FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: DHS Secretary tells officials to avoid email to deter FOIA requests

FOIA News (2018)Ryan MulveyComment

John Kelly instructed DHS official to avoid email to deter hackers, FOIA requests: report

John Bowden, The Hill, June 8, 2018

As Secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly directed at least one official to avoid emailing him about agency business due to fears that his email had been been hacked and was susceptible to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from journalists and the public, according to an email obtained through a FOIA request.

The email, acquired by BuzzFeed News in response to a FOIA lawsuit, shows correspondence from June 8, 2017, between then-Secretary Kelly and an official whose name was redacted on privacy grounds.

"As we discussed in NYC about the toxic atmosphere here in the D.C. cesspool, my folks are nervous about e-mails you send and ask that you no longer include them on any postings,” Kelly wrote to the official. "FOIA is real and everyday here in the cesspool, and even federal court action on personal accounts is real."

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