Lynch: I don’t know how much of it is Miriam’s personality. I think she’s an incredibly diplomatic person, personally, and so it could just be that it’s who she is. It could also be that OGIS’s role has been to be a sort of a mediator for FOIA disputes, and I think if you’re acting as a mediator and you don’t have any real authority to make an agency do anything, then the last thing you want to do is to upset anybody. So that’s how I might read that, I’m not sure.
Any important FOIA-related issues or advocacy on your radar this year?
Dalglish: I have a hunch the political conventions and the NATO Summit are going to keep us hopping. We’ve seen an astonishing number of reporters and photographers arrested for doing their jobs recently. We recently published this pullout to provide guidance to journalists on how to handle themselves at protest scenes, and what to do if they get arrested. As always, we’ll have our volunteer local lawyers on the ground to assist journalists in Chicago for the NATO Summit and in Tampa and Charlotte for the political conventions.
Lynch: We’ve got an ongoing lawsuit against the FAA for information on its Drone Authorization Program. I’m really interested in these “outside the scope” denial actions that the FBI is using. We’ve just filed a summary judgment motion in one of our cases challenging this, and I’m interested to see what’s going to happen. I don’t know how much of the DOJ and DEA’s responses are driven by FBI The FBI has been trying to push Congress to expand the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act (or COLEA) for a long time, and has worked with other agencies to do that. I don’t know if the FBI is behind these actions or what.