Friday FOIA Stuff

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for another exciting round of Friday FOIA Stuff here. This week, I’ve got headache-inducing confusion at the Department of Homeland Security, strange emails from the U.S. Army, and – what’s this? – multimedia goodies from the United States Air Force…

This week, we’ll start with the negatives: Nothing from the Ministry of Defense, and no response from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (to either the one outstanding request from early January, or the followup to last week’s confusing response to another request). Both are not entirely unexpected, and as I’ve (optimistically) pointed out, a lack of timely response from the FBI often, but not always, means they’re reviewing stuff to release to you.

Then, we’ve got the merely confusing: I sent a request to one component of the Department of Homeland Security, for information they held pertaining to the Federal Protective Service. I did some head-scratching when I received a response telling me that my request had been forwarded to ICE. Huh? Well, it turns out that they are the parent organization of FPS, for reasons nobody seems to understand. Go figure, eh?

A FOIA request to a component of the Army netted an interesting response, which I paraphrase here: “I’m late for a meeting; can I email you about this after I get back?”. Since I never heard back from the person who sent this email, I can only imagine that the meeting went really badly – or, of course, that he or she sent that email to the wrong address…

On the positive side, I received a CD containing the National Security Special Event, or NSSE, material I wrote about a couple weeks ago. It’s really dumbed-down, like most interactive computer-based-training the military produces, but still serves as a pretty good overview of NSSEs, and the air defense role therein.

You can download the program right here (8.6MB RAR file). Extract it to your computer, follow the instructions about Flash settings in the included “procedures for running courseware” file, and you should be good to go. It’s meant to be used on relatively recent Windows machines running Internet Explorer, but it works with Firefox (mostly; it hung for me on part 16); I’m not sure, but I believe it should work on a Mac. Don’t quote me on that, though – or complain to me if it doesn’t. 🙂

The NSSE course was released by the United States Air Force in its entirety, in response to a FOIA request. It requires about ten megabytes of disk space; you’d think they could have made it available online, but no, I had to do it… 🙂

Published in: Geekiness, General, History, Security | on February 8th, 2008| Comments Off on Friday FOIA Stuff

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