Zinke Interior

Emma Best filed this request with the Department of the Interior of the United States of America.
Tracking #

OS-2017-00143

Status
Completed

Communications

From: Michael Best

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Records from 2015 and 2016 relating to or mentioning Ryan Zinke, including communications received from or sent to Mr. Zinke, as well as emails mentioning him.

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.

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,

Michael Best

From: OS, OS FOIA

Dear Mr. Best,

Please find attached the acknowledgement letter for FOIA request
OS-2017-00143.

Thank you,
Karmen
--
Department of the Interior
Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office
1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328
Washington, D.C. 20240
os_foia@ios.doi.gov
(202) 513-0765 - phone
(202) 219-2374 - fax

From: OS, OS FOIA

Dear Mr. Best,

Additional information is needed to continue processing your Freedom of
Information Act request concerning communications with/about Ryan Zinke.

Could you please contact our office at (202) 513-0765?
Thanks,

Nick

--
Department of the Interior
Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office
1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328
Washington, D.C. 20240
os_foia@ios.doi.gov
(202) 513-0765 - phone
(202) 219-2374 - fax

From: Michael Best

I communicate only by email. Please clarify what additional details you need beyond the search parameters and items I specified.

Thanks,
Michael Best

From: OS, OS FOIA

Dear Mr. Best,

As originally worded, a portion of your request is seeking email
communications mentioning Congressman Zinke. However, due to the size of
the Department of the Interior, we are unable to conduct such a broad
search across all employees. To conduct an email search, the Department of
the Interior requires a list of specific individuals whose inboxes are to
be searched, keywords to be searched, and a time frame. To expedite the
processing of your request, it may be more efficient to limit your search
for communications to official correspondence between Congressman Zinke and
the Department of the Interior. This would allow you to file a later
request based on the information contained within those records. In the
alternative, you could provide the above the information and an email
search would be conducted along those parameters, which would increase the
processing time of your request.

The Department of the Interior is also processing official correspondence
between Congressman Zinke and the Department of the Interior for your
request. Portions of these records include Personally Identifiable
Information stemming from Congressman Zinke's correspondence on behalf of
his constituents. This information is typically withheld under Exemption 6
of the FOIA and requires additional processing. However, processing of this
information could be expedited if you were amenable to excluding all
Personally Identifiable Information from your request. These records would
still be released with all Personally Identifiable Information being
withheld as being non-responsive to your request rather than being
designated as being withheld under Exemption 6.

Resolution of these two areas would significantly decrease the processing
time of your Freedom of Information request.
Thanks,

Nick

--
Department of the Interior
Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office
1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328
Washington, D.C. 20240
os_foia@ios.doi.gov
(202) 513-0765 - phone
(202) 219-2374 - fax

From: Michael Best

Thank you for your response. The number of employees do not prohibit a search of the email accounts for that time period. The process can be automated given a few simple steps since I requested a keyword search rather than any searches which would require a manual review for responsiveness prior to reviewing for exemptions. If you would like, I'm happy to provide information about the simple steps that can be taken to allow such a search to be performed for the limited time period I specified.

Thanks!

From: OS, OS FOIA

Dear Mr. Best,

As stated previously, the Department of the Interior is unable to conduct
general email searches due to the Department's size. The Department of the
Interior employs between 60,000 and 70,000 individuals with offices across
the United States. Because of the technical difficulties inherent in
conducting a search covering that many individuals, even for a defined
period of two years, the Department is unable to conduct the email search
portion of your request as currently worded. To proceed, we require the
names of the individuals whose mailboxes you want searched.

Therefore, clarification is necessary for the Department to proceed on the
email correspondence portion of your request. If we do not receive
clarification within 20 working days, that portion of your request will not
be fulfilled.
Thanks,

Nick

--
Department of the Interior
Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office
1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328
Washington, D.C. 20240
os_foia@ios.doi.gov
(202) 513-0765 - phone
(202) 219-2374 - fax

From: Michael Best

The technical difficulties you cite are not true barriers, and I have offered to provide you with the simple instructions that would enable you to perform the search. If you are unable to explain why or how the search is technically impossible (which it is not), then it is not unreasonable for you to perform this simple, automated search. The offices being across the United States is irrelevant for an electronic email search, which is unaffected by geographical location - this is the nature of the cloud.

