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(Politico)   Navy effectively cuts out whistleblower middlemen by sending strategy paper on how to dodge Freedom of Information Act requests directly to reporter   (politico.com) divider line 52
    More: Fail, U.S. Navy, foia requests, Freedom of Information Act, Naval Sea Systems Command, Navy Yard, NBC News  
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8575 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Jan 2014 at 6:31 PM (28 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-07 06:33:56 PM
No comments?

or were they *REDACTED* ?
 
m00
2014-01-07 06:36:16 PM
Robin Patterson should be thrown in jail. This classified information that has been leaked directly aids the terrorist enemies of the US -- people who want to know what their government is doing.
 
2014-01-07 06:36:21 PM
Funny.
 
2014-01-07 06:37:04 PM
Their apology has now been sent to just about everybody. It's painful to watch.
 
2014-01-07 06:38:08 PM
In other news, there's a vacancy for a FOIA public liaison at Navy!
 
2014-01-07 06:38:26 PM
Footdragging on FOIA requests? Say it isn't so!
 
2014-01-07 06:39:09 PM

m00: Robin Patterson should be thrown in jail. This classified information that has been leaked directly aids the terrorist enemies of the US -- people who want to know what their government is doing.


That was my first thought too.  But I'm sure he's on the no-fly list by now, at a minimum.  Clearly a subversive type.
 
2014-01-07 06:44:19 PM
You know, I was all suited up and ready to get outraged about this. But the I read the email and his requests. He was asking for literally every memo authored by specific Naval Sea Systems Command in a three month period, emails sent on the day of the Navy Yard shooting, and every picture they had of the building where the shooting occurred that had not already been released during the investigation. And then he had the audacity to ask for the Navy to pay for all of that themselves, by claiming that this was in the public interest because he was a reporter and it might expose some hitherto unknown government wrongdoing.

In other words, he embarked on a fishing expedition. And that's exactly what the (stupidly) released email said he was doing. And in the email the people at the FOIA office there are talking about negotiating with him for specificity about what exactly he wants, so they don't have to waste time collecting tons of records that may be 100% irrelevant to whatever this reporter is fishing for.
 
2014-01-07 06:48:28 PM

Rincewind53: You know, I was all suited up and ready to get outraged about this. But the I read the email and his requests. He was asking for literally every memo authored by specific Naval Sea Systems Command in a three month period, emails sent on the day of the Navy Yard shooting, and every picture they had of the building where the shooting occurred that had not already been released during the investigation. And then he had the audacity to ask for the Navy to pay for all of that themselves, by claiming that this was in the public interest because he was a reporter and it might expose some hitherto unknown government wrongdoing.

In other words, he embarked on a fishing expedition. And that's exactly what the (stupidly) released email said he was doing. And in the email the people at the FOIA office there are talking about negotiating with him for specificity about what exactly he wants, so they don't have to waste time collecting tons of records that may be 100% irrelevant to whatever this reporter is fishing for.


This.
 
2014-01-07 06:50:16 PM

m00: Robin Patterson should be thrown in jail. This classified information that has been leaked directly aids the terrorist enemies of the US -- people who want to know what their government is doing.


Additionally, he contributed to the atrocity known as the Twilight films.
 
2014-01-07 06:50:28 PM
I'm going to be that guy and say: aside from a snuff festish, why does a reporter need pictures of the scene of a massacre?
 
2014-01-07 06:52:57 PM
Tweet should've read "#USNavy regrets that we were caught by @nbcwashington cc @politico @Gawker"
 
2014-01-07 06:57:32 PM

Rincewind53: You know, I was all suited up and ready to get outraged about this. But the I read the email and his requests. He was asking for literally every memo authored by specific Naval Sea Systems Command in a three month period, emails sent on the day of the Navy Yard shooting, and every picture they had of the building where the shooting occurred that had not already been released during the investigation. And then he had the audacity to ask for the Navy to pay for all of that themselves, by claiming that this was in the public interest because he was a reporter and it might expose some hitherto unknown government wrongdoing.

