In late February 2017, the Trump Administration took some of its earliest steps towards implementing a new border wall policy with an executive order and several memos issued by the Department of Homeland Security’s leadership. In response to the policy, MuckRock filed a FOIA request was filed for “memos relating to executive orders signed by Donald Trump,” including but not limited to memos described in a specific article. Just under 17 months later, DHS responded with a letter saying that they were unable to find any such memos. Despite these claims, two of the memos which DHS said they were unable to find had aleady been posted to their website.
When you send thousands of FOIA requests, you are bound to get some very weird responses from time to time. Recently, we here at MuckRock had one of our most bizarre gets yet - Washington State Fusion Center’s accidental release of records on the effects of remote mind control.
In California, Homeland Security continues to argue that Antifa, not white supremacists, pose “the greatest threat to public safety”
Since last September, MuckRock has been tracking every Homeland Security-run fusion center in the country’s investigations into Antifa and white supremacist groups. Today, we’ll take you on a rundown of the responses we’ve gotten back from California.
Public records can help dig into policy makers at all levels, as well as help find out the truth on the ground. This week’s FOIA roundup shows how you can use requests to do the same no matter what subject you’re interested in.
A series of recently released legal guidelines on Open Source Intelligence explain how and when intelligence agencies can exploit social media and other online resources. One of the documents, previously classified SECRET//NOFORN, hints at the online recruitment of people as sources of information. Collectively, the guidelines spell out the restrictions intelligence agencies work with when dealing with OSINT, revealing how users and developers can deter intelligence agencies from some of the most casual, and pervasive, forms of surveillance.