From: OS, OS FOIA

Dear Mr. Best,

The Department of the Interior is a decentralized agency for the purposes
of the Freedom of Information Act, therefore there is no centralized
process to conduct a general email search across the entirety of its 60,000
- 70,000 employees. As worded, your request does not reasonably describe
the records sought. In order to search emails, the Department requires your
clarification as to which individuals you want searched. Once we have a
list, we will conduct a search. If we do not receive this information
within the 20 working day time frame, we will not fulfill that portion of
your request.
Thanks,

Nick

--
Department of the Interior
Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office
1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328
Washington, D.C. 20240
os_foia@ios.doi.gov
(202) 513-0765 - phone
(202) 219-2374 - fax

From: Michael Best

Please provide your official rejection of those search terms so that I may immediately appeal it. Proceed with what you will, but I have reasonably described the records and an email keyword search of all employee emails does not require the significant reconfiguration of Agency systems as required for the request to be considered unduly broad and burdensome. The procedures to automate the request are simple, and as such do not qualify as a "significant reconfiguration." Specifically National Security Counselors v. CIA found that "FOIA permits agencies to consider the configuration of their record systems in deciding whether a FOIA request 'reasonably describes' the records sought" only when it would "would be unreasonable to require agencies to throw practical considerations to the wind in deciding whether they can process FOIA requests." The practical considerations in this case are not significantly limiting. Therefore, the request is reasonably described by both case law and the FOIA statute.

From: OS, OS FOIA

Dear Mr. Best,

Thanks for your continued interest in your Freedom of Information Act
request. We will be able to provide a response with all of Mr. Zinke's
correspondence with the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of the Interior by
February 10, 2017.
Thanks,

Nick

--
Department of the Interior
Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office
1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328
Washington, D.C. 20240
os_foia@ios.doi.gov
(202) 513-0765 - phone
(202) 219-2374 - fax

From: Michael Best

Thank you for your response. However, please note that "Mr. Zinke's correspondence with the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of the Interior" DOES NOT satisfy the FOIA.

From: OS, OS FOIA

Dear Mr. Best,

On December 21, 2016 this office contacted you for clarification regarding
the email portion of your request. The communication provided notice that
if clarification was not received within 20 working days, the portion of
your request regarding email communications would not be fulfilled. Because
no clarification regarding the list of individuals whose mailboxes you
wished to be searched has been provided, your request is being processed
without that portion as outlined in the previous communications to you.
Official correspondence with the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of the
Interior satisfies your request parameters and will be provided.
Thanks,

Nick

--
Department of the Interior
Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office
1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328
Washington, D.C. 20240
os_foia@ios.doi.gov
(202) 513-0765 - phone
(202) 219-2374 - fax

From: Michael Best

Nick,

What you have just sent is patently false - I responded the next day. This is documented at https://www.muckrock.com/foi/united-states-of-america-10/zinke-interior-30903/?#comm-315883 which includes a detailed response citing caselaw. You failed to respond at all. Timestamps are available. Your failure to receive or process the response is YOUR failure, as is your refusal to provide me with the official refusal that I requested so that I could appeal the matter. Your failure does NOT alleviate your statutory duties which are further clarified under caselaw, including but not limited to the caselaw that I cited.

From: OS, OS FOIA

Dear Mr. Best,

On December 21, 2016, the Office of the Secretary provided you with a
request for clarification concerning the specific individuals whose emails
you desired to be searched. As stated in the request, if no response
detailing the list of individuals whose emails you are interested in
searching was received within 20 working days, then the email portion of
your Freedom of Information Act request could not be fulfilled. This office
has not received a response from you within the 20 working day time limit
outlining those individuals. Because the 20 working day time limit has
lapsed, this office will only produce materials responsive to the remainder
of your request. In the event you wish to appeal the lapsing of the request
for clarification, the Department of the Interior's Office of Appeals
contact information can be found at: https://www.doi.gov/foia/appeals.
Thanks,

Nick

--
Department of the Interior
Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office
1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328
Washington, D.C. 20240
os_foia@ios.doi.gov
(202) 513-0765 - phone
(202) 219-2374 - fax

From: Michael Best

I am appealing the Department's decision that I did not respond within the 20 working days - I clearly did, and this is documented here: https://www.muckrock.com/foi/united-states-of-america-10/zinke-interior-30903/

Further, here are the RAW EMAILS of my MULTIPLE responses:

From nobody Fri Dec 23 09:28:16 2016
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
boundary="===============8408372121189781748=="
MIME-Version: 1.0
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information Request: Zinke Interior
From: requests@muckrock.com
To: osfoia@ios.doi.gov
Date: Fri, 23 Dec 2016 14:28:16 -0000
Message-ID: <20161223142816.19893.32229@91080c83-9783-4d47-8c97-010057b189d4.prvt.dyno.rt.heroku.com>
Cc:

