Hacking Team's malware. Email regarding non-renewal.

Mark R. Diamond made this Freedom of Information request to Australian Federal Police

The request was refused by Australian Federal Police.

From: Mark R. Diamond

Delivered

Dear Australian Federal Police,

I'm writing with regard to a chain of emails published by WikiLeaks a couple of years ago and contained on the webpage at https://wikileaks.org/hackingteam/emails... . The emails record a correspondence between the Australian Federal Police and Hacking Team, the Italian creators of surveillance malware.

I request a copy of the email in that chain sent from the AFP around 2011-02-22 21:08:11 UTC (i.e., around 08:08 AEDT on 23 February 2011) . I also request a copy of the earlier email in the chain sent around 15:29 AEDT on 14 February 2011.

If it is not possible to identify the emails from the information I have provided, please either (i) look at the WikiLeaks link I have included, or (ii) let me know so that I can send you the complete text of the email chain.

Yours faithfully,

Mark R. Diamond

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From: FOI
Australian Federal Police

Thank you for your email.

Please note that this is an automated response to confirm that your email was sent to the Australian Federal Police Freedom of Information (FOI) inbox.

This FOI inbox is monitored between 8am and 4pm Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays and the period from 27-31 December.

If you wish to lodge a request for access to documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act), please ensure that your request is in writing, states that it is an application for the purposes of the FOI Act and provides sufficient detail describing the documents you wish to access.

If you are requesting personal information about yourself then please ensure you enclose a copy of your photographic identification.

Further details on how to make a valid FOI request can be found on the Australian Federal Police’s website at: http://www.afp.gov.au/about-the-afp/foi-...

The Australian Federal Police will acknowledge your request in accordance with the legislative requirements of the Act.

The FOI Team can be contacted on 02 6131 6131

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From: FOI
Australian Federal Police


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UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Diamond

         

Your Freedom of Information Request

 

I refer to your application dated 4 March 2017 in which you seek access to
documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the Act) as follows:

 

I'm writing with regard to a chain of emails published by WikiLeaks a
couple of years ago and contained on the webpage at
[1]https://wikileaks.org/hackingteam/emails... . The emails
record a correspondence between the Australian Federal Police and Hacking
Team, the Italian creators of surveillance malware.

 

I request a copy of the email in that chain sent from the AFP around
2011-02-22 21:08:11 UTC (i.e., around 08:08 AEDT on 23 February 2011) . I
also request a copy of the earlier email in the chain sent around 15:29
AEDT on 14 February 2011.

 

If it is not possible to identify the emails from the information I have
provided, please either (i) look at the WikiLeaks link I have included, or
(ii) let me know so that I can send you the complete text of the email
chain.

 

Information considered irrelevant to the scope of your request

 

The AFP, in its management of FOI requests, excludes the following
information on the basis that is irrelevant to the scope of a request:

 

-              Names of AFP members, other than the Senior Executive.

-              Direct telephone numbers, signatures and mobile telephone
numbers of AFP members.

-              Duplicate documents, including duplicate emails.  The AFP
will only provide emails where they form a final email chain and the
authors/recipients are contained within the final email. 

-              Information that is publicly available, for example,
newspaper articles, online publications including information available on
the AFP Information Publication Scheme and the AFP disclosure log.

 

If you object to the AFP excluding any of the above information, please
advise this office within seven days of receipt of this letter.

 

Your request was received by this agency on 4 March 2017 and the 30 day
statutory period for processing your request commenced from that date.

 

You will be notified of any charges in accordance with the Freedom of
Information (Fees and Charges) Regulations, should they apply, in relation
to your request as soon as practicable. 

 

Disclosure Log

 

Please be advised that in accordance with section 11C of the Act, an
agency is required to publish information on their website following the
notification of a decision in respect of a freedom of information
request. 

 

The requirement to publish information released under FOI reinforces the
objectives of the FOI Act to promote a pro-disclosure culture across
government and to increase recognition that information held by government
is a national resource.  Exceptions to the requirement to publish
information would apply to personal information and information concerning
the business affairs of a person if it was considered ‘unreasonable’ to do
so.  Details of the decision may be published in a Disclosure Log which
can be found at
[2]https://www.afp.gov.au/about-us/informat....
Publication will be made in accordance with timeframes stipulated in
section 11C of the Act.

 

If, however, after noting the above, you wish to raise any concerns about
the publication of information concerning your request prior to the
notification of a decision, please advise this office in writing before 3
April 2017.  If you do not raise any concerns prior to the date of the
decision, the AFP will publish the information as notified to you in the
decision.

