FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 3, 2003
NEW YORK CITY AND FEDERAL 9/11 COMMISSION REACH AGREEMENT ON SEPTEMBER 11TH TAPES AND TRANSCRIPTS
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the City's Corporation Counsel Michael A. Cardozo today announced that an agreement had been reached with the 9/11 Commission resolving the dispute over the 911 emergency calls made from the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and for oral histories of employees of the New York City Fire Department about their experiences on that date. The agreement assures privacy protection for those tragically killed, as well as the privacy of their families and rescue personnel.
Under the agreement, the City will deliver to the Commission edited tapes of the 911 calls and transcripts of the interviews that do not include identifying information or emotional statements made by callers or interviewees. Like the agreement recently reached with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the agreement protects the privacy of the victims, their families, survivors and rescue personnel. The 9/11 Commission will be permitted to inspect and listen to the unedited transcripts and tapes at City offices. The agreement provides that the edited tapes and transcripts given to the Commission, and any notes the Commission takes of the unedited tapes, will not be released publicly.
"We are pleased that we were able to enter into an agreement with the 9/11 Commission that, similar the agreement we recently established with the NIST, protects the privacy of the victims of the attacks of September 11, as well as the privacy of their families, survivors and rescue personnel," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Both agreements will allow these organizations to conduct thorough investigations into the attacks without making public the intensely emotional statements of those involved in this terrible tragedy."
"We are pleased that we were able to protect the privacy of the people who were in the Trade Center calling for emergency assistance under the most tragic circumstances imaginable. We also felt it was imperative to protect members of their families and those who responded to the tragedy," said Cardozo. "At the same time, we will supply the Commission with the materials it believes it needs in order to conduct its investigation. In fact, well before the subpoena was issued, we had advised the Commission that we were willing to discuss a resolution that met its needs while not compromising the confidentiality of the victims of the attacks. We are glad that we have now reached such a resolution."
Cardozo noted that Chief Litigating Assistant Lawrence S. Kahn negotiated the agreement for the City. Copies of the agreement can be requested from the Law Department's Communications Director, Kate O'Brien Ahlers, at (212) 788-0400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Skyler / Robert Lawson (212) 788-2958