In other words, he embarked on a fishing expedition. And that's exactly what the (stupidly) released email said he was doing. And in the email the people at the FOIA office there are talking about negotiating with him for specificity about what exactly he wants, so they don't have to waste time collecting tons of records that may be 100% irrelevant to whatever this reporter is fishing for.


The whole thing seems fishy.  And we only have his word that this really is the Navy's response.  Can't wait for the follow-up.
 
2014-01-07 06:59:29 PM
meh,,,what Rincewind53 said, he's fishing and they don't have the time for that
 
2014-01-07 07:00:12 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Rincewind53: You know, I was all suited up and ready to get outraged about this. But the I read the email and his requests. He was asking for literally every memo authored by specific Naval Sea Systems Command in a three month period, emails sent on the day of the Navy Yard shooting, and every picture they had of the building where the shooting occurred that had not already been released during the investigation. And then he had the audacity to ask for the Navy to pay for all of that themselves, by claiming that this was in the public interest because he was a reporter and it might expose some hitherto unknown government wrongdoing.

In other words, he embarked on a fishing expedition. And that's exactly what the (stupidly) released email said he was doing. And in the email the people at the FOIA office there are talking about negotiating with him for specificity about what exactly he wants, so they don't have to waste time collecting tons of records that may be 100% irrelevant to whatever this reporter is fishing for.

The whole thing seems fishy.  And we only have his word that this really is the Navy's response.  Can't wait for the follow-up.


The Navy did admit that it was an interoffice email that got sent to him by mistake. So it's real.

It's just a perfectly rational email for them to have been sending, and doesn't show any malice at all, rather an overloaded office trying to cut down on their work by trying to stop people engaging in fishing expeditions.
 
2014-01-07 07:02:17 PM

Evil Twin Skippy: I'm going to be that guy and say: aside from a snuff festish, why does a reporter need pictures of the scene of a massacre?


EXCLUSIVE!  NEVER BEFORE-SEEN PHOTOS OF THE GRUESOME MASSACRE -- AN INSIDE LOOK AT WHAT REALLY HAPPENED
 
2014-01-07 07:05:38 PM
At least the Navy screws up by the numbers...
 
2014-01-07 07:13:33 PM
#USNavy regrets the content of an internal email sent to @nbcwashington cc @politico @Gawker

Well, yeah, I bet they do.
 
2014-01-07 07:13:42 PM

AntiNerd: Footdragging on FOIA requests? Say it isn't so!


I am shocked, SHOCKED that there is gambling at this establishment.
 
2014-01-07 07:22:08 PM
As a NAVSEA employee, I can understand why they're in no big rush to get to his requests, considering that they lost friends and co-workers on September 16, then got to sit at home unpaid during the government shutdown, then had to be relocated since their building at the Washington Navy Yard is closed to almost everyone but law enforcement personnel.  I mean gosh, with all that going on, how dare they don't immediately cater to this reporter's dumb-ass request.
 
2014-01-07 07:22:23 PM
To really rub it in, he should immediately file a FOIA request for that memo.
 
2014-01-07 07:43:44 PM
If you've worked a day in a FOIA office you'll definitely feel for the Navy on this one. The amount of frivolous FOIA that goes on is insane. Navy has the right to try to narrow the scope or at least charge for the labor hours required to produce the full set of requested records.

FOIA is a wonderful law. FOIA requesters in general are from the tinfoil brigade.
 
2014-01-07 07:44:22 PM

jjorsett: To really rub it in, he should immediately file a FOIA request for that memo.


I am actually, literally LOL.
 
2014-01-07 07:51:57 PM
This, my friends and all you other jerks who are wrong too, is the LITERAL definition of "just mailing it in"
 
2014-01-07 07:57:53 PM
The Unites States Navy inadvertently sent a memo

2nd word of the damned article.  How hard is it to proofread at least the first sentence or your article?

