Tech Companies Lawsuit Over Transparency Concerning NSA Surveillance Put On Hold Due To Government Shutdown

from the please-hold... dept

This is hardly a surprise, but it appears that the tech companies' lawsuit against the federal government, in which they're arguing a First Amendment right to reveal details (at least in terms of numbers) related to NSA information requests, has been put on hold. The DOJ told the court that the government shutdown means that its lawyers really can't work on the case and the Court has agreed to put the case on hold until the government is up and running again. It has also told the feds to declassify yet another court ruling concerning the interpretation of Section 215 of the Patriot Act, though it will let that wait until after the government opens up again too.

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    out_of_the_blue, 8 Oct 2013 @ 3:19pm

    "This is hardly a surprise,"

    One looks in vain for surprises here. Likely fare is trivial, gamey, piratey, defending Megaupload, Google, or some other bunch of grifters. It's never attacking Wall Street or bankers in any substantive way, even though their crimes outweigh all others combined by orders of magnitude.

    This one is actually indirectly defending Google and its pretense of going to court to protest NSA just enough to be allowed to post some numbers that We The People can't check, anyway. It's all PR.

    Techdirt's official motto: This isn't surprising.

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

  • identicon
    DCX2, 8 Oct 2013 @ 3:20pm

    A luxury only for the government

    Something tells me the defense would not be granted any continuance if they couldn't pay *their* lawyers...

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

    • identicon
      DCX2, 8 Oct 2013 @ 3:21pm

      Re: A luxury only for the government

      Prosecution, sorry. Forgot the gov't is the defendant in this one. Used to seeing the gov't as the prosecutor.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2013 @ 4:22pm

    Taking a break from all this maybe is a good thing, people have more time to relax and search for things they didn't thought about it.

    There is no rush, it will drag for years.

    Although it seems unfair, after all any other plaintiff would have a default judgement against them.

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

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Oct 2013 @ 5:22pm

    One could dream.

    And once again Napoleonic law is disregarded by the US Department of Justice.

    I wonder if the courts would stay closed if all those tech companies broke their gag orders right now.

    As of this posting I have not received a US National Security Letter or any classified gag order from an agent of the United States
    Encrypted with Morbius-Cochrane Perfect Steganographic Codec 1.2.001
    Tuesday, October 08, 2013 5:16:42 PM
    shape nest album seaweed pocket garden worm factory

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2013 @ 6:12pm

    Sign of corruption

    The case should Default in favor of the side still fighting.

    If the government is prosecuting and shuts down then defense walks free and case dismissed with prejudice.

    If the government is defending and shuts down, then the court assumes a "No Contest" by defense and proceeds to remediation/sentencing/ruling phase.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2013 @ 9:49pm

    MI5 scaremongering

    Meanwhile, MI5 director is trying to scare Brits into submission.

    A few things of note about this. He's making the scaremongering appeal direct to public bypassing the usual government and Parliament front men. This, no doubt, is connected to the revelation that it wasn't only the Parliament (like Congress) that weren't told, it was also the Cabinet (like the Executive branch).

    Also this was interesting, a denial in the form of a confession:

    "Former GCHQ Director Sir David Omand: "Nobody is reading ALL your emails""

    All? [Handler slaps palm to forehead]

    And this
    "Being on our radar does not necessarily mean being under our microscope," he said."

    Confirming domestic surveillance.

    Interesting times, I wonder if any of you in GCHQ can see what you've done. Sure you might think you're chasing terrorists, but actually you've empowered people three pay grades above you to spy on political activists (i.e. every future politician), and worse, you've done it for a foreign agency whose remit is to manipulate foreign governments.

    You've put democracy at risk, already Britain is more like Stasi controlled east europe. Why did you do that?

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

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