 

Yours sincerely

 

IVA (AFP22679)
TEAM MEMBER - FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
CHIEF COUNSEL PORTFOLIO
[3]cid:image001.gif@01D29688.D0AEF010
Tel +61(0) 2 61316131  

[4]www.afp.gov.au

 

UNCLASSIFIED

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References

Visible links
1. https://wikileaks.org/hackingteam/emails...
2. https://www.afp.gov.au/about-us/informat...
4. http://www.afp.gov.au/

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From: FOI
Australian Federal Police


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Attachment Decision letter section 25.pdf
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UNCLASSIFIED

Good afternoon Mr Diamond

 

Please find attached AFP’s decision in relation to your FOI request.

 

Kind regards

 

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION OFFICER
CHIEF COUNSEL PORTFOLIO

Tel +61(0) 2 61316131

[1]www.afp.gov.au

 

 

UNCLASSIFIED

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References

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1. http://www.afp.gov.au/

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Mark R. Diamond left an annotation ()

There's an interesting United States parallel to my request, but with a very different outcome, reported in an article on Motherboard titled "Here's a DEA Invoice for Zero-Day Exploits". The link is here "https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/artic... .

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Mark R. Diamond left an annotation ()

I have lodged an application for IC review. I had intended to post here the text of the request for IC review sooner, but forgot. The text is as follows:

Thursday, 9 April 2017

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
GPO Box 2999
CANBERRA ACT 2601

Dear Commissioner,

Request for IC Review
Agency: Australian Federal Police
Agency references: 2017/295 and CRM 2017/396

I’m writing to ask that you review two recent decision by the Australian Federal Police to refuse my requests for access to documents. Both decisions have resulted in the AFP issuing me with a notice under s 25(2), neither confirming nor denying the existence of the documents I requested.

I have attached copies of the two notices given to me by the agency. You will note that one decision follows an internal review (17 February 2017); the other decision is a first-instance decision (3 April 2017).

I appreciate that it is probably unusual to ask that you review two access refusal decisions simultaneously. I also appreciate that an applicant would normally seek an internal review before asking for IC review. However, I believe that there are good reasons for joining the two requests and for not seeking an internal review of the first-instance decision. First, the requests relate to similar subject matter (i.e., the use by the AFP of various types of computer surveillance software), despite being for somewhat different kinds of documents. Second, to request an internal review of the first-instance decision would almost certainly result in the issuance of yet another s 25 notice and would also (because of the time-limits) prevent me from asking you to examine the two decisions together.

Although you have previously reviewed two decisions [1,2] that have resulted in s 25 notices, they are both very different from the two requests that are relevant here—despite the AFP quoting your decision in Sun-Herald Newspapers as being supportive of their access refusal decision of 3 April 2017. If you are willing to review the decisions, please let me know and I will provide you with additional information to support my contention that the documents I seek are not exempt documents. For convenience, and because my original requests are not quoted in the decision letters, I include copies of the requests as an attachment to this letter.

Yours sincerely,

Mark R. Diamond
[1] Welch and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade [2014] AICmr 3 (14 January 2014) (http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/A... )
[2] The Sun-Herald Newspaper and the Australian Federal Police [2014] AICmr 52 (3 June 2014) (http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/A... )

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Mark R. Diamond left an annotation ()

This is the text of the follow-up letter to the Information Commissioner regarding my request for IC review.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
GPO Box 2999
CANBERRA ACT 2601

Dear Commissioner,

Your reference: MR17/00186 and MR17/00192
Agency: Australian Federal Police
Agency reference: 2017/295 and CRM2017/396
--------------------------------------------------------
I am writing in support of my contention that none of the documents to which I was refused access by the Australian Federal Police are in fact exempt documents.

An applicant for review of any decision that invoked an s 25 notice is inevitably in the position of having no real information against which to argue. Consequently, I don’t propose to attempt any detailed argument in support of my claim that none of the information I sought is exempt. Instead, I would like to draw your attention to a two points:

(1) In response to a request under the United States Freedom of Information Act, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has publicly acknowledged purchasing and using Hacking Team’s surveillance malware (see, https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/artic..., https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2... ). That the DEA released the information is of significance because the U.S. law provides a mechanism (“Glomar denial” or “Glomarization” ), similar to that provided for by s 25 of the Commonwealth Act, to allow an agency neither to confirm nor deny the existence of certain documents.

(2) Despite issuing s 25 notices in response to the two requests for which I have sought IC review, in response to two other very similar requests, the AFP was willing to deny having any relevant documents and to issue decision notices under s 24A (AFP references CRM2017/296 & CRM2017/329). In a truly bizarre sequel, when I requested an internal review of the decision notified in CRM2017/329, the AFP substituted a notice under s 25 for the original notice under 24A!

I trust that the relevance will be obvious of both the points above to both of the requests for which I have requested IC review.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Diamond

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