FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) disclosures

Total pages obtained: 8,922

Anyone is welcome to use the documents disclosed on this page in whatever way they like, on the sole condition of giving credit to me, w/ a direct link to this page (Sai, s.ai/foia). Press info here.

Support my work? It's done for free — I have no salary. Please consider supporting me on Patreon!

Here's my template for FOIA, Privacy Act, and evidence preservation letters.

Department of Justice manuals

The DoJ publishes a guide to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). However, the version on its website mixes up different editions of the guide. Here are historical versions. There are pre-2004 versions, but those were not available in electronic form.

Docs (2,934 pages)

USPS Special Mail Cover Program

Press

After being contacted on background for an article about mail covers — basically pen register warrants for mail, except with no court oversight at all — I became more interested, and requested various information about it.

The USPS itself gave me some general information about three distinct programs: mail cover, mail imaging (used in automated mail processing), and mail isolation, control, and tracking ("MICT", used to trace potentially hazardous mail back to its sender).

The USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG) gave me a copy of their audit report of the USPS mail cover program. The parts marked in red were previously publicly redacted, but disclosed to me.

New information disclosed due to my FOIA request

  1. USPS' "Special Mail Cover" ("SMC") program is a version used for "national security" purposes.
  2. In FY 2013, the top Federal agencies requesting mail covers were the IRS (1,323), FBI (1,025), DEA (758), DHS (469), and ICE (81) — and one single police department (whose identity is as yet unreleased) matched that, at 153 requests.
  3. USPS inspectors handling SMCs have to be trained in handling classified material.

I then asked for more information about SMC specifically.

The USPS said that the US Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) had the documents I wanted. The USPS OIG responded with a copy of USPS Deputy Inspector General Whitcomb's testimony in a Congressional hearing about the mail cover program.

Despite this official confirmation of the existence of both the program and USPIS' possession of specific documents I requested, the USPIS refuses to confirm or deny its existence (aka a "Glomar response"). I appealed their Glomar response and didn't get a response within the deadline.

However, some of those documents — including the USPS handbook on handling classified national security information — have been obtained from other sources, and are available below.

2015-08-18 update: I won my administrative appeal of the Glomar response. USPIS has been ordered to give me more documents, since they can't "refuse to confirm or deny" the existence of something whose existence they have officially confirmed. Will be posted here, and on my Google+ & Twitter, as it comes in.

2015-08-25 update: I've obtained further release, claiming exemptions. They haven't responded to my request fully, and I'm challenging their exemptions, so hopefully I'll have more on the next appeal.

New information

  1. the new (2014) version of the USPS Classified National Security Information Program handbook (AS-303) added a new 9 page section, which they don't want to disclose because they claim it "would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law" (5 USC 552(b)(7)(E))
  2. Handling national security issues moved from "Dangerous Mail Investigations - Homeland Security" (DMI-HS) to "Security & Crime Prevention" (S&CP). (p. iii as labeled, "Special Notes")
  3. The Inspection Service Special Investigations Division is no longer allowed to investigate suspected compromise of classified information. (p. 45 as labeled, § 8-2).

Docs (86 pages; more pending)

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

Major disclosures coming soon. Collaborators & publishers wanted. Email tsa@saizai.com if you're interested.

Not FOIA, but related: archive of research on many related legal issues, which includes a large archive of lawsuits against the TSA and/or DHS (all filings, not just opinions). If you have any filings I'm missing, please email me. I'd like it to be fully comprehensive.

Updates:

  1. 2016-08-01: Published TSA surveillance agreements for DFW, EWR, & SFO. BOS previously released.
  2. 2016-07-15: Disclosures published re Hannah Cohen v TSA
  3. 2016-02-29: Final response re policies & procedures, withholding in full 359p of documents about no fly, selectee, etc lists.
  4. 2016-01-26: TSA standard checkpoint CCTV agreement (9p)
  5. 2015-12-30: 3 pages released:
  6. 2015-11-18: 107 pages released — liquid policy (excerpts); employee conduct / penalties documents, FSD discretion & CRL complaint form (full)

  1. 2015-07-30 release letter
  2. 2015-08-19 release letter
  3. 2015-10-20 release letter
  4. 2016-02-29 release letter

Press

Cohen v TSA, 2015-06-30 incident records

TSA policies & procedures (folder — 5,902 pages obtained, releasing over time; more pending)

