Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: FOIA Avalanche! Using the System Against Itself

  1. #1
    Founder's Club Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Fairfax Co., VA
    Posts
    18,766

    FOIA Avalanche! Using the System Against Itself

    Forum member "Dreamer" had what I consider a brilliant idea on another thread.

    Basically the idea goes like this: every time an LEO perpetrates an illegal detention or harrassment contact on an OCer, OCDO members from all over the country send FOIA/Sunshine Law requests to the agency involved. Most of the FOIA/Sunshine laws I have read require the government agency to respond within a certain number of business days.

    This is basically using the bureaucracy against itself. Imagine having to respond to 20, 40, 500 FOIA requests. The agency involved might get a little cautious about letting its officers get away with illegal detentions and harassing contacts.

    This is basically a tactic used by a number of inmates in the Soviet gulag--the gulag was the system of prison camps for political prisoners. A few of them got really smart. They discovered that every complaint they made had to be investigated and responded to. So about twenty or forty of them got together and started burying the bureacracy with formal complaints. Bureaucrats didn't dare ignore the complaints. A bureaucracy operates on policies and procedures, everybody following the rules for self-preservation, supervisors looking out for that subordinate who is collecting info so he can get rid of his boss and move into that position. It didn't take long before the gulag bureaucracy was going nuts, and getting tied in knots trying to handle the complaint papers. At least one of the inmates was released early.

    I have to get back to something else just at the moment, so I'll leave the rest of the planning to others. For example, a list of all the government records that could be requested for a police encounter would be useful. Some more thinking about how to approach an actual request avalanche, for example, I'm thinking the first several requesters can limit their expenses by splitting up among them which records they would request. Members with deeper pockets could go for the recordings. And, of course, there would be a separate thread where members could report back the responses they get from the government agency. Other suggestions?

    And, hats off to Dreamer for applying the bureaucracy tactic to FOIA/Sunshine Law requests.

    You can read more about the gulag story here: http://lewrockwell.com/north/north1108.html
    Last edited by Citizen; 07-01-2012 at 08:27 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  2. #2
    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    6,520
    How does one do a FOIA and what does it cost? I will do my part, if there were some straight-forward instructions to follow. Next we need a thread dedicated only to posting a situation that we all need to FOIA. This thread should be limited discussion, so we know that when a post has been made to it, we need to act on it. Perhaps make it so only the mods can post to it.

    I'm assuming my bookkeeper will let me write off the expenses.
    Last edited by MAC702; 07-01-2012 at 10:46 PM.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

  3. #3
    Regular Member 09jisaac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Louisa, Kentucky
    Posts
    1,694
    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    How does one do a FOIA and what does it cost? I will do my part, if there were some straight-forward instructions to follow. Next we need a thread dedicated only to posting a situation that we all need to FOIA. This thread should be limited discussion, so we know that when a post has been made to it, we need to act on it. Perhaps make it so only the mods can post to it.

    I'm assuming my bookkeeper will let me write off the expenses.
    I think (as in I don't have a clue) that in Kentucky the cost is just the actual cost of the records you are requesting. As in if it cost them $.50 per page then you have to pay only $.50 per page.

    Also, I don't think it is hard to do a foia (I have never did one so I am also only guessing at this). I think all you have to do is list enough specifics to get to what you are wanting, such as their name, date, place of incident, etc.
    No man alive can beat me in a fair fight: It's not fair to chase a man down and beat him.

  4. #4
    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    in front of my computer, WI
    Posts
    4,426
    Most states' FOIA law says something like "reasonable & necessary expenses", and often sets a $ amount, or a max amount per page. (Not that some agencies pay any attention to those rules.)

    The more specific you can be in your request, the better. It's easier for them to find things, & harder for them to deny that they know what you want. If a request is too broad, they can refuse it because it takes too much effort.

    Try something like:
    "Please send all reports, emails, recordings, & other records pertaining to the [describe incident] at [address / intersection / venue] on [date] at [time, or time range]. Be sure to include [phone call audio, call log, dispatch log, dashcam & in-car audio/video, emails, voicemails, memos pertaining to [X]... whatever you particularly want]."

    That casts a wide net. If you only want to get the audio of a phone call, say that. The next person may agree to only get the incident report(s).
    If you are the subject of the records, you generally have more right to the information than Jane Q Public, so be sure to say it you are.
    Last edited by MKEgal; 07-02-2012 at 12:27 AM.

  5. #5
    Founder's Club Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Fairfax Co., VA
    Posts
    18,766
    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    How does one do a FOIA and what does it cost? I will do my part, if there were some straight-forward instructions to follow. Next we need a thread dedicated only to posting a situation that we all need to FOIA. This thread should be limited discussion, so we know that when a post has been made to it, we need to act on it. Perhaps make it so only the mods can post to it.

    I'm assuming my bookkeeper will let me write off the expenses.
    Laws vary a little from state to state. We may have to google the FOIA/Sunshine Law in the state where the illegal detention occurred.

    Here is a sample FOIA request that uses ideas borrowed from an FOIA request that Mike Supermoderator did years ago and posted here:

    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...quests-in-VA&&

    I don't recommend calling all over the country to find out who the custodian of the requested records is. Maybe the illegally detained OCer can dig that up for us at the time he posts about the police encounter.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •