MATRIX FOIA Request to the Texas Department of Public Safety

February 3, 2004

Texas Department of Public Safety
Public Information Office
Attn:  Open Records
P.O. Box 4087
Austin, TX  78773-0170

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Re:   Public Records Act Request

Attention:

This is a request pursuant to the Texas Public Information Act, Gov't Code Ann. § 552.001 et seq. for copies of public records,[1] held by the Texas Department of Public Safety regarding the Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange (MATRIX).  If this request is not addressed to the person with custody and control of the requested records, please promptly forward the request to the proper official.

This request includes, but is not limited to, records regarding:

·         The state's role in the creation of the MATRIX including but not limited to the roles of Mr. Kent Mawyer and Mr. Marshall Caskey of the Texas Department of Public Safety, in this effort[2]

  • Any records regarding the state's decision to withdraw from the MATRIX including any supporting records relied upon to make this decision;  
  • Any records regarding the regarding the cost of the MATRIX including, but not limited to, projected future costs [3];  
  • Any records provided by Seisint Inc., the Florida Department of Law Enforcement or the Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR) to encourage the state's participation in the program including technical specifications for the MATRIX, types of government and commercial data that would be accessed by the MATRIX or training that individuals would receive to use the MATRIX system;  
  • Any procedures that would be used to analyze the data including the use of computer programs to search the MATRIX for patterns of terrorist activity or criminal activity; and  
  • Any legal analyses regarding the MATRIX, including, but not limited to documents regarding whether the MATRIX violates international, federal, state and/or local privacy laws, including constitutional protections. 

We do not believe that any of this information is covered by the law enforcement exemption or any other exemption.  Gov't Code Ann. § 552.108.  Because the state has chosen not to participate in the MATRIX program none of this information should deal with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime nor should it related to any current or pending third party contractual obligations. 

Please respond to this request within ten days of your receipt of this letter.  Because the American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit civil rights organization, we request that you waive any fees that would normally be applicable to a public records request.   If you are unable to do so, please inform us of any payment required prior to copying.

If you have any questions regarding this request, please feel free to contact us at (212) 549-2692.  Thank you in advance for your timely cooperation.

Very truly yours,

Christopher Calabrese
Counsel, Technology & Liberty Program

Barry Steinhardt
Director, Technology & Liberty Program

Will Harrell
Executive Director, ACLU of Texas



[1] The term ""record(s)"" as used herein shall mean ""all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, recordings or other material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any agency.

[2] According to documents provided by the Pennsylvania State Police Mr. Mawyer was a participant in an organizational meeting surrounding the creation of the MATRIX system.  Mr. Caskey was listed as a participant who could not attend.

[3] Mr. Caskey was quoted in media reports as stating the MATRIX program would cost the state $1.7 million annually. John Murawski, States Bow out of Anti-Crime Database in Boca, PALM BEACH POST, Oct. 4, 2003.

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