ICE Stonewalling Domain Seizure FOIA

Nine months ago, I wrote a blogpost outlining the exponential increase of domain name seizures by the US government and calling for a site to track these abuses. One disturbing element of this was that there is no list of domain name seizures, so I put in a FOIA request to ICE. Nine months later, I’m still waiting.

The bulk of my original request:

This acknowledges receipt of your November 23, 2014, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), for a list of ALL internet domain names that ICE has participated in seizing up to the present day. While there are few documents with dozens domains, ICE press releases indicate that the number is well over a thousand. To be clear: also interested in domains that were part of join operations, such as that of Europol (http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/700-domains-seized-by-ice-europol-and-hong-kong/). Your request was received in this office on November 25, 2014.

Due to the increasing number of FOIA requests received by this office, we may encounter some delay in processing your request. Per Section 5.5(a) of the DHSFOIA regulations, 6 C.F.R. Part 5, ICE processes FOIA requests according to their order of receipt. Although ICE’s goal is to respond within 20 business days of receipt of your request, the FOIA does permit a 10- day extension of this time period. As your request seeks numerous documents that will necessitate a thorough and wide-ranging search, ICE will invoke a 10-day extension for your request, as allowed by Title 5 U.S.C. ยง 552(a)(6)(B). If you care to narrow the scope of your request, please contact our office. We will make every effort to comply with your request in a timely manner.

The 30 day deadline passed, but between work and my volunteer work, it fell off my radar. Six months later, I sent an email asking for an update and got the following:

The program office is still conducting its search for your request. Thank you for your patience.

Three months later, I still haven’t gotten my fucking list. Like everything else in life, climbing to the top of someone else’s TODO list requires proving to them that you will be a PITA. So I paid $20 and filed a “new” request through MuckRock.com. That money buys me an email address used by professional muckraker and free advice if I run into more stonewalling.

Here’s hoping I don’t need to hold a fundraiser to pay a lawyer to send ICE nasty letters.

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