--===============8408372121189781748==
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

December 23, 2016
Department of the Interior
Department of the Interior
Office of the Secretary
Ray McInerney
MS-116, SIB
1951 Constitution Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20240

This is a follow up to a previous request:

Please provide your official rejection of those search terms so that I may immediately appeal it. Proceed with what you will, but I have reasonably described the records and an email keyword search of all employee emails does not require the significant reconfiguration of Agency systems as required for the request to be considered unduly broad and burdensome. The procedures to automate the request are simple, and as such do not qualify as a "significant reconfiguration." Specifically National Security Counselors v. CIA found that "FOIA permits agencies to consider the configuration of their record systems in deciding whether a FOIA request 'reasonably describes' the records sought" only when it would "would be unreasonable to require agencies to throw practical considerations to the wind in deciding whether they can process FOIA requests." The practical considerations in this case are not significantly limiting. Therefore, the request is reasonably described by both case law and the FOIA statute.
---

On Dec. 22, 2016:
Dear Mr. Best,

The Department of the Interior is a decentralized agency for the purposes
of the Freedom of Information Act, therefore there is no centralized
process to conduct a general email search across the entirety of its 60,000
- 70,000 employees. As worded, your request does not reasonably describe
the records sought. In order to search emails, the Department requires your
clarification as to which individuals you want searched. Once we have a
list, we will conduct a search. If we do not receive this information
within the 20 working day time frame, we will not fulfill that portion of
your request.
Thanks,

Nick

--
Department of the Interior
Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office
1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328
Washington, D.C. 20240
os_foia@ios.doi.gov
(202) 513-0765 - phone
(202) 219-2374 - fax
---

On Dec. 21, 2016:
The technical difficulties you cite are not true barriers, and I have offered to provide you with the simple instructions that would enable you to perform the search. If you are unable to explain why or how the search is technically impossible (which it is not), then it is not unreasonable for you to perform this simple, automated search. The offices being across the United States is irrelevant for an electronic email search, which is unaffected by geographical location - this is the nature of the cloud.
---

On Dec. 21, 2016:
Dear Mr. Best,

As stated previously, the Department of the Interior is unable to conduct
general email searches due to the Department's size. The Department of the
Interior employs between 60,000 and 70,000 individuals with offices across
the United States. Because of the technical difficulties inherent in
conducting a search covering that many individuals, even for a defined
period of two years, the Department is unable to conduct the email search
portion of your request as currently worded. To proceed, we require the
names of the individuals whose mailboxes you want searched.

Therefore, clarification is necessary for the Department to proceed on the
email correspondence portion of your request. If we do not receive
clarification within 20 working days, that portion of your request will not
be fulfilled.
Thanks,

Nick

--
Department of the Interior
Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office
1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328
Washington, D.C. 20240
os_foia@ios.doi.gov
(202) 513-0765 - phone
(202) 219-2374 - fax
---

On Dec. 21, 2016:
Thank you for your response. The number of employees do not prohibit a search of the email accounts for that time period. The process can be automated given a few simple steps since I requested a keyword search rather than any searches which would require a manual review for responsiveness prior to reviewing for exemptions. If you would like, I'm happy to provide information about the simple steps that can be taken to allow such a search to be performed for the limited time period I specified.

Thanks!
---

On Dec. 21, 2016:
Dear Mr. Best,

As originally worded, a portion of your request is seeking email
communications mentioning Congressman Zinke. However, due to the size of
the Department of the Interior, we are unable to conduct such a broad
search across all employees. To conduct an email search, the Department of
the Interior requires a list of specific individuals whose inboxes are to
be searched, keywords to be searched, and a time frame. To expedite the
processing of your request, it may be more efficient to limit your search
for communications to official correspondence between Congressman Zinke and
the Department of the Interior. This would allow you to file a later
request based on the information contained within those records. In the
alternative, you could provide the above the information and an email
search would be conducted along those parameters, which would increase the
processing time of your request.

The Department of the Interior is also processing official correspondence
between Congressman Zinke and the Department of the Interior for your
request. Portions of these records include Personally Identifiable
Information stemming from Congressman Zinke's correspondence on behalf of
his constituents. This information is typically withheld under Exemption 6
of the FOIA and requires additional processing. However, processing of this
information could be expedited if you were amenable to excluding all
Personally Identifiable Information from your request. These records would
still be released with all Personally Identifiable Information being
withheld as being non-responsive to your request rather than being
designated as being withheld under Exemption 6.

