Defense Information Systems Agency
701 S. Courthouse Road
Arlington, Virginia 22204-2199
10 April 2001
Dear [Surveillance Camera Players]
This letter responds to your Freedom of Information request for copies of any and all records, pertaining to "The Surveillance Camera Players", "Not Bored!" and the website located at www.notbored.org, maintained by the Defense Information Systems Agency.
Please be advised that no responsive records were located in this Agency. This Agency has learned that employees visited the site because they were attracted to the domain name, "notbored.org".
If you consider this response to be a denial of this request, you may appeal by writing to the Director, Defense Information Systems Agency, 701 South Courthouse Road, Arlington, Virginia 22204, within 60 days of your receipt of this letter. Both the letter and the envelop should be clearly marked "Freedom of Information Act Appeal."
This concludes the initial determination by this Agency. If we can be of further assistance, please do not hestitate to contact [us].
Carl Wayne Smith
October 17, 2001 SECRECY NEWS
Attorney General John Ashcroft has issued a new statement of policy that encourages federal agencies to resist Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests whenever they have legal grounds to do so. The new statement supersedes a 1993 memorandum from Attorney General Janet Reno which promoted disclosure of government information through the FOIA unless it was "reasonably foreseeable that disclosure would be harmful." The Ashcroft policy rejects this "foreseeable harm" standard. Instead, the Justice Department instructs agencies to withhold information whenever there is a "sound legal basis" for doing so. "When you carefully consider FOIA requests and decide to withhold records, in whole or in part," the Attorney General advised, "you can be assured that the Department of Justice will defend your decisions unless they lack a sound legal basis...."
The new FOIA policy statement, issued October 12, is posted here. For purposes of comparison, Attorney General Reno's 1993 memorandum may be found here.
As with many of the Bush Administration's new restrictions on public information, the new policy is only peripherally related to the fight against terrorism. Rather, it appears to exploit the current circumstances to advance a predisposition toward official secrecy.
Contact the Surveillance Camera Players
By e-mail e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
By snail mail: SCP c/o NOT BORED! POB 1115, Stuyvesant Station, New York City 10009-9998