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Requesting all records of the Clipper review panel

This is a draft, which will be sent out within a day or two.


Karl Bell
Deputy Director of Administration
Freedom of Information Act Officer
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Building 101, Room A-110
Gaithersburg, MD	20899

Dear Mr. Bell:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act 
("FOIA"), 5 U.S.C. $ 552, on behalf of Mr. John Gilmore for all 
agency records pertaining to and utilized by the Skipjack review 
panel ("Panel").  

This request also requests access to records which must be 
made available under the Federal Advisory Committee Act 
("FACA"), 5 U.S.C. App. II (1972).  Section 8(b)(2) of the FACA 
requires that the supervising agency for an advisory committee 
must assemble and maintain records for the committee; Section 
8(b)(3) of the FACA provides that such records are subject to the 

The Panel's review is being performed pursuant to the 
President's direction that "respected experts from outside the 
government [] be offered access to the confidential details of the 
algorithm to assess its capabilities and publicly report their 
finding."  The Acting Director of the National Institute of 
Standards and Technology sent letters of invitation to potential 

This request for records includes, but is not limited to: 

all records relating to the selection of the Panel members;

all records of the Panel's activities and use of funds [FACA 
$ 12(a)]; 

the charter of the Panel [FACA $ 9(c)]; 

all notices of Panel meetings [FACA $ 10(a)(2)];

all written determinations to close any part of a Panel 
meeting [FACA $ 10(d)];

all records, reports, transcripts, minutes, appendices, 
working papers, drafts, studies, agenda or other documents which 
were made available to or prepared by the committee [FACA 
$$10(b) & (c)].  

For instance, the Panel's interim report states that:

We attended an initial meeting at the Institute for Defense Analyses
Supercomputing Research Center (SRC) from June 21-23.  At that
meeting, the designer of SKIPJACK provided a complete, detailed
description of the algorithm, the rationale for each feature, and the
history of the design.  The head of the NSA evaluation team described
the evaluation process and its results.  Other NSA staff briefed us on
the LEAF structure and protocols for use, generation of device keys,
protection of the devices against reverse engineering, and NSA's
history in the design and evaluation of encryption methods contained
in SKIPJACK.  Additional NSA and NIST staff were present at the
meeting to answer our questions and provide assistance.  All staff
members were forthcoming in providing us with requested information.

All records pertaining to this and other meetings of the 
Panel are included within the scope of this FOIA/FACA request.

If the requested records are not in the possession of your 
agency, I ask that you forward this request to any agency that you 
believe may have records that are responsive to this request.  In the 
alternative, I ask that you inform me of other agencies that might 
have such records.  

As you know, the FOIA provides that even if some 
requested material is properly exempted from mandatory 
disclosure, all segregable portions must be released.  [5 U.S.C. $ 
552(b)]  If any or all material covered by this request is withheld, 
please inform me of the specific exemptions that are being claimed.  
If any of the requested material is released with deletions, I ask that 
each deletion be marked to indicate the exemption(s) being claimed 
to authorize each particular withholding.  

In addition, I ask that your agency exercise its discretion to 
release information that may be technically exempt but where 
withholding would serve no important public interest.

As you know, the FOIA provides that agencies may reduce 
or waive fees if it would be "in the public interest because 
furnishing the information can be considered as primarily 
benefiting the public."  [5 U.S.C. $ 552(a)(4)(A)]  Release of this 
material would be of benefit to the public because of the 
importance of public discussion of technology which can enhance 
personal privacy.  

Moreover, in previous FOIA requests to NIST, Mr. Gilmore 
has amply demonstrated his ability and willingness to disseminate 
such information to the general public.  I therefore ask that you 
waive any fees relating to this request.  Mr. Gilmore promises to 
pay up to $1000 in processing costs should this fee waiver be 
denied, so that NIST can begin processing this request while you 
rule on the propriety of this fee waiver.  

If you have any questions regarding this request, please 
telephone me at the above number.  I would be happy to discuss 
ways in which this request could be clarified or somewhat 
redesigned to reflect the agency's filing system and speed the 
search for records.

As provided under the FOIA, I will expect a reply within 10 
working days.

Sincerely yours,

Lee Tien
On behalf of Mr. 
John Gilmore