Or am I unaware of a new Navy?
 
2014-01-07 08:01:45 PM

GanjSmokr: The Unites States Navy inadvertently sent a memo

2nd word of the damned article.  How hard is it to proofread at least the first sentence or your article?

Or am I unaware of a new Navy?


Welcome to the Unites States of America - where "freedom of information" is not just a phrase.
 
2014-01-07 08:02:04 PM
Health care program.
 
2014-01-07 08:14:48 PM
Dear US Government:

Here is a FOIA request. Send me everything you have on anything that's ever happened, and if you don't I'll think you're hiding something.
 
2014-01-07 08:43:21 PM

Rincewind53: You know, I was all suited up and ready to get outraged about this. But the I read the email and his requests. He was asking for literally every memo authored by specific Naval Sea Systems Command in a three month period, emails sent on the day of the Navy Yard shooting, and every picture they had of the building where the shooting occurred that had not already been released during the investigation. And then he had the audacity to ask for the Navy to pay for all of that themselves, by claiming that this was in the public interest because he was a reporter and it might expose some hitherto unknown government wrongdoing.

In other words, he embarked on a fishing expedition. And that's exactly what the (stupidly) released email said he was doing. And in the email the people at the FOIA office there are talking about negotiating with him for specificity about what exactly he wants, so they don't have to waste time collecting tons of records that may be 100% irrelevant to whatever this reporter is fishing for.


as a former FOIA guy, spot on.   When I did FOIA for TARP we got requests for ridiculously overbroad and my main skill was convincing reporters to trim that back so they didn't get 500,000 pages they would never read and I didn't wastes a month of my time.   Getting them to trust that it wasn't a conspiracy to hide something was the hard part
 
2014-01-07 08:44:45 PM
It happens. I emailed a law firm about a matter and the person I emailed forwarded the email to someone else asking "what should I tell him about X" (where X is something that was highly confidential) and the second person just typed a reply and then forwarded the whole email to me, including the confidential bit.
 
2014-01-07 09:01:42 PM

Gyrfalcon: Dear US Government:

Here is a FOIA request. Send me everything you have on anything that's ever happened, and if you don't I'll think you're hiding something.


PS: Please don't charge me any money for the work involved in processing the request. I don't have that kind of money, but as the government you totally do.
 
2014-01-07 09:36:30 PM

Gyrfalcon: Dear US Government:

Here is a FOIA request. Send me everything you have on anything that's ever happened, and if you don't I'll think you're hiding something.


Sure I don't think that's how it works but good luck. Truthfully I only want (well for starters) records from every navy ship in the Pacific circa 1947 to 1965. Every weather report .atmospheric reading, I wanna know when background or other radiation started being recorded and all that info.

/I'm just curious and then heh ; )
 
2014-01-07 09:53:41 PM

Rincewind53: You know, I was all suited up and ready to get outraged about this. But the I read the email and his requests. He was asking for literally every memo authored by specific Naval Sea Systems Command in a three month period, emails sent on the day of the Navy Yard shooting, and every picture they had of the building where the shooting occurred that had not already been released during the investigation. And then he had the audacity to ask for the Navy to pay for all of that themselves, by claiming that this was in the public interest because he was a reporter and it might expose some hitherto unknown government wrongdoing.

In other words, he embarked on a fishing expedition. And that's exactly what the (stupidly) released email said he was doing. And in the email the people at the FOIA office there are talking about negotiating with him for specificity about what exactly he wants, so they don't have to waste time collecting tons of records that may be 100% irrelevant to whatever this reporter is fishing for.


Except that when he specifically asked for a particular item, they said they would have to deny it because it was too specific. How convenient: the porridge is either too hot or too cold and just won't do.

I work for the government  and this is typical bullshiat to avoid doing what the law requires. And therefore illegal btw.
 
