Common Dreams NewsCenter

We Can't Do It Without You!

Home | About Us | Donate | Signup | Archives | Search

Home > Progressive Community > NewsWire > For Immediate Release
Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article
Electronic Frontier Foundation 

FEBRUARY 27, 2007
10:21 AM

CONTACT: Electronic Frontier Foundation 
Rebecca Jeschke
Media Coordinator
+1 415.436.9333 x125

EFF Lawsuit Seeks Release of Secret Court Orders on Electronic Surveillance
Justice Department Withholds Records About Purported Changes to Program

WASHINGTON - February 27 - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed suit against the Department of Justice today, demanding records about secret new court orders that supposedly authorize the government's highly controversial electronic surveillance program that intercepts and analyzes millions of Americans' communications.

When press reports forced the White House to acknowledge the program in December of 2005, the administration claimed that the massive program could be conducted without warrants or judicial authorization of any kind. However, in January of this year, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) had authorized collection of some communications and that the surveillance program would now operate under its approval. EFF's suit comes after the Department of Justice failed to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for records concerning the purported changes in the program.

"While national security and law enforcement demand a limited amount of secrecy, Americans have the right to know the government's basic guidelines for this kind of invasive electronic surveillance of their personal communications," said EFF Senior Counsel David Sobel. "The burden is on the Justice Department to justify its failure to disclose the information we've requested."

EFF's suit demands the immediate release of the FISC orders regarding the surveillance program and any FISC rules and guidelines associated with such orders.

Today's FOIA action is separate from EFF's lawsuit against AT&T for illegally collaborating with the government's surveillance program. That suit, Hepting v. AT&T, is proceeding in U.S. District Court in San Francisco despite the government's ongoing attempts to have the case dismissed.

For the FOIA complaint filed against the Justice Department:

For more on EFF's FOIA Litigation for Accountable Government Project:


Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article
Common Dreams NewsCenter is a non-profit news service
providing breaking news and views for the Progressive Community.

The press release posted here has been provided to Common Dreams NewsWire by one of the many progressive organizations who make up America's Progressive Community. If you wish to comment on this press release or would like more information, please contact the organization directly.
*all times Eastern US (GMT-5:00)

Making News?
Read our Guidelines for Submitting News Releases is an Internet-based progressive news and grassroots activism organization, founded in 1997.
We are a nonprofit, progressive, independent and nonpartisan organization.

Home | About Us | Donate | Signup | Archives | Search

To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.