Under the Freedom of Information Act, you can request quite a few different things. Most commonly, is requesting information on certain projects, operations or investigations by the government and military.
However, in this request, I asked the National Security Agency (NSA) for their oldest document on record. Nothing specific – just whatever the oldest document was. This request was filed in November of 2013. This is what I asked for:
I respectfully request a copy of the oldest document, report, or letter, chronologically, that your agency currently archives.
After some wait, they wanted me to clarify what I was looking for. Not sure what part of the original request was confusing, but, alas, they asked:
– Are you seeking the oldest NSA record that we currently hold in our Archives?
My answer was simply, “Yes.”
After waiting another 19 months, I finally received the document.