Response to My FOIA

The times they are a-changin’.

This post seems to be older than 15 years—a long time on the internet. It might be outdated.

Last fall, I filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the U.S Customs and Border Protection. Well, it took them about 11 months, which is 10 months longer then the guidelines state, but I finally received my request today.

The letter reads:

Dear Mr. Ferguson:

This is the final response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), dated September 26, 2007, seeking information relating to you in the Automated Targeting System (ATS).

A search of the CBP, ATS database has produced 5 pages responsive to your request. Of those pages, CBP has determined that certain portions of the enclosed documents are exempt from disclosure pursuant to Title 5 U.S.C. § 522 (b)(2)(low), (b)(6) and (b)(7)(c).

Exemption 2(low) exempts from disclosure records that are related to internal matters of a relatively trivial nature, such a internal administrative tracking.

FOIA Exemption 6 exempts from disclosure personnel or medical files and similar files the release of which would cause a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

Exemption 7(c) protects records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes that could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

You may appeal the deletions to the Office of Regulations and Rulings, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Mint Annex 5th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20229. Your appeal must be made in writing within 60 days after the date of this notification. Both the fron of the envelope and the appeal letter should contain the notation “Freedom of Information Act Appeal”. Please notate file number 2008XXXXX on any future correspondence to CBP related to this request.


Mark Hanson
Director, FOIA Division
Office of International Trade

There were five enclosed pages, most with some form of redaction. Here’s the first page:

All the black ink is redaction done by Customs and Border Protection. All the blurring is done by me. And no, the irony of redacting an already redacted document obtained through a FOIA request is not lost on me.