FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: Pentagon's frequent requester revealed

FOIA News (2015-16)Allan BlutsteinComment

DoD's FOIA 'spammer' steps forward

By Fred Donovan, FierceGovernmentIT, Apr. 26, 2016

Following a Department of Defense report decrying a heavy volume of Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, requests from a single individual, that requester has stepped forward.

Nick Turse, a contributing writer for The Intercept, wrote in an April 20 piece that he's the requester who has filed 415 in the past two years and 308 so far this year.

At least Turse thinks it's him – he got support for his claim from another frequent filer.  But Turse wrote that when he tried to ask DoD's chief FOIA officer, Peter Levine, the official behind the "Chief Freedom of Information Act Officer Report to the Department of Justice" that laments the heavy filing volume, he was bounced around, unable to get anyone to respond.

The report, which cost DoD $41,449 to produce, largely lauded the department's openness efforts, but it said that heavy volume from one requester is a burden because the person tries "to monopolize the system by filing a large number of requests or submitting disparate requests in groups which require a great deal of administrative time to adjudicate."

Turse takes issue with that accusation, stating that Levine has never asked him why he files so many requests.

Read more here.