Resolution of these two areas would significantly decrease the processing
time of your Freedom of Information request.
Thanks,

Nick

--
Department of the Interior
Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office
1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328
Washington, D.C. 20240
os_foia@ios.doi.gov
(202) 513-0765 - phone
(202) 219-2374 - fax
---

On Dec. 20, 2016:
I communicate only by email. Please clarify what additional details you need beyond the search parameters and items I specified.

Thanks,
Michael Best
---

On Dec. 20, 2016:
Dear Mr. Best,

Additional information is needed to continue processing your Freedom of
Information Act request concerning communications with/about Ryan Zinke.

Could you please contact our office at (202) 513-0765?
Thanks,

Nick

--
Department of the Interior
Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office
1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328
Washington, D.C. 20240
os_foia@ios.doi.gov
(202) 513-0765 - phone
(202) 219-2374 - fax
---

On Dec. 19, 2016:
Dear Mr. Best,

Please find attached the acknowledgement letter for FOIA request
OS-2017-00143.

Thank you,
Karmen
--
Department of the Interior
Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office
1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328
Washington, D.C. 20240
os_foia@ios.doi.gov
(202) 513-0765 - phone
(202) 219-2374 - fax
---

On Dec. 16, 2016:
To Whom It May Concern:

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

Records from 2015 and 2016 relating to or mentioning Ryan Zinke, including communications received from or sent to Mr. Zinke, as well as emails mentioning him.

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.

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,

Michael Best

------
Filed via MuckRock.com
E-mail (Preferred): requests@muckrock.com

For mailed responses, please address (see note):
MuckRock
DEPT MR 30903
411A Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02144-2516

PLEASE NOTE: This request is not filed by a MuckRock staff member, but is being sent through MuckRock by the above in order to better track, share, and manage public records requests. Also note that improperly addressed (i.e., with the requester's name rather than "MuckRock News" and the department number) requests might be returned as undeliverable.
------

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<p><br />December 23, 2016<br />Department of the Interior<br />Department of the Interior<br />Office of the Secretary<br />Ray McInerney <br />MS-116, SIB<br />1951 Constitution Ave, NW<br />Washington, DC 20240</p>

<p>This is a follow up to a previous request:</p>

<p>Please provide your official rejection of those search terms so that I may immediately appeal it. Proceed with what you will, but I have reasonably described the records and an email keyword search of all employee emails does not require the significant reconfiguration of Agency systems as required for the request to be considered unduly broad and burdensome. The procedures to automate the request are simple, and as such do not qualify as a &quot;significant reconfiguration.&quot; Specifically National Security Counselors v. CIA found that &quot;FOIA permits agencies to consider the configuration of their record systems in deciding whether a FOIA request &#39;reasonably describes&#39; the records sought&quot; only when it would &quot;would be unreasonable to require agencies to throw practical considerations to the wind in deciding whether they can process FOIA requests.&quot; The practical considerations in this case are not significantly limiting. Therefore, the request is reasonably described by both case law and the FOIA statute. <br />---</p>

<p>On Dec. 22, 2016:<br />Dear Mr. Best,</p>

<p>The Department of the Interior is a decentralized agency for the purposes<br />of the Freedom of Information Act, therefore there is no centralized<br />process to conduct a general email search across the entirety of its 60,000<br />- 70,000 employees. As worded, your request does not reasonably describe<br />the records sought. In order to search emails, the Department requires your<br />clarification as to which individuals you want searched. Once we have a<br />list, we will conduct a search. If we do not receive this information<br />within the 20 working day time frame, we will not fulfill that portion of<br />your request.<br />Thanks,</p>

<p>Nick</p>

<p>-- <br />Department of the Interior<br />Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office<br />1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328<br />Washington, D.C. 20240<br />os_foia@ios.doi.gov<br />(202) 513-0765 - phone<br />(202) 219-2374 - fax<br />---</p>

<p>On Dec. 21, 2016:<br />The technical difficulties you cite are not true barriers, and I have offered to provide you with the simple instructions that would enable you to perform the search. If you are unable to explain why or how the search is technically impossible (which it is not), then it is not unreasonable for you to perform this simple, automated search. The offices being across the United States is irrelevant for an electronic email search, which is unaffected by geographical location - this is the nature of the cloud.<br />---</p>

