NSA FOIA Appeal Reply Letter Dated 24 November 1997
                                                SERIALS: J9632B-95
                                                26 November 1997
Mr. Dale Goudie
[address deleted by CUFONSM]
Seattle  WA  98XXX
Dear Mr. Goudie:
  This replies to your 25 August 1997 letter appealing the National Security Agency's (NSA) refusal
to release a document responsive to your  8 October 1995 and 27 September 1996 Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA) requests for information on Project Aquarius.  Your initial requests, your 
11 June 1997 letter clarifying your requests as seeking a document withheld from another FOIA 
requester, the responsive document, the Director of Policy's letter denying release of the document,
and your letter of appeal have been reviewed.  As a result of this review, I have determined that 
the information was properly withheld and cannot be released.
  The document does not relate to Defense Advance Projects Agency (DARPA) records pertaining 
to a Project Aquarius as released by the Department of Defense (DoD), nor does it relate to any 
other DoD project.  It is not a Project Aquarius document.  The document describes an NSA 
database coincidentally called Aquarius.  NSA database and project names are not obtained from 
a coordinated DoD registry as you state in your clarification letter.  The document was considered 
responsive to previous requests for "Aquarius" simply because it contained that keyword.
  The information meets the standards for classification set forth in subparagraph (a) of section 1.2 
of Executive order 12958.  In addition, the information meets the specific criteria for classification 
established in section 1.5(c) and (g).  The information remains currently and properly classified 
SECRET in accordance with section 1.3 of Executive Order 12958.  Accordingly, the 
information is exempt from disclosure pursuant to 5 U.S.C.  552(b)(1).
  Moreover, this same information is protected against disclosure by 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(3) which 
provides that the FOIA does not apply to matters that are specifically exempted from disclosure 
by statute.  That applicicable statutory provisions with regard to the information being withheld 
are:  18 U.S.C.  798, which prohibits the release of classified information concerning 
communications intelligence activities to unauthorized persons, the National Security Act, 
50 U.S.C. 403-3(c)(5) which protects information pertaining to intelligence sources and methods; 
and Section 6 of the National Security Agency Act of 1959, (Public Law 86-36, 
50 U.S.C.  402 note), which provides that no law shall be construed to require the disclosure 
of the organization, personnel, functions or activites of NSA.
  Since your appeal is denied, you are hereby notified of your rights under 5 U.S.C. 552 to seek 
judicial review of this determination.  You may seek an order from the United States District 
Court in the district where you reside, in which you have your principal place of business, in which 
the Agency's records are situated (U.S. District Court of Maryland), or in the District of 
Columbia for the production of and Agency information which you consider to have been 
improperly withheld by this Agency.  5 U.S.C.  552 (a)(4)(B) sets out your rights in this matter 
with respect to such judicial action.
  /s/  Barbara A. McNamara
Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act
Appeals Authority

SOURCE: http://www.cufon.org/cufon/Aquarius/26nov97.htm

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