Privacy SOS

Boston Police cashed check for records request about emails with NSA, disclosed no emails

On June 26, 2014, Muckrock contributing editor Evan Anderson filed a public records request with the Boston Police Department seeking emails between BPD officials and employees of the National Security Agency (NSA). More than two months later, the police told Anderson he would be required to pay $400 to get ahold of 700 pages of emails responsive to his request. Anderson, through Muckrock, paid the police department, which cashed the check. But the records have never arrived. 

Anderson didn’t give up. He’s called again and again, to no avail. Finally, just a few weeks ago—nearly a year after his request—he got some information.

The Dig reports:

During Anderson’s most recent call on March 8, someone finally told him that lawyers for the department were redacting the emails, and that it might be several more weeks before he received them. He still isn’t convinced.

“Each day it feels less and less likely that I will wake up and get the emails,” Anderson says. “The Boston police are the worst when it comes to records. I’ve had requests with them that just haven’t even been responded to … I’m not sure how they are so disorganized, but however they do it definitely has the side effect, or serves the function of, discouraging people from filing requests with them.”

Happy sunshine week!

© 2018 ACLU of Massachusetts.