<p>On Dec. 21, 2016:<br />Dear Mr. Best,</p>

<p>As stated previously, the Department of the Interior is unable to conduct<br />general email searches due to the Department&#39;s size. The Department of the<br />Interior employs between 60,000 and 70,000 individuals with offices across<br />the United States. Because of the technical difficulties inherent in<br />conducting a search covering that many individuals, even for a defined<br />period of two years, the Department is unable to conduct the email search<br />portion of your request as currently worded. To proceed, we require the<br />names of the individuals whose mailboxes you want searched.</p>

<p>Therefore, clarification is necessary for the Department to proceed on the<br />email correspondence portion of your request. If we do not receive<br />clarification within 20 working days, that portion of your request will not<br />be fulfilled.<br />Thanks,</p>

<p>Nick</p>

<p>-- <br />Department of the Interior<br />Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office<br />1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328<br />Washington, D.C. 20240<br />os_foia@ios.doi.gov<br />(202) 513-0765 - phone<br />(202) 219-2374 - fax<br />---</p>

<p>On Dec. 21, 2016:<br />Thank you for your response. The number of employees do not prohibit a search of the email accounts for that time period. The process can be automated given a few simple steps since I requested a keyword search rather than any searches which would require a manual review for responsiveness prior to reviewing for exemptions. If you would like, I&#39;m happy to provide information about the simple steps that can be taken to allow such a search to be performed for the limited time period I specified.</p>

<p>Thanks!<br />---</p>

<p>On Dec. 21, 2016:<br />Dear Mr. Best,</p>

<p>As originally worded, a portion of your request is seeking email<br />communications mentioning Congressman Zinke. However, due to the size of<br />the Department of the Interior, we are unable to conduct such a broad<br />search across all employees. To conduct an email search, the Department of<br />the Interior requires a list of specific individuals whose inboxes are to<br />be searched, keywords to be searched, and a time frame. To expedite the<br />processing of your request, it may be more efficient to limit your search<br />for communications to official correspondence between Congressman Zinke and<br />the Department of the Interior. This would allow you to file a later<br />request based on the information contained within those records. In the<br />alternative, you could provide the above the information and an email<br />search would be conducted along those parameters, which would increase the<br />processing time of your request.</p>

<p>The Department of the Interior is also processing official correspondence<br />between Congressman Zinke and the Department of the Interior for your<br />request. Portions of these records include Personally Identifiable<br />Information stemming from Congressman Zinke&#39;s correspondence on behalf of<br />his constituents. This information is typically withheld under Exemption 6<br />of the FOIA and requires additional processing. However, processing of this<br />information could be expedited if you were amenable to excluding all<br />Personally Identifiable Information from your request. These records would<br />still be released with all Personally Identifiable Information being<br />withheld as being non-responsive to your request rather than being<br />designated as being withheld under Exemption 6.</p>

<p>Resolution of these two areas would significantly decrease the processing<br />time of your Freedom of Information request.<br />Thanks,</p>

<p>Nick</p>

<p>-- <br />Department of the Interior<br />Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office<br />1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328<br />Washington, D.C. 20240<br />os_foia@ios.doi.gov<br />(202) 513-0765 - phone<br />(202) 219-2374 - fax<br />---</p>

<p>On Dec. 20, 2016:<br />I communicate only by email. Please clarify what additional details you need beyond the search parameters and items I specified.</p>

<p>Thanks,<br />Michael Best<br />---</p>

<p>On Dec. 20, 2016:<br />Dear Mr. Best,</p>

<p>Additional information is needed to continue processing your Freedom of<br />Information Act request concerning communications with/about Ryan Zinke.</p>

<p>Could you please contact our office at (202) 513-0765?<br />Thanks,</p>

<p>Nick</p>

<p>-- <br />Department of the Interior<br />Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office<br />1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328<br />Washington, D.C. 20240<br />os_foia@ios.doi.gov<br />(202) 513-0765 - phone<br />(202) 219-2374 - fax<br />---</p>

<p>On Dec. 19, 2016:<br />Dear Mr. Best,</p>

<p>Please find attached the acknowledgement letter for FOIA request<br />OS-2017-00143.</p>

<p>Thank you,<br />Karmen<br />-- <br />Department of the Interior<br />Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office<br />1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328<br />Washington, D.C. 20240<br />os_foia@ios.doi.gov<br />(202) 513-0765 - phone<br />(202) 219-2374 - fax<br />---</p>

