Telecom Cooperation with Philadelphia/Camden HIDTA

Dustin Slaughter filed this request with the Office of National Drug Control Policy of the United States of America.
Show details
Tracking # 13-00595-F ; OGIS case no. 201400475


From: Dustin Slaughter

Expedited Records Request

Dear Records Officer(s):

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

Any and all training manuals, slide presentations, and training modules pertaining to telecom cooperation and participation with the Drug Enforcement Agency in the Philadelphia-Camden High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program.

This request is based, in part, on recent revelations regarding the Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program's Hemisphere Program:

This request is for any and all pertinent records between 1 January 2012 up to and including 30 August 2013.

Records analysts should use the following keywords: “Verizon”, “Verizon Wireless”, “AT&T”, “Sprint”, “T-Mobile”, “administrative subpoena”, “Hemisphere”, “IMSI”, “IMEI”, “call detail records”, “CDRs”, "Delaware Valley Intelligence Center", and "Pennsylvania Criminal Intelligence Center".

This request is not meant to be exclusive of any other records which, though not specifically requested, would have a reasonable relationship to the subject matter of this request.

If my request is denied in whole or part, I ask that you justify all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. I will also expect to be provided with all segregable portions of otherwise exempt material. Please separately state your reasons for not invoking your discretionary powers to release the requested documents in the public interest.

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, 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.


Dustin Slaughter

From: Drug Enforcement Administration

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: Drug Enforcement Administration

An interim response, stating the request has been delayed

From: Dustin Slaughter

Dear Miss Myrick,

This letter serves as my appeal to your office's denial of my request for expedited processing concerning case #13-00595-F.

As to your office's assertion that there is no "urgency to inform the public about an actual or alleged federal government activity, if made by a person primarily engaged in disseminating information," you claim is incorrect. Based on documents obtained by the New York Times on 1 September 2013, there is clear evidence of ongoing cooperation between AT&T and the Drug Enforcement Administration pertaining to High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs), through a program named Hemisphere:

As to the second point in (ii), this requester has been and continues to be engaged in the dissemination of information, as evidenced by articles in online publications ranging from Salon, Truthout, The Public Record, and The Declaration.

As to your office's assertion that "the loss of substantial due process rights" (iii) isn't at stake with Hemisphere or similar existing programs, as my request seeks evidence of within the Philadelphia/Camden HIDTA, is also untrue.

Civil liberties advocates, such as the ACLU's deputy legal director Jameel Jaffer, have roundly criticized DEA's mass-collection of American phone records, as Hemisphere and other possible programs evidence little if any probable cause to justify such activity. Jaffer said the PowerPoint presentation published by the New York Times "certainly raises profound privacy concerns" - including the fact that the DEA collects over 4 billion domestic phone records every day.

Jaffer added: "the integration of government agents into the process means there are serious Fourth Amendment concerns."

Even a former federal drug prosecutor, Daniel C. Richman, admits that Hemisphere raises Fourth Amendment questions, according to the New York Times:

At issue, according to Mr. Richman, is "whether mere government possession of huge amounts of private data, rather than its actual use, may trespass on the [Fourth] amendment's requirement that searches be 'reasonable'. Even though the data resides with AT&T, the deep interest and involvement of the government in its storage may raise constitutional issues."

As to the Department of Justice's claim that there is no "widespread and exceptional media interest in which there exist possible questions about the government's integrity which affect public confidence" (iv), this is also profoundly wrong, as is evidenced by controversial, widespread, and ongoing collection of telephony records by the National Security Agency, first revealed by publications including The Guardian, The Washington Post, and other media outlets since April of 2013. DOJ's assertion, frankly, flies in the face of public outrage and robust debate currently taking place around revelations of widespread collection of American phone records.

Thank you for your time and consideration regarding this appeal, and I look forward to your prompt, timely response as the statute requires.

Dustin Slaughter

From: Drug Enforcement Administration

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

From: OIP-NoReply

From: Dustin Slaughter

Dear OGIS Staff:

I'm contacting your office regarding a FOIA request originally sent to the Drug Enforcement Administration on 3 September 2013.

The request, including a letter from DEA stating that case #13-00595-F (with its 24 responsive pages) was referred to White House Office of National Drug Control Policy on 27 November 2013, can be found here:

As always, I greatly appreciate any assistance your staff can provide in expediting release of these 24 pages, given your limited resources. Please let me know if you require additional info, or if you would like me to take additional steps.

Dustin Slaughter

From: Dustin Slaughter

WH Office of Legal Counsel
Attn: General Counsel
750 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20503
Phone: (202) 395-6622
Fax: (202) 395-5543

Drug Enforcement Administration
FOI/P Unit

To Whom It May Concern:

This serves as notification that I am referring #13-00595-F to the Office of Government Information Services, due to both Drug Enforcement Administration and Office of National Drug Control Policy failure to release the 24 responsive pages pertaining to this request within the time frame as mandated by the FOIA.

On 27 November, 2013, DEA notified MuckRock News that 24 pages responsive to this request were found and subsequently forwarded to ONDCP for review before releasing.

Despite numerous phone calls to ONDCP's office since November, that office has been nearly unresponsive.

Furthermore, ONDCP and DEA have failed to give even an estimated release date as required by 5 U.S.C. § 552.

If this matter cannot be resolved through OGIS, I will be forced to move to litigation.

Dustin Slaughter

From: Dustin Slaughter

Dear OGIS staff:

This is to notify you that further correspondence regarding case #13-00595-F will be routed through

At this time, there is no known tracking number regarding the Office of National Drug Control Policy's processing of this request.

Thanks for your time and consideration.

Dustin Slaughter

From: OGIS Staff

Dear Mr. Slaughter:

Please see the attached acknowledgment letter regarding your request for assistance.


The OGIS Staff

Office of Government Information Services (OGIS)
National Archives and Records Administration
800 N. Capitol St. NW, Suite 795
Washington, D.C.
202-741-5770 (main)
202-741-5769 (fax)
1-877-684-6448 (toll-free)
Mailing Address:
8601 Adelphi Road-OGIS
College Park, MD 20740

From: Teitz, Jeff

Dear Mr. Slaughter,

I will look into the status of your request and attempt to provide a substantive response to you within the next ten business days.

Jeffrey Teitz
General Counsel

From: Office of National Drug Control Policy

A cover letter granting the request and outlining any exempted materials, if any.

From: Office of National Drug Control Policy

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: Teitz, Jeff

Dear Mr. Slaughter,

This email is to inform you that ONDCP has reviewed the document that DEA referred to this Office in response to your FOIA request to DEA and is providing a copy of that 24 page document to you with some redactions. It is being mailed to you at the address you provided: Dustin Slaughter, MuckRock News, DEPT MR 6608, P.O. Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819.

Jeffrey Teitz
General Counsel