  1. Airport agreements (218p)
  2. Complaints (304p) — help wanted: spreadsheet conversions (email tsa@saizai.com)
  3. General policies and procedures (3024p; more pending)
    • MD 100.4 2012-01-25 Transportation Security Searches (11p); differences between 2012-01-25 & 2009-09-01 versions (Google Doc)
    • Emergency Amendments (70p)
      • EA 1546-11-05C - Cargo security measures - passenger aircraft 2013-06-15 (3p)
      • EA 1546-11-05D - Cargo security measures - passenger aircraft 2015-05-15 (3p)
      • EA 1546-12-07 memo - Security measures for flights departing from or operating within the US - 2012-10-17 (5p)
      • EA 1546-12-07 - Security measurers for flights departing from or operating within the US - 2012-11-26 (33p)
      • EA 1546-12-07B - Security measures for flights departing from or operating within the US - 2014-01-31 (26p)
    • Security Directives (14p)
      • SD 1544-01-20I - Threat to US aircraft operators - no fly list procedures - 2009-06-01 (8p)
      • SD 1544-01-21F - Threat to US aircraft operators - selectee list procedures - 2007-03-08 (6p)
    • Model security programs (634p)
      • Aircraft operator standard security program - 2014-12-18 (307p)
        • Front matter (7p)
        • Table of contents (7p)
        • 1 - Introduction (14p)
        • 2 - Security-related incidents (3p)
        • 3 - Blank (1p)
        • 4 - Pre-screening procedures and passenger ID checks (25p)
        • 5 - Passengers designated as selectee passengers (3p)
        • 6 - Domestic flights (8p)
        • 7 - International flights (23p)
        • 8 - Cargo security measures (142p)
        • 9 - Diplomatic pouches and US mail (5p)
        • 10 - Catering security measures (3p)
        • 11 - Extraordinary locations (13p)
        • 12 - Aircraft searches and area security (17p)
        • 13 - Wet lease and charter operations (2p)
        • 14 - Exclusive area agreement (2p)
        • 15 - Airport categorization (1p)
        • 16 - National terrorism advisory system (2p)
        • 17 - Training (22p)
        • 18 - Screening (7p)
      • Foreign air carrier model security program - 2014-12-18 (245p)
        • Cover (1p)
        • Record of changes (6p)
        • Table of contents (6p)
        • 1 - Program description (16p)
        • 2 - Screening of persons, personal belongings, carry-on baggage, and handling of US mail (32p)
        • 3 - Handling of checked baggage (2p)
        • 4 - Cargo security measures (36p)
        • 4-1 - Aviation security known shipper verification form (1p)
        • 4-2 - Privacy Act notice (1p)
        • 4-3 - Certified cargo screening facility screened cargo procedures (13p)
        • 4-4 - Initial training when adopting a cargo screening method not previously utilized (1p)
        • 4-5 - Cargo reporting template - removed (1p)
        • 4-6 - Physical search screening procedures for cargo (4p)
        • 4-7 - Electronic metal detection (EMD) screening procedures for cargo (7p)
        • 4-8 - X-ray screening procedures for cargo at US locations (7p)
        • 4-9 - Advanced technology (AT) x-ray screening procedures for cargo at US locations (7p)
        • 4-10 - Explosives trace detection (ETD) screening procedures for cargo at US locations (8p)
        • 4-11 - Explosives detection system (EDS) screening procedures for cargo at US locations (6p)
        • 4-12 - X-ray screening procedures for cargo at non-US locations (11p)
        • 4-13 - Advanced technology (AT) x-ray screening procedures for cargo at non-US locations (12p)
        • 4-14 - Explosives trace detection (ETD) screening procedures for cargo at non-US locations (9p)
        • 4-15 - Explosives detection system (EDS) screening procedures for cargo at non-US locations (9p)
        • 4-16 - List of cargo configurations approved for TSA-certified explosives detection canine team screening at US locations (1p)
        • 4-17 - List of cargo configurations approved for TSA-approved explosives detection canine team screeing at non-US locations (1p)
        • 5 - Security of aircraft and facilities (1p)
        • 6 - Addressing and reporting acts of unlawful interference
        • 7 - Contingency planning (1p)
        • 8 - Training (3p)
        • 9 - Special procedures (1p)
        • 10 - Explosives trace detection search technologies (11p)
        • 11 - Explosives detection system inspection technologies (7p)
        • 12 - National terrorism advisory system (NTAS) (2p)
        • Appendix 1 - Detection systems (6p)
        • Appendix 2 - Standards and training for screening personnel (8p)
        • Appendix 3 - Removed (1p)
        • Appendix 4 - Removed (1p)
        • Appendix 5 - Screening procedures for battery-operated, electrical, or electronic devices (2p)
      • Twelve-Five standard security program - 2015-01-13 (82p)
        • Cover (1p)
        • Record of changes (1p)
        • Table of contents (3p)
        • 1 - Introduction (8p)
