No Responsive Documents

USMS communications with Sarasota re: Stingrays

Shawn Musgrave made this request to Department of Justice, United States Marshals of the United States of America.

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Shawn Musgrave 06/03/2014

To Whom It May Concern:

This is an EXPEDITED Freedom of Information Act request. I hereby request the following records:

All correspondence between US Marshals authorities and officials at the Sarasota city attorney's office and Sarasota Police Department from March 1, 2014 to the date this request is processed pertaining to cell site stimulators, IMSI catchers, aka Stingrays, as well as regarding the transfer of documents from the Sarasota police to USMS custody on June 3, 2014.

I am an editor at MuckRock and regular contributor at VICE/Motherboard on a range of national security and law enforcement topics, including surveillance and federal-local law enforcement cooperation. I am writing an article, intended
for a wide public readership via the MuckRock site and various partner publications, about the US Marshals involvement in the public records request submitted to the Sarasota Police Department by the ACLU (as described here: https://www.aclu.org/technology-and-liberty/aclu-florida-v-city-sarasota-stingray-cell-phone-tracking). The requested records will be crucial in my attempt to provide the public with the most accurate possible information.

I am requesting Expedited Processing, which is permitted when there is a "compelling need" for it, defined by two circumstances: a) if "the information is urgently needed by an individual primarily engaged in disseminating information in order to inform the public concerning actual or alleged
Federal Government activity."

As a journalist with extensive experience covering similar issues and primarily engaged in disseminating information, my work has drawn considerable attention to federal-local law enforcement partnerships around surveillance equipment, including license plate readers and unmanned aerial vehicles. As a journalist, I have an urgent need to inform the public concerning actual or alleged government activity. If I do not receive this information immediately, the public may be misinformed about USMS's activities and engagement with Sarasota officials.

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,

Shawn Musgrave

Robinson, Nancy (USMS) 06/04/2014

[USMS seal blue294 1in]

U.S. Department of Justice
United States Marshals Service

Office of General Counsel

2604 Jefferson Davis Hwy.
Alexandria, VA 22301

June 4, 2014

Shawn Musgrave
MuckRock News
DEPT MR 11938
PO Box 5589
Boston, MA 02205-5819

RE: Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Request No. 2014USMS26066

Dear Requester:

The United States Marshals Service is in receipt of your Freedom of Information/Privacy Act request for records maintained by this Bureau. We have commenced a search for documents responsive to your request and will contact you when our processing is complete.

Although we are unable to determine at this time the amount of fees to be charged to you, if any, the filing of your request constitutes your agreement to pay all applicable fees that may be charged under 28 C.F.R. § 16.11 or § 16.49, up to $25.00. You will be notified as soon as practicable if the estimated or actual fee for satisfying your request exceeds $25.00.

If you should have any questions, please contact us at (202) 307-9054.

Sincerely,

William E. Bordley
Associate General Counsel/FOIPA Officer
Office of General Counsel

Robinson, Nancy (USMS) 06/18/2014

[USMS seal blue294 1in]

U.S. Department of Justice
United States Marshals Service

Office of General Counsel

2604 Jefferson Davis Hwy.
Alexandria, VA 22301

June 18, 2014

Shawn Musgrave
MuckRock News
DEPT MR 11938
PO Box 5589
Boston, MA 02205-5819

Re: Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Request No. 2014USMS26066
Subject of Request: Email Correspondence Between the US Marshals, Sarasota
City Attorney’s Office, and the Sarasota Police Department

Dear Requester:

This is in response to your request for “All correspondence between US Marshals authorities and officials at the Sarasota city attorney's office and Sarasota Police Department from March 1, 2014 to the date this request is processed pertaining to cell site stimulators, IMSI catchers, aka Stingrays, as well as regarding the transfer of documents from the Sarasota police to USMS custody on June 3, 2014.”

Pursuant to your request, the USMS conducted a search of the Florida Regional Task Force, but located no records responsive to your request.

If you are dissatisfied with my action on this request, you may appeal by writing to the Director, Office of Information Policy, United States Department of Justice, Suite 11050, 1425 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20530-0001. Your appeal must be received within 60 days of the date of this letter. Both the letter and the envelope should be clearly marked “Freedom of Information/ Privacy Act Appeal.” In the event you are dissatisfied with the results of any such appeal, judicial review will thereafter be available to you in the United States District Court for the judicial district in which you reside or have your principal place of business, or in the District of Columbia.

For your information, Congress excluded three discrete categories of law enforcement and national security records from the requirements of the FOIA. See 5 U.S.C. § 552(c ) (2006), & Supp. IV (2010). This response is limited to those records that are subject to the requirements of the FOIA. This is a standard notification that is given to all our requesters and should not be taken as an indication that excluded records do, or do not, exist.

Sincerely,

William E. Bordley
Associate General
Counsel/FOIPA Officer
Office of General Counsel

Shawn Musgrave 06/20/2014

Director, Office of Information Policy
United States Department of Justice, Suite 11050
1425 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20530-0001

June 20, 2014

To Whom It May Concern:

This is an appeal of the adequacy of search for 2014USMS26066.

It is difficult to believe that USMS exchanged absolutely no communications with either the Sarasota police or city attorney's office in advance of or following the retrieval of documents pertaining to cell phone surveillance equipment.

This incident has been widely reported:

http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2014/06/20/police-conspire-with-us-marshals-service-to-hide-evidence-of-stingray-surveillance/

http://www.wired.com/2014/06/feds-seize-stingray-documents/

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/06/judge-allows-us-marshals-seizure-of-stingray-records-dimisses-lawsuit/

There has also been judicial action specifically on this matter of the document retrieval:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/230158883/Order-ACLU-of-Florida-and-Michael-Barfield-v-City-of-Sarasota-and-Michael-Jackson

In light of the above as well as any other factors deemed relevant by the appeals authority, I consider the USMS FOIA office search to be inadequate, and request that this matter be remanded for additional search and release of responsive documents.

Best,
Shawn Musgrave

OIP-NoReply 07/11/2014

THIS MESSAGE IS SENT FROM AN UNATTENDED ID. DO NOT REPLY TO THIS MESSAGE

OIP-NoReply 08/19/2014