Anonymous + general hacktivists 2009-2018 (Virginia State Police)

Emma Best filed this request with the Virginia State Police of Virginia.

It is a clone of this request.

Tracking #

2009-2019

Multi Request Anonymous + general hacktivists 2009-2018
Due June 5, 2019
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Tom Nash


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

Documents mentioning or relating to Anonymous (the hacker movement/collective, see below) or hacktivism (defined as hacking as a form of protest and/or activism) generated between 1 January 2009 and 1 January 2019, including but not limited to:

* Internal reports, bulletins, warnings and alerts relating to Anonymous or hacktivism
* Reports from the appropriate IT (Information Technology) or computer offices regarding possible cyber attacks by Anonymous or other hacktivists
* Reports, bulletins, warnings and alerts sent to or received from either the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, any fusion center or federal agency relating to or mentioning Anonymous or hacktivism
* Incident reports investigating possible hacking activity falling within the office's jurisdiction and allegedly carried out by members of Anonymous or other hacktivist groups
* Materials generated as a result of any suspected or actual compromise, breach or "dox" (revealing of personal or private information) by Anonymous or other hacktivists

Anonymous has been described by government agencies as a non-hierarchical hacktivist collective, Anonymous uses hacking (and arguably cracking) techniques to register political protest in campaigns known as “#ops.” Best known for their distributed denial of services (DDoS) attacks, past activities have included attacks against the Church of Scientology; Visa, Paypal, and others who withdrew their services from WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange after that group began releasing war documents; #OpTunisia and others purporting to support the Arab Spring; and a campaign that brought down the website of the Westboro Baptist Church. #Ops are usually marked with the release of a video of a reader in a Guy Fawkes mask using a computer generated voice. See attached for additional background information.

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities, 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 non-profits such as the Internet Archive and MuckRock, 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.

As my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available, I request that fees be waived.

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 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Please note that I am a citizen of Virginia, and am using MuckRock's services to help manage and track my request.

Sincerely,

Tom Nash

From: Virginia State Police

Mr. Nash,

Thank you for your recent FOIA request. Due to the volume of requests and
manpower constraints, it is not practical for the Virginia State Police to
respond in the 5 days permitted under Virginia Freedom of Information Act.
You are hereby notified that, pursuant to § 2.2-3704(B)(4), the Virginia
State Police is entitled to, and hereby asserts its right to claim, seven
work days in addition to the five provided for in § 2.2-3704(B) in which to
provide one of the responses set forth in § 2.2-3704.

Thank you,

Angela S. Kepus, FOIA Specialist

*on behalf of F/Sgt David Ostwinkle *

First Sergeant David L. Ostwinkle
Virginia Department of State Police
Office of Legal Affairs
Bureau of Administrative and Support Services
(804) 674-8028 (Office)
(804) 674-2345 (Fax)
david.ostwinkle@vsp.virginia.gov <angela.kepus@vsp.virginia.gov>

From: Virginia State Police

Mr. Nash,

Thank you for your correspondence to the Virginia Department of State
Police (the Department). As you may be aware, requests for records of the
Commonwealth, its agencies and political subdivisions are governed by the
Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), §§ 2.2-3700 et. seq. of the
Code of Virginia.

Pursuant to § 2.2-3704 of the Code of Virginia “all public records shall be
open to inspection and copying by any citizens of the Commonwealth” except
as otherwise specifically provided by law. The materials you are
requesting constitute records relative to any criminal intelligence or
terrorism investigation which are governed by specific statutory authority,
and are, therefore, excluded from the provisions of FOIA pursuant to §
52-48.

We regret we are unable to assist you further in this matter.

Thank you,

Angela S. Kepus, FOIA Specialist

*on behalf of F/Sgt David Ostwinkle *

First Sergeant David L. Ostwinkle
Virginia Department of State Police
Office of Legal Affairs
Bureau of Administrative and Support Services
(804) 674-8028 (Office)
(804) 674-2345 (Fax)
david.ostwinkle@vsp.virginia.gov <angela.kepus@vsp.virginia.gov>

From: Emma Best

The request included materials which would seem to fall outside the parameters of "criminal intelligence," and I cannot imagine you are arguing that Anonymous and other hacktivists are terrorists, though I hope you will correct me if I am wrong in that.

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