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This is the National Security Agency's favorable response to's appeal of NSA's initial decision to charge fees for's Freedom of Information Act request dated 27 March 2002 for NSA's polygraph regulations. For discussion of this matter, see the message board thread, NSA Denies FOIA Fee Waiver, Demands Pre-Payment.


FOIA Case: 41517/Appeal No. 1789
14 March 2003

Mr. George Maschke
Hart Nibbrigkade 22
2597 XV The Hague

Dear Mr. Maschke:

This replies to your 22 November 2002 letter appealing the National Security Agency's (NSA) denial of your request for a fee waiver for your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for NSA/CSS Regulation No. 122-3 and any other NSA rule, regulation, directive, or similar document related to polygraph policy. Your original request, the Director of Policy's 16 September 2002 letter denying your fee waiver request, and your letter of appeal have been reviewed. Based on the additional information you have provided, I have determined that your request for a fee waiver should be approved.

In reaching this decision, a number of factors were evaluated in light of the Act's purpose of promoting an informed citizenry. The key issue I considered in my review is whether disclosure of the information is likely to contribute to the public understanding of the operations or activities of the government. See 5 U.S.C. § 552 (a)(4)(A)(iii). In order to support a fee waiver, the connection between furnishing the requested information and benefiting the general public should be substantial. In your appeal letter, you explained how release to you would increase the public's understanding through your expertise in the subject area and your ability to disseminate the information to the public at large. Specifically, you note that you not only disseminate information on your website, but you have also co-authored a book relating to the subject area. Your FOIA request will be returned to the Office of Policy for processing. If you have any questions, please contact the FOIA Office (DC321) between 0700 and 1530 EST on 301-688-6527.



                                                            WILLIAM B. BLACK
                                                            Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act
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