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[Ars] Failed Pentagon fax machine blocks FOIA requests

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Gallagher 
The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) will not be faxing any orders to Five Guys or receiving journalists' Freedom Of Information Act requests anytime soon. According to a report from the FOIA request service MuckRock, the OSD's sole fax machine—the only effective electronic conduit for sending FOIA requests to the Pentagon—is down for the count and won't be replaced until October at the earliest. With the threat of a federal government shutdown looming, it may be longer than that.

The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) also accepts FOIA requests by snail mail, as well as through a web portal. But the web portal is problematic, to say the least—the site seems to be designed to discourage FOIA submissions and makes it impossible for automated requests to be sent. Just getting an account to log into the system can take a while. And even when the FOIA requests get into the hands of the OSD, there's no guarantee of a speedy reply—the OSD had a backlog last year of over 1,000 requests awaiting processing. (DOD as a whole had over 7,000 FOIA requests hung in the queue.)

Failed Pentagon fax machine blocks FOIA requests


Because information for the public is overrated. -Some Penta-guy
Edited by Zen00 - 9/17/13 at 5:11pm
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post #2 of 29
Your quote is from a different article...

Hmm, the government in the richest nation in the world can't afford to replace a sole fax machine. I'm not going to act like fax machines are obsolete (they are still very useful in the small business world), but when your department has a $31.4 billion IT budget, it makes you wonder why they rely so heavily on a single fax.
Edited by MrLinky - 9/17/13 at 5:24pm
     
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post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
I swear, there's something wrong with me. :/
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post #4 of 29
Efficiency at its best! thumb.gif
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post #5 of 29
I love our technologically advanced government.

...said no one ever.
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post #6 of 29
Dear pentagon,

I will spot you $18, let me know.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1HE0YP1183

-Crazy9000
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post #7 of 29
Quote:
The failed fax machine is sure to stretch that backlog. In an e-mail, OSD's FOIA section chief told MuckRock:
Quote:
*IF* our IT department doesn't have a replacement available, then they will have to order another one. If that is the case, it wouldn't be ordered until the start of the new fiscal year (Oct 1). We would hope that it is back up sometime in October, but could extend into November.

So... just use e-mail, then?

This whole story is hilarious.
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post #8 of 29
[Insert comments regarding how people that don't trust .gov implicitly are wearing tinfoil hats here.]
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post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheezman View Post

So... just use e-mail, then?

This whole story is hilarious.

The article does indicate they have an email system, just that it's broken as well.
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post #10 of 29
I think Edward Snowden is behind all of this. No wonder the US government has been itching to get their hands on him... Of course!
    
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