2014-01-07 10:39:28 PM

Rincewind53: You know, I was all suited up and ready to get outraged about this. But the I read the email and his requests. He was asking for literally every memo authored by specific Naval Sea Systems Command in a three month period, emails sent on the day of the Navy Yard shooting, and every picture they had of the building where the shooting occurred that had not already been released during the investigation. And then he had the audacity to ask for the Navy to pay for all of that themselves, by claiming that this was in the public interest because he was a reporter and it might expose some hitherto unknown government wrongdoing.

In other words, he embarked on a fishing expedition. And that's exactly what the (stupidly) released email said he was doing. And in the email the people at the FOIA office there are talking about negotiating with him for specificity about what exactly he wants, so they don't have to waste time collecting tons of records that may be 100% irrelevant to whatever this reporter is fishing for.


I'm all for transparency in government but yeah....this.
 
2014-01-07 10:44:09 PM

edmo: Rincewind53: You know, I was all suited up and ready to get outraged about this. But the I read the email and his requests. He was asking for literally every memo authored by specific Naval Sea Systems Command in a three month period, emails sent on the day of the Navy Yard shooting, and every picture they had of the building where the shooting occurred that had not already been released during the investigation. And then he had the audacity to ask for the Navy to pay for all of that themselves, by claiming that this was in the public interest because he was a reporter and it might expose some hitherto unknown government wrongdoing.

In other words, he embarked on a fishing expedition. And that's exactly what the (stupidly) released email said he was doing. And in the email the people at the FOIA office there are talking about negotiating with him for specificity about what exactly he wants, so they don't have to waste time collecting tons of records that may be 100% irrelevant to whatever this reporter is fishing for.

Except that when he specifically asked for a particular item, they said they would have to deny it because it was too specific. How convenient: the porridge is either too hot or too cold and just won't do.

I work for the government  and this is typical bullshiat to avoid doing what the law requires. And therefore illegal btw.


Ah. I find no need to type what I came to say. Thank you.
 
2014-01-07 11:22:16 PM

g4lt: At least the Navy screws up by the numbers...


More like propellers.
 
2014-01-07 11:25:37 PM
The Navy ment to send the memo to Seth MacFarlane.
 
2014-01-08 01:33:12 AM
Yeah, "this one is specific enough that we may be able to deny," in the context of a memo which is all about persuading a reporter to narrow the scope of his requests, sounds a bit dodgy.
 
2014-01-08 02:36:34 AM

dragonchild: Evil Twin Skippy: I'm going to be that guy and say: aside from a snuff festish, why does a reporter need pictures of the scene of a massacre?

EXCLUSIVE!  NEVER BEFORE-SEEN PHOTOS OF THE GRUESOME MASSACRE -- AN INSIDE LOOK AT WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Or to have an independent forensic expert analyze it and see if it matches up with the government's story.  Because, as you know, the government never lies to protect itself.
 
2014-01-08 06:06:45 AM
Every part of your government and military is entirely corrupt and isn't following any part of the law anymore. Just accept that and plan your life around that truth.
 
2014-01-08 07:10:23 AM

Phil Moskowitz: Every part of your government and military is entirely corrupt and isn't following any part of the law anymore. Just accept that and plan your life around that truth.


Yes, everything isruined forever and all politicians are irredemably corrupt. You got it. No laws are being followed. They are all murdering everyone else 100% of the time. Why, just today I watched Obama re-enact a famous photo from the Korean War with a republican he disliked. You know the photo!

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: Yeah, "this one is specific enough that we may be able to deny," in the context of a memo which is all about persuading a reporter to narrow the scope of his requests, sounds a bit dodgy.


I suspect it may just be along the lines of the whole "manipulating the data" complaints about the global warming emails (not realizing that, you know. That's how scientists *TALK* about plotting and interpreting the data).

I suspect they mean "This one is specific enough we can actually say 'No, for reason X'." With an over-broad request, you may not be able to say that, because some stuff may not fall under X... even if X is a completely legitimate reason! You can only really go "No, because that's too much goddamn stuff." They may just be going "Oh, GOOD, this one way can confirm or deny based on the actual *content* of what he's asking for!"

