Homeland Security Appears To Be Stalling On FOIA Requests Concerning Domain Seizures

from the violating-the-foia? dept

We’re still waiting for the full response to our own Freedom of Information Act request concerning ICE’s PSA (though, we have some more info on that which we’ll be sharing soon). It’s still well within the reasonable period of time to reply, and we’ve been told that progress is being made on the request, so that all sounds good. However, Michael Robertson passed along the news that back in January, he filed a FOIA request of his own, on behalf of his organization NakedGovernment.org, seeking any information and documents within ICE concerning the domain seizures found in “Operation in Our Sites.”

Initially, as is fairly typical with FOIA requests, the ICE FOIA officials were responsive, friendly and helpful. Following a rather broad request, the FOIA official at ICE suggested that NakedGovernment narrow its request to documents concerning the domain seizures that are stored in the TECS (Treasury Enforcement Communications System) database. NakedGovernment also forked over the cash that ICE requested in order to conduct this search. At the end of March, ICE FOIA officials told NakedGovernment that they had received the check and “will begin processing your request and will respond…”

And that’s all they wrote. Since the end of March, no additional response has been forthcoming, even though NakedGovernment has followed up with ICE requesting the status of the request. It’s difficult to see how this request could possibly take more than two months to process. I’m hopeful that my (quite narrow) request won’t take nearly as long. Update: Michael Robertson informs me that ICE has just indicated that it has obtained the documents in question, and they now need to “be processed” which will then be followed by a “supervisory review.” So, keep waiting…

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Comments on “Homeland Security Appears To Be Stalling On FOIA Requests Concerning Domain Seizures”

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Spaceboy (profile) says:

I hope you aren’t holding your breath Mike.

I would like to start the unOfficial Techdirt FOIA pool.
Post your guesses as to when the government gets around to actually responding to the request. In case of a tie, please also guess what you think will be the percentage of redaction will be. Price is Right rules in effect, closest without going over wins.

My guess, July 28 2011 – 40% Redaction.

Beta (profile) says:

don't forget NY

On the 16th of May you wrote “the NY State law says that the city must respond to my request within five business days”. Any word yet? My guess is that they will reply (if they haven’t already) with “thank you for your interest, we cannot give you the information you request at the present time because [CITE EXCEPTION PERMITTED IN LAW], we will inform you when the situation changes”.

Mr. Smarta** says:


Your request has been denied. The letter stating that it was denied has been classified due to national security. Nobody within the appropriate organizations is authorized to tell you anything about it. And anyone associated with your request has been issued a permanent gag order.

So basically, everyone else knows but you.

Michial Thompson (user link) says:

Open Investigation

My bet is that your going to get nothing useful and all, and it will be accompanied with a letter stating that this is an open investigation, and the records cannot be made available at this time.

Remember the owners have not had charges filed against them yet, and the domains have not been returned to them. The only way of holding onto the domains is either by court order after the prosecution, or by maintaining the case as open for investigation.

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