<p>On Dec. 16, 2016:<br />To Whom It May Concern:</p>

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

<p>Records from 2015 and 2016 relating to or mentioning Ryan Zinke, including communications received from or sent to Mr. Zinke, as well as emails mentioning him.</p>

<p>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 &quot;qualified because it also had “firm” plans to “publish a number of . . . ‘document sets’” concerning United States foreign and national security policy.&quot; Under this criteria, as well, I qualify as a member of the news media. Additionally, courts have held that the news media status &quot;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.&quot; As such, the details of the request itself are moot for the purposes of determining the appropriate fee category.</p>

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

<p>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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>Sincerely,</p>

<p>Michael Best</p>

<p>------<br />Filed via MuckRock.com<br />E-mail (Preferred): requests@muckrock.com</p>

<p>For mailed responses, please address (see note):<br />MuckRock<br />DEPT MR 30903<br />411A Highland Ave<br />Somerville, MA 02144-2516</p>

<p>PLEASE NOTE: This request is not filed by a MuckRock staff member, but is being sent through MuckRock by the above in order to better track, share, and manage public records requests. Also note that improperly addressed (i.e., with the requester&#39;s name rather than &quot;MuckRock News&quot; and the department number) requests might be returned as undeliverable.<br />------</p>

<p></p>
--===============8408372121189781748==--

From nobody Wed Dec 21 18:04:53 2016
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
boundary="===============5262578924422386547=="
MIME-Version: 1.0
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information Request: Zinke Interior
From: requests@muckrock.com
To: osfoia@ios.doi.gov
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2016 23:04:53 -0000
Message-ID: <20161221230453.754.83146@26a261aa-beee-436d-96c6-6adc9e146187.prvt.dyno.rt.heroku.com>
Cc:

--===============5262578924422386547==
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December 21, 2016
Department of the Interior
Department of the Interior
Office of the Secretary
Ray McInerney
MS-116, SIB
1951 Constitution Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20240

This is a follow up to a previous request:

The technical difficulties you cite are not true barriers, and I have offered to provide you with the simple instructions that would enable you to perform the search. If you are unable to explain why or how the search is technically impossible (which it is not), then it is not unreasonable for you to perform this simple, automated search. The offices being across the United States is irrelevant for an electronic email search, which is unaffected by geographical location - this is the nature of the cloud.
---

On Dec. 21, 2016:
Dear Mr. Best,

As stated previously, the Department of the Interior is unable to conduct
general email searches due to the Department's size. The Department of the
Interior employs between 60,000 and 70,000 individuals with offices across
the United States. Because of the technical difficulties inherent in
conducting a search covering that many individuals, even for a defined
period of two years, the Department is unable to conduct the email search
portion of your request as currently worded. To proceed, we require the
names of the individuals whose mailboxes you want searched.

Therefore, clarification is necessary for the Department to proceed on the
email correspondence portion of your request. If we do not receive
clarification within 20 working days, that portion of your request will not
be fulfilled.
Thanks,

Nick

--
Department of the Interior
Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office
1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328
Washington, D.C. 20240
os_foia@ios.doi.gov
(202) 513-0765 - phone
(202) 219-2374 - fax
---

On Dec. 21, 2016:
Thank you for your response. The number of employees do not prohibit a search of the email accounts for that time period. The process can be automated given a few simple steps since I requested a keyword search rather than any searches which would require a manual review for responsiveness prior to reviewing for exemptions. If you would like, I'm happy to provide information about the simple steps that can be taken to allow such a search to be performed for the limited time period I specified.

Thanks!
---

On Dec. 21, 2016:
Dear Mr. Best,

As originally worded, a portion of your request is seeking email
communications mentioning Congressman Zinke. However, due to the size of
the Department of the Interior, we are unable to conduct such a broad
search across all employees. To conduct an email search, the Department of
the Interior requires a list of specific individuals whose inboxes are to
be searched, keywords to be searched, and a time frame. To expedite the
processing of your request, it may be more efficient to limit your search
for communications to official correspondence between Congressman Zinke and
the Department of the Interior. This would allow you to file a later
request based on the information contained within those records. In the
alternative, you could provide the above the information and an email
search would be conducted along those parameters, which would increase the
processing time of your request.

The Department of the Interior is also processing official correspondence
between Congressman Zinke and the Department of the Interior for your
request. Portions of these records include Personally Identifiable
Information stemming from Congressman Zinke's correspondence on behalf of
his constituents. This information is typically withheld under Exemption 6
of the FOIA and requires additional processing. However, processing of this
information could be expedited if you were amenable to excluding all
Personally Identifiable Information from your request. These records would
still be released with all Personally Identifiable Information being
withheld as being non-responsive to your request rather than being
designated as being withheld under Exemption 6.

