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animal rights | government

Need your input regarding FOIA request

Requested government FOIA data, am concerned about the response I received. Please help if you can.
Today I sent an email requesting some information concerning USDA Licensed A and B Animal Dealers operating in the states of Oregon, Washington and Idaho. The APHIS-FOIA Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts Office referred me to the following website: http://acissearch.aphis.usda.gov/LPASearch/faces/Warning.jspx This is what the website stated:

* You are accessing a U.S. Government information system, which includes (1) this computer, (2) this computer network, (3) all
computers connected to this network, and (4) all devices and storage media attached to this network or to a computer on this network. This information system is provided for U.S. Government-authorized use only.
* Unauthorized or improper use of this system may result in disciplinary action, as well as civil and criminal penalties.
* By using this information system, you understand and consent to the following:
* You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communications or data transiting or stored on this information
system. At any time, the government may for any lawful purpose monitor, intercept, search and seize any communication or data
transiting or stored on this information system.
* Any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system may be disclosed or used for any lawful government
* Your consent is final and irrevocable. You may not rely on any statements or informal policies purporting to provide you with
any expectation of privacy regarding communication on this system, whether oral or written, by your supervisor or any other
official, except USDA Chief Information Officer.


Okay - so I am putting this up on Indy Media and asking for your help as to what exactly this means and what sort of repercussions can one expect for hitting the "I AGREE" button. I have never received such a statement and years ago I could simply send a letter to the FOIA requesting the very information I sought today. Now - the warning seems so threatening and I am not sure exactly what in states/implies. If I accept their term does it mean my inquiry can come back to bite me for some reason? Does it mean I will forever be locked into their system and be looked upon as a suspect because I have made this FOIA? So, if anyone has had experience with this sort of thing or knows anything about it please enlighten me. As of yet I have done nothing until I feel more confident about the situation. Thanks for any light you can shed on this.

.......... 17.Jan.2013 03:45


It sounds like your signing up for a Facebook app that's just a bit more honest to tell you the truth. Id still see what the chances of doing this from the library are.

seems pretty simple 17.Jan.2013 10:18


You're going to be inputting something in their network/machines over which you are being declared in control and responsible. Concerning what you input, they have the right to determine whether it is detrimental to their property and hold you responsible, criminally or otherwise. By using their machine and system, anything you input is 'public', now that you've supplied that information it is theirs, and you cannot claim that any part of it was meant to be priveleged to only certain segments of that network/machine.

I imagine the same parameters above apply to even the most seemingly innocuous networks/systems. I accept cookies from only a couple of sites that absolutely require them and are encrypted, even though I believe encryption is just a placebo for the masses, and even generally use my browser with the active x controls disabled.

The library may be safer, but you still have to supply personal contact information and accept the policy to have the request accepted. It's about the input, not about the output.

Can't you just send a letter? Personally, beyond downloading IRS forms, checking the weather or other state or national service sites, I stay away from government sites and would rather have them respond to me on paper. I don't efile anything, don't buy online, don't bank online, don't pay bills online. Do you ever read licensing agreements? I'm amazed that anyone deals with facebook, google, yahoo, especially for email and social content. Let's face it: we're watched. One just simply has to make the best of it or use the old tried and true methods of communication.

pretty simple 17.Jan.2013 12:30


It is really just saying that you have no reason to suspect that your session with that network or computer system is going to be private. It can be, at any time, monitored and/or retrieved by the government to investigate what you were doing. It doesn't sound threatening in any way, unless you are worried about your FOIA request being linked to you in the future. If that is your worry, then make the request from a location in which you can't be tracked. It can be done.