PRM project updates

February 5, 2012

The FBI and Marv Davidov
PRM recently received a letter from the FBI regarding our request for files relating to Minnesota political activist Marv Davidov, who passed away last month. The Bureau is seeking additional documentation to verify Mr. Davidov’s status, in order to avoid violating the federal Privacy Act if it releases any files. It should be noted that the FBI’s letter did not confirm or deny the existence of any such files.

Minnesota Department of Health – document inspection
On February 3rd, PRM’s Matt Ehling inspected a batch of documents at the Minnesota Dept. of Health (MDH). The documents were related to the Maine Health Information Center, which has contracted with MDH to collect data about individual “encounters” with Minnesota’s public health care programs. Such data collection was mandated by the state legislature in 2008, in order to provide a basis to understand the relative level of quality provided by such programs. Our conversations with MDH employees indicate that the department is still compiling its first reports based upon the Maine Health-collected data.

ACLU sues over UAV/FOIA
On February 1st, the ACLU filed suit against the Office of Legal Counsel, the CIA, and others in a FOIA matter related to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In October, the ACLU had requested information from multiple federal agencies regarding the use of UAVs against U.S. citizens. At the time of filing, no agency had produced records responsive to the ACLU’s requests.

The law firm of Dorsey and Whitney is representing the ACLU. Several Minneapolis-based Dorsey attorneys are listed on the complaint, which was filed in the Southern District of New York.

PRM currently has an administrative appeal pending with the Department of Justice related to another UAV-related FOIA request.