FOIPA adventures

coderman coderman at
Wed Dec 2 17:21:21 PST 2015

remember this one? the four carefully crafted retorts?

On Sun, Sep 27, 2015 at 1:52 AM, coderman <coderman at> wrote:
> less interesting reply, but a more interesting response on my part:
> FBI claiming privacy interest to refuse ALL of my FOIA regarding the
> Sklyarov / Elcomsoft incident years back:
> this is my first attempt to argue compelling public interest against a
> privacy exemption,
>  it is as follows;
> Please recognize the public interest in this request for responsive
> records as follows:
> First and foremost, extensive media attention during this period was
> generated due to the intersection of "hacking" and "reverse
> engineering" combined with the DMCA provisions deeming some
> technologies illegal at interest to the information technology
> industry as a whole. This reason alone is sufficient and compelling
> justification for transparency in a watershed case, however, I shall
> continue.
> Second, this case involved not a US citizen, but a foreign national.
> As has recently been scoured in the technical press, Wassenar with its
> incumbent BIS obligations has brought discussion of the risks
> foreigners face visiting the EU and US, in addition to US citizens
> abroad who now find themselves subject to severe technical controls
> due to their industry participation. I feel that surely this must
> provide beyond sufficient justification for public interest in
> documents responsive to this request, yet I shall continue to exhaust
> the relevant perspectives in my quiver of inquiry.
> Thus thirdly, the conference venue, DEF CON security conference,
> itself of notoriety and high esteem in the technical community, was
> the operating domain for the closing moves of this investigation. The
> logistics and technical considerations for operating in this domain
> thus also compounds the public interest in the activity for which the
> records responsive to this request have been requested.
> Fourthly, and there is a fourthly for sure, the activities undertaken
> by the agency were at risk of alienating a talent pool the Bureau has
> increasingly courted and pursued for their invaluable skills in
> digital forensic analysis, reverse engineering, and information
> security. Balancing actions before a critical group who also interacts
> frequently with the agency, and from whom the Bureau itself draws
> professional talent, amplifies the interest and relevance of this
> inquiry, and the need for unrestrained transparency when identifying
> documents responsive to this request.
> Lastly and finally, yet not to diminish the inherent privacy rights
> afforded to all earth humans, inalienable, with justice for all, the
> privacy rights which this agency has cited in justification for
> limiting the documents responsive to this request, please note that
> the privacy exemptions provided by law are specific and limited to
> situations where there is a compelling personal privacy interest. The
> agency has not provided any compelling privacy interest on behalf of
> the fine Mr. Sklyarov, and his foreign status removes the common
> privacy concerns of an individual within a domestic community at issue
> in responsive documents. It is fully reasonable, per Department of
> Justice v. Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, that the FBI
> may provide documents detailing "what they were up to" in this
> investigation, without undue burden on the privacy rights of a foreign
> citizen briefly visiting to attend a public conference in the United
> States.
> Please do recognize and acquiescence to the public interest so broadly in view.

it worked, flawlessly!

see attached response with minimal redactions:

best regards,

More information about the cypherpunks mailing list