Resolution of these two areas would significantly decrease the processing
time of your Freedom of Information request.
Thanks,

Nick

--
Department of the Interior
Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office
1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328
Washington, D.C. 20240
os_foia@ios.doi.gov
(202) 513-0765 - phone
(202) 219-2374 - fax
---

On Dec. 20, 2016:
I communicate only by email. Please clarify what additional details you need beyond the search parameters and items I specified.

Thanks,
Michael Best
---

On Dec. 20, 2016:
Dear Mr. Best,

Additional information is needed to continue processing your Freedom of
Information Act request concerning communications with/about Ryan Zinke.

Could you please contact our office at (202) 513-0765?
Thanks,

Nick

--
Department of the Interior
Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office
1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328
Washington, D.C. 20240
os_foia@ios.doi.gov
(202) 513-0765 - phone
(202) 219-2374 - fax
---

On Dec. 19, 2016:
Dear Mr. Best,

Please find attached the acknowledgement letter for FOIA request
OS-2017-00143.

Thank you,
Karmen
--
Department of the Interior
Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office
1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328
Washington, D.C. 20240
os_foia@ios.doi.gov
(202) 513-0765 - phone
(202) 219-2374 - fax
---

On Dec. 16, 2016:
To Whom It May Concern:

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

Records from 2015 and 2016 relating to or mentioning Ryan Zinke, including communications received from or sent to Mr. Zinke, as well as emails mentioning him.

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.

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,

Michael Best

------
Filed via MuckRock.com
E-mail (Preferred): requests@muckrock.com

For mailed responses, please address (see note):
MuckRock
DEPT MR 30903
411A Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02144-2516

PLEASE NOTE: This request is not filed by a MuckRock staff member, but is being sent through MuckRock by the above in order to better track, share, and manage public records requests. Also note that improperly addressed (i.e., with the requester's name rather than "MuckRock News" and the department number) requests might be returned as undeliverable.
------

--===============5262578924422386547==
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/html; charset="utf-8"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

<p><br />December 21, 2016<br />Department of the Interior<br />Department of the Interior<br />Office of the Secretary<br />Ray McInerney <br />MS-116, SIB<br />1951 Constitution Ave, NW<br />Washington, DC 20240</p>

<p>This is a follow up to a previous request:</p>

<p>The technical difficulties you cite are not true barriers, and I have offered to provide you with the simple instructions that would enable you to perform the search. If you are unable to explain why or how the search is technically impossible (which it is not), then it is not unreasonable for you to perform this simple, automated search. The offices being across the United States is irrelevant for an electronic email search, which is unaffected by geographical location - this is the nature of the cloud.<br />---</p>

<p>On Dec. 21, 2016:<br />Dear Mr. Best,</p>

<p>As stated previously, the Department of the Interior is unable to conduct<br />general email searches due to the Department&#39;s size. The Department of the<br />Interior employs between 60,000 and 70,000 individuals with offices across<br />the United States. Because of the technical difficulties inherent in<br />conducting a search covering that many individuals, even for a defined<br />period of two years, the Department is unable to conduct the email search<br />portion of your request as currently worded. To proceed, we require the<br />names of the individuals whose mailboxes you want searched.</p>

<p>Therefore, clarification is necessary for the Department to proceed on the<br />email correspondence portion of your request. If we do not receive<br />clarification within 20 working days, that portion of your request will not<br />be fulfilled.<br />Thanks,</p>

<p>Nick</p>

<p>-- <br />Department of the Interior<br />Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office<br />1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328<br />Washington, D.C. 20240<br />os_foia@ios.doi.gov<br />(202) 513-0765 - phone<br />(202) 219-2374 - fax<br />---</p>

<p>On Dec. 21, 2016:<br />Thank you for your response. The number of employees do not prohibit a search of the email accounts for that time period. The process can be automated given a few simple steps since I requested a keyword search rather than any searches which would require a manual review for responsiveness prior to reviewing for exemptions. If you would like, I&#39;m happy to provide information about the simple steps that can be taken to allow such a search to be performed for the limited time period I specified.</p>

