Vice News Reporter Says NSA Failed to Respond to FOIA Request

By LAURA BITTNER

RICHMOND, Va. (CN) – An investigative reporter for Vice News says the National Security Agency failed to adequately respond to Freedom of Information Act requests he’s filed with the agency since 2014.

Jason Leopold is a senior investigative reporter for Vice News, covering national security, counterterrorism, civil liberties, human rights and open government.

While working on a story in September 2014, Leopold submitted an FOIA request seeking the “disclosure from the NSA Office of Inspector General a copy of the concluding document (report of investigation, final report, closing memo, referral letter) concerning investigations closed in calendar year 2013 and 2014 concerning misconduct, actual or alleged.”

Two months later, Leopold submitted a second FOIA request, this time seeking “copies of Semi-Annual Reports for the past 11 years.”

Then, on Oct. 6, 2016, Leopold filed another FOIA request seeking any “concluding document (report of investigation, final report, closing memo, referral letter) concerning all investigations conducted and closed in calendar years 2015 and 2016 thus far concerning any and all misconduct, actual or alleged.”

In a complaint filed in the D.C. District Court on Nov. 14, Leopold said in each case, the agency acknowledged receiving his requests and denied him a waiver of fees for the reproduction of any of the documents was given.

However, in none of these cases has the agency made a final determination on his requests.

Leopold now seeks a court order compelling the NSA to conduct a search for the documents and to release all those it has “improperly withheld.”

He is represented by Joseph Creed Kelly of Washington, D.C.