DOJ Agrees To Release Redacted Court Ruling About How NSA Practices Violated The 4th Amendment

from the transparency! dept

You may recall that last year it was revealed that the FISA court (FISC) had determined that certain searches by the NSA under the section 702 program of the FISA Amendments Act were unconstitutional under the 4th Amendment. As we noted just this morning, it appears that the NSA's justification for spying on Americans is related to this ruling. Ever since that secret ruling was announced, the EFF has been asking the government for a copy of it, via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) process. The DOJ has fought very very hard against releasing this ruling, claiming that it would put us all in danger:
The government has determined that disclosure of the information withheld from Plaintiff could result in exceptionally grave and serious damage to the national security. Plaintiff obviously cannot contend otherwise. The Court accordingly should defer to the government’s determination in this case, uphold the Department’s withholdings, and grant this motion.
Except, today, during President Obama's press conference, the DOJ suddenly (magically!) changed its position and filed a motion with the court saying that it will no longer fight this, but instead will release a redacted version of the FISC ruling later this month, claiming that recent declassifications by the federal government mean this is now acceptable.
Defendant further provides notice to the Court and Plaintiff that it has determined it will release to Plaintiff a redacted version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (“FISC”) opinion previously withheld in full pursuant to FOIA exemptions (b)(1) and (b)(3), and a redacted version of the one responsive paragraph in the classified white paper to Congress also previously withheld in full pursuant to those exemptions. The information to be released to Plaintiff will consist of segregable information that the government has declassified and thus is no longer exempt under (b)(1) and (b)(3).
The filing also requests a bit more time to handle all of this, but it appears that revealing at least a little bit of info from this key ruling will no longer kill us all. And now we wait to see just how much is actually revealed... and how much is redacted.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    sorrykb (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 2:25pm

    Prediction: Entirely redacted

    I'd be willing to bet that we won't even get the metadata on this ruling.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Wally (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 2:28pm

    Place your bets!

    I'm willing to bet that the names on that document will be redacted.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 2:29pm

    Re: Prediction: Entirely redacted

    Nah. I was going to make a "sobering findings" joke, but if the government is actually filing a motion saying it's going to release them, then they probably are going to have a significant amount of non-redacted material.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 2:30pm

    The Courts findings are as follows:

    ████████████` 08;████████████ We find ██████████████&# 9608;████
    this ████████████ program ██████████████&# 9608;█ ██████████████&# 9608;█
    ████████████&# 9608;██ █████████████ █████████████ does ███████
    ███████ not ██████████████ violate ████████████ ███████████
    ███ █████████ ███████████ the █████████████ ██████████████
    4th amendment. ██████████████&# 9608;███ █████████████

    See!, We told you so!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Jürgen A. Erhard, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 2:35pm

    Re: Re: Prediction: Entirely redacted

    Like those ten black pages the ACLU got not that long ago?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    St. Patrick, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 2:54pm

    How much is revealed

    "And now we wait to see just how much is actually revealed..."
    Not much.

    "and how much is redacted."
    Pretty much everything.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 2:56pm

    i can see the document now:

    Dear EFF,
    Redacted, ------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------Redacted,

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    pixelpusher220 (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 3:23pm

    Re: Prediction: Entirely redacted

    "claiming that recent declassifications by the federal government mean this is now acceptable"

    Which pretty much refutes the concept that the information would have caused harm. It was simply that they didn't want to release it - which isn't a legal reason for it to be classified.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 3:27pm

    Agent: "Sir, there are terrorists running around in the mid-east! What should we do?"

    Director: "Quick! Dismantle the Constitution and spy on every American! That'll show 'em!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 3:27pm

    Mike,

    I love how, even when you're more transparency as you would like, you're still a whiny little angry bitch.

    Love,

    AJ

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 3:34pm

    Re:

    Oops. Should say "you're GETTING more transparency..."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Aug 9th, 2013 @ 3:57pm

    Redacted defined as..

    Redacted defined as: Information we do not like anybody but those people that agree with us and respect our desire to keep it from the uninformed and unreasonable masses.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 4:07pm

    And now we wait to see just how much is actually revealed... and how much is redacted.

    I just took a massive dose of the spice Melange and am searching the most probable futures........I can safely predict the answers are: a little and a lot.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 6:13pm

    Re:

    I can just see it, Emma on one side, Melanie B. on the other...mmmmmm...oh wait, you said spice MELANGE.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Beech, Aug 9th, 2013 @ 7:26pm

    Here's the biggest problem:

    "Plaintiff obviously cannot contend otherwise."

    Holy hell. "We made this secret. It is secret because we say so. There is a very good reason for it to be secret, but that reason is also secret. Everyone should just shut up and trust us, even though you have no reason to. There is no way to prove that anything we are doing is untrustworthy, because we have made all such proof secret."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2013 @ 5:07am

    Re: Re:

    Communications for both the Spice Girls you mentioned will be completely OK to spy on because they are not US Citizens. Spying is A-OK, apparently.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2013 @ 5:07am

    Re: Re:

    Communications for both the Spice Girls you mentioned will be completely OK to spy on because they are not US Citizens. Spying is A-OK, apparently.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2013 @ 8:21am

    Re:

    First, we consider the source and its definition of 'transparency,' which doesn't match with the English language.

    Second, what the government says it will do, and what it really does do, are historically not in agreement. We will wait to see the follow-through, but we aren't going to hold our breath.

    Stop being a whiny bitch about people exercising their rights and discussing their disgust with the actions of the government.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Aug 12th, 2013 @ 3:27am

    Re:

    They'll just make a few pages with black lines, duct tape them and fax them to EFF =/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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