        • 2 - Incidents, suspicious activities, and threat information (2p)
        • 3 - No fly list and selectee list procedures (10p)
        • 4 - Pres-screening procedures and ID checks (2p)
        • 5 - Blank (1p)
        • 6 - Domestic flights (4p)
        • 7 - International flights (7p)
        • 8 - Cargo security measures (25p)
        • 9 - Criminal history records check (3p)
        • 10 - Extraordinary locations (3p)
        • 11 - National terrorism advisory system (NTAS) (2p)
        • 12 - Training (10p)
    • Employee discipline (67p)
  4. Screening procedures (1p)
  5. Passengers with disabilities (647p)
    • GAO questions on liquids and gels SOP changes - 2006 (13p)
      • Partial release (folder of images)
        • All diabetics only need 8 oz juice for any flight
        • Liquid explosives threat - hydrogen peroxide and fruit drink
        • Plastic bags deter terrorists - or not - and what you're allowed to take is secret
    • Language access binder (folder; 3p intro + 26 languages @ 20p each, 523p)
      Please contribute! Just read the languages you know and make notes about the translations.
    • Training about passengers with disabilities (111p)
      • Civil rights and travelers with disabilities and medical conditions slides (26p)
      • Civil rights and travelers with disabilities slides (20p)
      • International day of persons with disabilities flyer (4p)
      • Medically necessary LGA defined (1p)
      • OSO - The Frontline - 2014-11 issue 12 (19p)
      • Screening cancer patients and survivors flyers (9p)
      • Screening passengers with ostomies and related equipment (3p)
      • TSA personnel talking points - screening passengers with disabilities and medical conditions - 2015-03-16 (15p)
      • TSA prohibited items list (2p)
      • TSA website - medically necessary liquids (1p)
      • TSO in the know flyers
        • Best practices for screening passengers with autism (1p)
        • Best practices for screening passengers with medically necessary LGA (1p)
        • Best practices for screening passengers with ostomies & ostomy-related equipment (1p)
        • Best practices for screening passengers with service animals
        • Best practices for screening passengers with traveling companions (1p)
        • Effective communication - courtesy and respect for ALL passengers - 2014-06 (4p)
        • Uncommon external devices (1p)
  6. Internal enforcement of policies and regulations (39p)
  7. Cooperation with local airports and police (320p)
    • Video surveillance storage/access/etc policies and standard agreements (94p)
      • DHS-TSA standard surveillance systems agreement (12p)
      • TSA Office of Security Capabilities Advanced Surveillance Program - planning guidelines and design recommendations - 2012-09-05 (38p)
      • DHS Defining video quality requirements - a guide for public safety volume 1.0 (44p)
      • TSA standard checkpoint CCTV agreement (9p)
    • TSA LEO statement of joint objectives template (4p)
    • Airport security program and 49 CFR 1542 implementation guidance 2014-09-26 (207p)
      • Introduction and table of contents (8p)
      • 1. Definitions (3p)
      • 2. Abbreviations (2p)
      • 3. Applicability (1p)
      • 4. § 1542.3 Airport Security Coordinators (7p)
      • 5. § 1542.5 Inspection authority (3p)
      • 6. § 1542.101 General requirements (5p)
      • 7. § 1542.103 Content (12p)
      • 8. § 1542.105 Approval and Amendments (4p)
      • 9. § 1542.107 Changed condition affecting security (4p)
      • 10. § 1542.109 Alternate means of compliance (3p)
      • 11. § 1542.111 Exclusive area agreements (4p)
      • 12. § 1542.113 Airport tenant security programs (ATSPs) (6p)
      • 13. § 1542.201 Security of the secured area (15p)
      • 14. § 1542.203 Security of the air operations area (AOA) (8p)
      • 15. § 1542.205 Security of the SIDA (9p)
      • 16. § 1542.207 Access control systems (12p)
      • 17. § 1542.209 Fingerprint based criminal history records checks (19p)
      • 18. § 1542.211 Identification systems (29p)
      • 19. § 1542.213 Training (8p)
      • 20. § 1542.215 Law enforcement support (3p)
      • 21. § 1542.217 Law enforcement personnel (4p)
      • 22. § 1542.219 Supplementing law enforcement personnel (2p)
      • 23. § 1542.221 Records of law enforcement response (2p)
      • 24. § 1542.301 Contingency plan (10p)
      • 25. § 1542.303 Security directives and information circulars (6p)
      • 26. § 1542.305 Public advisories (5p)
      • 27. § 1542.307 Incident management (3p)
      • 28. DOT non-discriminatory air travel rule - service animals (3p)
      • 29. ASP amendment 09-02 - Security tamper evident bags (STEB) (2p)
      • 30. AP-01-01 - Airport categorization (5p)
    • Security Capabilities Advanced Surveillance Program 2011-10 v3 - Usage policy guidance (6p)
  8. Release of checkpoint video (100p)
    • MD 2810.1 2012-04-23 SSI Program (13p)
    • SSI Identification Guide 0060 v1.0 2006-09-27 (5p)