<p>Thanks!<br />---</p>

<p>On Dec. 21, 2016:<br />Dear Mr. Best,</p>

<p>As originally worded, a portion of your request is seeking email<br />communications mentioning Congressman Zinke. However, due to the size of<br />the Department of the Interior, we are unable to conduct such a broad<br />search across all employees. To conduct an email search, the Department of<br />the Interior requires a list of specific individuals whose inboxes are to<br />be searched, keywords to be searched, and a time frame. To expedite the<br />processing of your request, it may be more efficient to limit your search<br />for communications to official correspondence between Congressman Zinke and<br />the Department of the Interior. This would allow you to file a later<br />request based on the information contained within those records. In the<br />alternative, you could provide the above the information and an email<br />search would be conducted along those parameters, which would increase the<br />processing time of your request.</p>

<p>The Department of the Interior is also processing official correspondence<br />between Congressman Zinke and the Department of the Interior for your<br />request. Portions of these records include Personally Identifiable<br />Information stemming from Congressman Zinke&#39;s correspondence on behalf of<br />his constituents. This information is typically withheld under Exemption 6<br />of the FOIA and requires additional processing. However, processing of this<br />information could be expedited if you were amenable to excluding all<br />Personally Identifiable Information from your request. These records would<br />still be released with all Personally Identifiable Information being<br />withheld as being non-responsive to your request rather than being<br />designated as being withheld under Exemption 6.</p>

<p>Resolution of these two areas would significantly decrease the processing<br />time of your Freedom of Information request.<br />Thanks,</p>

<p>Nick</p>

<p>-- <br />Department of the Interior<br />Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office<br />1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328<br />Washington, D.C. 20240<br />os_foia@ios.doi.gov<br />(202) 513-0765 - phone<br />(202) 219-2374 - fax<br />---</p>

<p>On Dec. 20, 2016:<br />I communicate only by email. Please clarify what additional details you need beyond the search parameters and items I specified.</p>

<p>Thanks,<br />Michael Best<br />---</p>

<p>On Dec. 20, 2016:<br />Dear Mr. Best,</p>

<p>Additional information is needed to continue processing your Freedom of<br />Information Act request concerning communications with/about Ryan Zinke.</p>

<p>Could you please contact our office at (202) 513-0765?<br />Thanks,</p>

<p>Nick</p>

<p>-- <br />Department of the Interior<br />Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office<br />1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328<br />Washington, D.C. 20240<br />os_foia@ios.doi.gov<br />(202) 513-0765 - phone<br />(202) 219-2374 - fax<br />---</p>

<p>On Dec. 19, 2016:<br />Dear Mr. Best,</p>

<p>Please find attached the acknowledgement letter for FOIA request<br />OS-2017-00143.</p>

<p>Thank you,<br />Karmen<br />-- <br />Department of the Interior<br />Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office<br />1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328<br />Washington, D.C. 20240<br />os_foia@ios.doi.gov<br />(202) 513-0765 - phone<br />(202) 219-2374 - fax<br />---</p>

<p>On Dec. 16, 2016:<br />To Whom It May Concern:</p>

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

<p>Records from 2015 and 2016 relating to or mentioning Ryan Zinke, including communications received from or sent to Mr. Zinke, as well as emails mentioning him.</p>

<p>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 &quot;qualified because it also had “firm” plans to “publish a number of . . . ‘document sets’” concerning United States foreign and national security policy.&quot; Under this criteria, as well, I qualify as a member of the news media. Additionally, courts have held that the news media status &quot;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.&quot; As such, the details of the request itself are moot for the purposes of determining the appropriate fee category.</p>

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

<p>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.</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>Sincerely,</p>

<p>Michael Best</p>

<p>------<br />Filed via MuckRock.com<br />E-mail (Preferred): requests@muckrock.com</p>

<p>For mailed responses, please address (see note):<br />MuckRock<br />DEPT MR 30903<br />411A Highland Ave<br />Somerville, MA 02144-2516</p>

<p>PLEASE NOTE: This request is not filed by a MuckRock staff member, but is being sent through MuckRock by the above in order to better track, share, and manage public records requests. Also note that improperly addressed (i.e., with the requester&#39;s name rather than &quot;MuckRock News&quot; and the department number) requests might be returned as undeliverable.<br />------</p>

<p></p>
--===============5262578924422386547==--

From: OS, OS FOIA

Dear Mr. Best,

Please find attached the final response letter for FOIA request
OS-2017-00143.

V/r,
Leah
--
Department of the Interior
Office of the Secretary, FOIA Office
1849 C Street, NW, MS-7328
Washington, D.C. 20240
os_foia@ios.doi.gov
(202) 513-0765 - phone
(202) 219-2374 - fax

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