NSA says it will take four years to answer questions about its kids' coloring book

The NSA's Crypto Cat and her friends are a set of trademark-registered kids' characters who have appeared for more than a decade in promotional materials like coloring books that the NSA uses it to encourage kids to grow up to be spies.

Motherboard's Jason Koebler filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the agency to find out "how much money the NSA spent designing, printing, and distributing a physical hard copy of the coloring book." The request went in in April 2015; in December 2015, the agency responded with a note informing Koebler that it would take between three and four years before they could answer his question.

"Your case is in one of our initial processing queues pending assignment to a Case Office for further evaluation and/or document search if applicable. This means we still need to search for documents after it's assigned to a Case Officer. Due to the significant increase in FOIA requests, it is difficult estimate the completion date at this time. However, hope that your case may be assigned to a Case Officer within the next 12-18 months. Estimating an actual completion date for your case is also difficult, as it is entirely dependent on whether or not document [sic] are located, how many documents are found, and the complexity of any document located. The estimated completion date for those cases in the median range is 3-4 years. Please be advised that this estimate is subject to change."

The NSA Told Me It Needs 4 Years to Answer a FOIA About a Coloring Book
[Jason Koebler/Motherboard]