    • Posting material on TSA Intranet 2006-09-29 (2p)
    • SSI Identification Guide 13-004 v1.0 2013-04-16 (6p)
    • MD 2810.1 2012-04-23 SSI Policies and Procedures Handbook v1 (74p)
  9. "No fly", "selectee", etc lists (5p)
    • FLD 7102 2011-05-24 Special Mission Coverage for OLE-FAMS (5p)
  10. Fining passengers who revoke consent to administrative search
  11. "Behavior Detection" program (1244p)
    • BDO training materials (779p)
      • DHS commitment to nondiscriminatory law enforcement and screening activities memo - 2013-04-26 (2p)
      • TWE - list of online courses on file (1p)
      • TWE - SPOT basic training list of videos on file (1p)
      • Faces of terrorism poster - PSTR-83680-2011-09-09 52231-04 (1p)
      • SPOT - Combating racial, ethnic, and religious profiling - instructor guide (18p)
      • SPOT - Preventing racial, ethnic, and religious profiling spotlight - version 1.0 - instructor guide (17p)
      • SPOT basic training
        • Lesson 1 - Welcome and introduction
          • T3 facilitator guide (8p)
          • T3 slides (10p)
        • Lesson 2 - Technology, materials, and tools - T3 slides (19p)
        • Lesson 3 - Facilitation, discussion, and casual conversation
          • T3 facilitator guide (22p)
          • Casual conversation scenarios (6p)
        • Lesson 4 - instructional strategies
          • T3 facilitator guide (12p)
          • T3 slides (17p)
          • Instructor feedback sheet (6p)
          • SPOT behavioral indicator reference guide - Version 1.3 - 2013-11-22 (17p)
        • Lesson 5 - Job knowledge test and on-the-job training
          • T3 facilitator guide (18p)
          • T3 slides (36p)
      • SPOT refresher training
        • Course schedule (1p)
        • Lesson 1 - Welcome and course overview
          • Course warm-up activity sheet (3p)
          • Instructor guide (11p)
          • Slides (8p)
          • T3 slides (10p)
          • T3 facilitator guide (7p)
        • Lesson 2 - The SPOT process and purpose
          • Behavior definitions practice worksheet, behavioral indicators and weights (3p)
          • DHS commitment to nondiscriminatory law enforcement and screening activities memo - 2013-04-26 (2p)
          • SPOT behavioral indicator reference guide - page 2 (2p)
          • Instructor guide (30p)
          • Slides (24p)
          • T3 facilitator guide (9p)
          • T3 slides (12p)
        • Lesson 3 - Baseline and behavior analysis
          • Instructor guide (26p)
          • Slides (21p)
          • Behavior definitions practice worksheet, environmental baseline activity, WWYD (4p)
          • Behavioral indicator reference guide scenarios - T3 facilitator guide (16p)
          • Behavioral indicator reference guide scenarios - T3 slides (7p)
        • Lesson 4 - SPOT reporting and referral screening process
          • Behavior definitions practice worksheet (2p)
          • T3 facilitator guide (7p)
          • T3 slides (9p)
          • Walk the line - instructor guide (24p)
          • Walk the line - slides (24p)
        • Lesson 5 - SPOT referral process
          • BDO rules of engagement, behavior definitions practice worksheet, WWYD (3p)
          • Instructor guide (38p)
          • Slides (34p)
        • Lesson 6 - Report requirements
          • Behavior definitions practice and narrative reports worksheets (2p)
          • Instructor guide (30p)
          • Slides (36p)
          • SPOT referral report - good example, poor example, blank (6p)
        • Lesson 7 - SPOT quiz show
          • Quiz show slides (29p)
          • Instructor guide (9p)
    • SPOT referral report validation study final report 2011-04-05 (465p)
      • Partial release (folder of images & PDFs)
      • Volume 1 (142p)
        • Executive summary (6p)
        • Contents and key terms (8p)
        • Chapter 1 - introduction (4p)
        • Chapter 2 - background (7p)
        • Chapter 3 - study overview (11p)
        • Chapter 4 - descriptive analyses (27p)
        • Chapter 5 - establishing the base rate (5p)
        • Chapter 6 - instrument-level criterion-related validity (26p)
        • Chapter 7 - item-level criterion-related validity (34p)
        • Chapter 8 - discussion (14p)
      • Volume 2 (77p)
        • Appendix A - SPOT referral report and list of serious prohibited-illegal items (7p)
        • Appendix B - Operational SPOT referral database overview (11p)
        • Appendix C - Base rate study methodology (22p)
        • Appendix D - Base rate site visit report (22p)
        • Appendix E - Exploratory factor analysis (14p)
        • Summary (1p)
      • Volume 3 (246p)
        • Appendix F - Supporting tables for data source, descriptives and establishing the base rate and criterion-related validity (224p)
        • Appendix G - Supporting tables for exploratory factor analysis reported in appendix E (12p)
        • Appendix H - Additional case information (10p)