High Tech Crime Consortium ListServ (West Virginia University)

Emma North-Best filed this request with the West Virginia University of West Virginia.
Tracking #


Multi Request High Tech Crime Consortium ListServ


From: Emma North-Best

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Copies of emails sent to, from, or through the High Tech Crime Consortium ListServ. The emails may be identified by having one or more of the following:

* A sender with a display name of either "High Tech Crime Consortium Listserv" or "High Tech Crime Consortium"
* A subject containing either "HTCC" or "[HTCC]"
* Sent to or from an email address containing "htcc" or hightechcrimecops.org

You may limit this request to records generated between April 1, 1998 and the date of the processing of this request.

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 in outlets such as Gizmodo, MuckRock, Motherboard, Property of the People, Unicorn Riot, and The Outline, among others. 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 library Internet Archive and the journalist non-profit 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.

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.


Emma Best

From: West Virginia University

Emma Best,

This e-mail is a final response concerning your West Virginia Freedom of Information Act ("W. Va. FOIA") request received on August 10, 2020, for "Copies of emails sent to, from, or through the High Tech Crime Consortium ListServ." The time period of the request is April 1, 1998, to August 10, 2020. Further you ask that the "emails may be identified" through the following manner:

1. "A sender with a display name of either 'High Tech Crime Consortium Listserv' or 'High Tech Crime Consortium'"
2. "A subject containing either 'HTCC' or '[HTCC]'"
3. "Sent to or from an email address containing 'htcc' or hightechcrimecops.org"

In final response to your request, please be advised that it is denied for lack of specificity and for being unduly burdensome. West Virginia Code § 29B-1-3(d) requires that "[a]ll [W. Va. FOIA] requests for information must state with reasonable specificity the information sought." This is important because it limits the time and expense associated with processing the request. W. Va. FOIA expresses a concern that "information requests not become mechanisms to paralyze other necessary government functions." Farley v. Worley, 215 W. Va. 412, 422 n.14, 599 S.E.2d 835, 845 n.14 (2004). See also, Assassination Archives & Research Ctr. v. Cent. Intelligence Agency, 720 F. Supp. 217, 219 (D.D.C. 1989)(noting that FOIA "was not intended to reduce government agencies to full-time investigators on behalf of requesters"); and Highland Mining Co. v. W. Va. Univ. Sch. of Med., 2015 W. Va. LEXIS 679 (W. Va. May 21, 2015). As stated, your request does not state with reasonable specificity the information sought as the scope of your proposed search does not specify certain employees or a more reasonable time frame from which records are sought. As stated, your request requires a search of the thousands of employees at West Virginia University for a period of 22+ years. See also Appalachian Mountain Advocates, Inc., v. W. Va. Univ., No. 19-0266 (W. Va. June 18, 2020) (memorandum opinion) (affirming the circuit court's holding that a W. Va. FOIA request for thousands of documents is unduly burdensome).

West Virginia University reserves its right to exercise any and all applicable exemptions under W. Va. Code § 29B-1-4, defenses, or privileges, as appropriate. Further, as required by W. Va. Code § 29B-1-3(d<http://www.legis.state.wv.us/wvcode/ChapterEntire.cfm?chap=29b&art=1&section=3>), please be advised that this request is now at an end.

Thank you.

West Virginia University

From: Emma North-Best

Your eDiscovery system makes the search simple, trivial and non-time consuming. You may not reject requests on fraudulent grounds or grounds of incompetency.