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FOIA News: Secret Service agrees to stop erasing White House visitor log data

FOIA News (2017)Kevin SchmidtComment

Secret Service agrees to stop erasing White House visitor log data

By Josh Gerstein, Politico, Aug. 23, 2017

The Secret Service has agreed to stop erasing White House visitor log data while a lawsuit demanding public access to some of the information goes forward.

Justice Department lawyers said in a court filing Tuesday night that, pending resolution of the case, the Secret Service will suspend its practice of disposing of the information after it is transferred to a White House records repository.

“Although not necessary to preserve the requested records, the Secret Service has stated that it will retain copies of all [appointment and visitor entry] data during the pendency of this litigation, and Secret Service has suspended auto-delete functions,” Justice Department lawyer Julie Straus Harris wrote in response to a lawsuit brought by the watchdog group Public Citizen.

Who holds the information can have a pivotal impact on the public’s ability to access the data in a timely way. Records held by federal agencies like the Secret Service are subject to Freedom of Information Act requests, which can result in relatively timely disclosures, at least in some cases.

Read more here.