A few days ago I sent you a brief note describing the use of the FOIA.
Here is a prime example of how Ashcroft is attempting to manipulate the Act.
By law, the agency being petitioned has thirty
days to reply to a person's request for information.
Gathering from sentence five in the bellow paragraph, the Government agencies in question are
ignoring the Law as applies. This will lead to nothing but more litigation.
In my experience, the NSA was the only Agency
that had never answered one of my requests.
Here, there are a whole gaggle of Agencies ignoring a legitimate request by citizens.
More people need to see this story on the media,
but, the way things are going, that's a lost cause.
Thought you might be interested in this abuse of authority by the 'Justice' Department.
 EPIC Files FOIA Suit for Profiling Records
On January 21, EPIC asked a federal court to order the disclosure of
records regarding the sale of personal information to law enforcement
agencies. Government access to personal data has become more
controversial since September 11 as anti-terrorism investigative
powers have been expanded. In a complaint filed in federal district
court, EPIC charged that the Departments of Justice and Treasury have
violated the law by failing to respond to a series of Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) requests that EPIC has submitted. The FOIA
requests sought records relating to "transactions, communications, and
contracts" between law enforcement agencies and private firms that are
engaged in the sale of personal information.
The information requests were submitted in response to news reports
that ChoicePoint, a profiling company, routinely sells personal
information to federal law enforcement agencies. The requests were
filed with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement
Agency, the United States Marshals Service, the Internal Revenue
Service, the Immigration and Nationalization Service, and the Bureau
of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
"Through the mining of public records and the purchase of credit
reporting data, private sector companies are amassing troves of
personal information on citizens for the government," said EPIC
attorney Chris Hoofnagle, who filed the court challenge. "Serious
questions exist involving citizen access to profiles, their accuracy,
and the potential for misuse of personal information."
Documents obtained by EPIC show that ChoicePoint and Experian, another
profiling company, sold the IRS credit header data, property records,
state motor vehicle records, marriage and divorce data, and
international asset location data. IRS employees have access to this
personal data from their desktop computers. To facilitate the IRS
account and access for other law enforcement agencies, ChoicePoint has
created a federal government web portal at http://www.cpgov.com/.
"ChoicePoint and Experian are selling profiles on citizens with little
public awareness or oversight," said Hoofnagle. "We need to ask
ourselves: who is watching the watchers?"
The complaint in EPIC v. Department of Justice, et al. is online at:
EPIC's Consumer Profiling Page:
EPIC's Public Records Profiling Page: