Freedom of Information and the University on Fire

David Harris Gershon has submitted a concerning report: “NSA Rejecting Every FOIA Request Made by US Citizens.” Specifically regarding PRISM, the letter sent back to Clayton Seymour after his FOIA request is fairly chilling: “we cannot acknowledge the existence or non-existence of such metadata . . . . Therefore, your request is denied because the fact of the existence or nonexistence of responsive records is a currently and properly classified matter in accordance with Executive Order 13526, as set for in Subparagraph (c) of section 1.4″ (emphasis mine).

Gershon unpacks the meaning of the letter: “the NSA is classifying every single bit of data it receives from ordinary American citizens based on the premise that it has been gathered covertly. Meaning: the NSA’s advertised justification for not granting FOIA requests is to protect our country. However, the real justification is the NSA’s covert violation of Americans’ Fourth Amendment right not to be subject to unwarranted searches and seizures (in this case of their personal, digital data).”

And this image seems just too apt regarding my brief post about the decline of the humanities/higher ed the other day.

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