[cryptome] Re: Looks like DHS sabotaged a FOIA request on Cryptome

  • From: douglas rankine <douglasrankine2001@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: cryptome@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 5 Feb 2016 23:16:27 +0000

Excellent, Michael...but, may I kindly suggest that you take it further next time...along the lines I have suggested...(and our other colleagues who indulge in such practices of course). There is nuffink better than a bureacrat taking advice from someone likr your goodself and adopting it as their own with their masters, if you have the inclination and the time. I promise you, you will find it quite fruitful over time...and such an approach will build respect for you, as well as being listened to and your advice will become of value, to both them and us (whoever them and us are...):-) .

Personally, may I say, how much impressed I am with the way that folks on this mailing list are working and co-ordinating their activities in gathering, collating, storing and spreading information en masse via the FOIA and passing it on to the internet population who are interested in such matters. I particularly like the way in which questions are being posed in such a way that helps the member of staff who is dealing with it, by pre- sifting and sorting the information, so that the requests are more precise and that only the first pages of documents are being requested, which saves much time.

Perhaps one day, we will develop a request algorithm, which delivers positive positives and negative negatives etc...;-) . Benjamin Franklin developed such a system way back in the time of the Founding Fathers, when America was struggling for independence from the English yoke. He called it bootstrapping...way ahead of his time, and still relevant today. And he didn't have a computer at his elbow...just his wits.

On 05/02/2016 22:55, Michael Best wrote:

I appealed the FBI rejection straightaway, saying something to the effect of "if the exact name and number of the file isn't specific enough, than nothing possibly could be."

On Fri, Feb 5, 2016 at 5:39 PM, douglas rankine <douglasrankine2001@xxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:douglasrankine2001@xxxxxxxxxxx>> wrote:

    Sometimes, a nicely worded letter to the powers that be at the
    FBI, (or other co-responding organisation)  i.e. to those who deal
    with the problem, pointing out their error, in a most helpful way,
    and offering to help, and asking why you have found that the
    information is available elsewhere and why didn't they know about
    it, took account of it, or develop efficient systems  which work
    on behalf of the taxpayer and requesters...or, in the alternative,
    would they have any objection to you and other researchers,
    helping them by working alongside them, in a purely voluntary way,
    by informing them of where the sources are.  In this way, you and
    they would be helping the citizens and the organisations which
    represent the people and the state, by making openness and
    transparancy much cheaper and more informative to the citizenry in
    the long run, 1which is only, after all, fulfilling the President
and Congresses wish to inform the people...blah! blah! blah! Without being recognisably obsequious, of course...:-) .
    If you decide to adopt  that approach, please let me know, via
    this mailing list, how you have got on...:-) .
    With kind regards,

    On 05/02/2016 21:11, Michael Best wrote:
    That's nothing as far as BS rejections go for not being specific
    enough about the records requested. I requested a FBI from FBI,
    gave them the name and number of it... and they said it wasn't
    enough to go on.

    File was in NARA as it turned out, but still. WTF, FBI?

    On Fri, Feb 5, 2016 at 4:01 PM, Michael Best
    <themikebest@xxxxxxxxx <mailto:themikebest@xxxxxxxxx>> wrote:

        The explanation I finally found buried in there was that the
        request was too broad, and that I should specify the subject
        matter, a time period and a location. I mean, the request
        basically did all three of those so the rejection was
        completely wrong, but what they cited exists... it's just
        kinda like trying to cite justifiable homicide law for
        torturing someone. It exists, but doesn't apply.

        Unfortunately because of the way it was buried, it took me
        until after the appeal period had passed so I can't appeal.
        I'll have to file a fresh FOIA with them and be more
        vigilant, because transparency can suck it I guess.

        On Fri, Feb 5, 2016 at 3:58 PM, douglas rankine
        <mailto:douglasrankine2001@xxxxxxxxxxx>> wrote:

            Hi Mike,
            Do they have the right to close an FOIA request
            arbitrarily, without a reason?  If so, do you know where
            such a regulation or law is, or where it could be
            found...or is it an administrative procedure.  Is it
            possible for you to ask them to point your nose to the
            provision in law which grants them this right?

            On 05/02/2016 20:52, Michael Best wrote:
            I filed a FOIA request about Cryptome with DHS a while

                Any records relating to Cryptome, also known by its
                web address of Cryptome.org, which posts pictures of
                sensitive sites and potential security holes as
                described at
                by the New York Times.


            Sent through MuckRock on December 1, acknowledged on
            December 2. Also closed on December 2, according to the
            DHS FOIA website. No notification or explanation
            provided, not through MuckRock or to me directly. I say
            to me directly because they also closed another FOIA of
            mine without explanation, insisting on opening a new one
            when I tried to follow up within the 30 days.

            http://www.dhs.gov/foia-status FOIA # *2016-HQFO-00099*

            Weird, right?

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