|Submitted||Feb. 15, 2017|
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To Whom It May Concern:
By the power vested in me under the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:
Records relating to the Sergei Krivov. Proof of death is not required as his death has been widely and extensively reported by the media, such as BuzzFeed News on February 15, 2017. For your convenience: https://www.buzzfeed.com/alimwatkins/the-strange-case-of-the-russian-diplomat-who-got-his-head-sm
Please conduct a search of the Central Records System, including but not limited to the ELSUR Records System, the Microphone Surveillance (MISUR) Indices, the Physical Surveillance (FISUR) Indices, and the Technical Surveillance (TESUR) Indices, for both main-file records and cross-reference records for all relevant names, individuals, agencies and companies. If any potentially responsive records have been destroyed and/or transferred to NARA, then I request copies of the destruction or transfer slips as well as any other documentation relating to, mentioning or describing said transfer or destruction, to include but not be limited to confirmation that the Bureau has no other copies of said records (as the Bureau has posted copies of records that it previously said were transferred to NARA such as the Tokyo Rose file). Please search both HQ and NYC files.
I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities for AND Magazine, MuckRock and Glomar Disclosure and have an open arrangement with each. My articles have been widely read, with some reaching over 100,000 readers. 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), 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.
Dear Mr. Best,
Before the FBI can process your Freedom of Information Act/Privacy (FOIPA) request you must provide the following information highlighted with an “X” Mark.
_____A current and complete mailing address is required as the FBI does not send releases and/or correspondence by electronic means. (Unless the request has already been submitted through eFOIPA.)
_____Proof of death is required such as: (death certificate, obituary, written media, recognized source that can be documented, Who’s Who in America, FBI file that indicates subject is deceased, or the Social Security Death Index Page). Proof of death is not required if date of birth is 100 years ago or greater but a date of birth is needed
___x__A website link in itself does not satisfy the proof of death requirement (Please provide the actual documentation and source)
_____The U. S. Department of Justice DOJ-361 Form<https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/u-s-department-of-justice-form-361-certification-of-identity.pdf/view> (Certification of Identity) requires an original and legible signature
_____ The U. S. Department of Justice DOJ-361 Form<https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/u-s-department-of-justice-form-361-certification-of-identity.pdf/view> (Certification of Identity) and/or privacy waiver must be completed before a Privacy Act request can be processed. Please send the attachment or attachments independently in either a Word Document or PDF.
_____The U. S. Department of Justice DOJ-361 Form<https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/u-s-department-of-justice-form-361-certification-of-identity.pdf/view> (Certification of Identity) and/or privacy waiver is not legible, properly sized or cannot be accessed in the submitted format. Please send the attachment or attachments independently in either a Word Document or PDF. The documents must be compatible with Microsoft Office 2007 products.
_____Other information as stated:
_____The attachments cannot be opened in the present format. Please resend either as a pdf or a Word Document.
Please complete and submit the required information in order for the FBI to process your request.
Public Information Officer
Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS) FBI-Records Management Division
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843
Direct: (540) 868-4593
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997
Questions E-mail: email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
PLEASE REPLY DIRECTLY TO FOIPAREQUEST@IC.FBI.GOV
Do you have further questions about the FOI/PA process? Visit us at http://www.fbi.gov/foia
Please check the status of your request online at https://vault.fbi.gov/fdps-1/@@search-fdps. Status updates are performed on a weekly basis.
Per my original submission, I did not provide a web link as proof of death. That was merely for your convenience. Rather, I provided a citation for the death _AND_ cited the statute stating that proof of death is not required in instances where it has been widely and extensively reported by the media, as this has been. Again, the link was provided merely as a courtesy. No link or specific citation is required in instances where the death is widely known, widely reported, or if it is known to the Agency the request is being made to. All of those criteria apply, and any one of which is enough to circumvent the "requirement" for proof of death.
A fix is required to perfect the request.
To Whom It May Concern:
Please find enclosed a copy of the obituary associated with this request. It can also be accessed here: https://www.buzzfeed.com/alimwatkins/the-strange-case-of-the-russian-diplomat-who-got-his-head-sm.
A no responsive documents response.
To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Feb. 15, 2017. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #1367443-000.
Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.