long time before you would begin to receive material from this request.

We contact requesters with requests of this size to see if there might be a way to possibly narrow the scope. Is this something you might be willing to consider? If so, please contact us in response to this email or by phone and we can discuss this possibility. We appreciate your patience and hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,

Negotiation Team
FOIA Support Unit
Information Management Division
Federal Bureau of Investigation
540-868-4894
Status check? Please contact Public Information Officer at foipaquestions@fbi.gov.

From: Emma Best

I hope to be in touch soon. I'm considering my legal options in response to the fee waiver being improperly denied.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Thank you for the response.
Sincerely,

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Good morning Ms. Best,

This FOIA Request #1387588-000 was submitted March 2018 and you declined to reduce the size of it (approximately 18,000 potentially responsive pages) therefore it remains in the extra-large backlog track for processing. The current estimated date of completion is for January 2025.

Respectfully,

Negotiation Team
FOIA Support Unit
Information Management Division
Federal Bureau of Investigation
540-868-4894
Status check? Please contact Public Information Officer at foipaquestions@fbi.gov.

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