Sort of like "You're not right. You're not even *wrong*." w/regard to some anti-science stuff.
 
2014-01-08 07:27:52 AM

gochuck: If you've worked a day in a FOIA office you'll definitely feel for the Navy on this one. The amount of frivolous FOIA that goes on is insane. Navy has the right to try to narrow the scope or at least charge for the labor hours required to produce the full set of requested records.

FOIA is a wonderful law. FOIA requesters in general are from the tinfoil brigade.


You know who pays for the Navy and it's personel?
You know what FOI part of FOIA means?

yeah....
 
2014-01-08 07:29:24 AM
NAVY Tweet: "#USNavy regrets the content of an internal email sent to @nbcwashington cc @politico @Gawker"

Translation: we're sorry you got that... it was meant for us only in order to subvert your rights.
 
2014-01-08 08:03:07 AM
Phil Moskowitz:   Every part of your government and military is entirely corrupt and isn't following any part of the law anymore. Just accept that and plan your life around that truth.

smith4patterson.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-01-08 09:35:37 AM
But the commander in chief has promised the most transparent...
 
2014-01-08 09:53:48 AM

BalugaJoe: g4lt: At least the Navy screws up by the numbers...

More like propellers.


No, on a ship they are called screws.
 
2014-01-08 09:57:23 AM

edmo: Rincewind53: You know, I was all suited up and ready to get outraged about this. But the I read the email and his requests. He was asking for literally every memo authored by specific Naval Sea Systems Command in a three month period, emails sent on the day of the Navy Yard shooting, and every picture they had of the building where the shooting occurred that had not already been released during the investigation. And then he had the audacity to ask for the Navy to pay for all of that themselves, by claiming that this was in the public interest because he was a reporter and it might expose some hitherto unknown government wrongdoing.

In other words, he embarked on a fishing expedition. And that's exactly what the (stupidly) released email said he was doing. And in the email the people at the FOIA office there are talking about negotiating with him for specificity about what exactly he wants, so they don't have to waste time collecting tons of records that may be 100% irrelevant to whatever this reporter is fishing for.

Except that when he specifically asked for a particular item, they said they would have to deny it because it was too specific. How convenient: the porridge is either too hot or too cold and just won't do.

I work for the government  and this is typical bullshiat to avoid doing what the law requires. And therefore illegal btw.


Can you direct me to where you see a "particular item" that was asked for and denied?
 
2014-01-08 10:54:27 AM
/Former FOIA guy.

Just to add, if he thinks that they'll waive the processing costs for a request that could potentially yield thousands upon thousands of responsive documents and as many manhours, he's high as a kite.
 
2014-01-08 02:16:49 PM

Evil Twin Skippy: No, on a ship they are called screws.


I feel impelled to point out that this is not always the case....

www.cruisenewsdaily.com
 
2014-01-09 12:40:01 AM

HindiDiscoMonster: gochuck: If you've worked a day in a FOIA office you'll definitely feel for the Navy on this one. The amount of frivolous FOIA that goes on is insane. Navy has the right to try to narrow the scope or at least charge for the labor hours required to produce the full set of requested records.

FOIA is a wonderful law. FOIA requesters in general are from the tinfoil brigade.

You know who pays for the Navy and it's personel?
You know what FOI part of FOIA means?

yeah....


Some people wouldn't be happy unless every saved document, email, printout, copy, fax, scan, report, video, and data collection packet was CC'd to a public server. They'd demand second-to-second screenshots of everyone's PC. Then full HD color video of every surface and view the military can see.

The military already captures petabytes of information and its 1.5 million members generate tens of millions of emails every day and millions of automated reports. You can't just ask for everything; even if you could somehow afford it you can't store it or process it. The wider government is another order of magnitude beyond that, yet people still try to ask for every email by a government employee or contractor between 1999 and 2009.
 
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