EPIC FOIA fails to get secret presidential cybersecurity order

Posted by Michael Doyle on October 22, 2013 


Former President George W. Bush, April 24, 2013


A secret presidential directive on cybersecurity is going to stay secret, despite the best FOIA-filing efforts of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

In a decision issued Monday, U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell rejected the long-running Freedom of Information Act request for the unredacted text of National Security Presidential Directive 54.

The Directive, described as "a confidential communication from the president of the United States to a select and limited group of senior foreign policy advisors, cabinet officials and agency heads on the subject of cybersecurity," was issued by then-President George W. Bush in January 2009.

EPIC filed its FOIA for the Directive in June 2009.

Judge Howell ultimately concluded the Directive was not an "agency record" of the National Security Agency, but rather it was a product of the White House and National Security Council apparatus. Because it's not an NSA agency record, it's not subject to a FOIA request addressed to the agency.



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