ACLU sues Justice Department to spur response on surveillance info request

Share this article:

After failing to provide information on its surveillance methods impacting criminal defendants, the government may be forced to contend with a lawsuit launched by the civil liberties group that requested the details.

Last Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed the lawsuit (PDF) against the Justice Department in a U.S. District Court in New York.

The advocacy group filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request back on March 29, seeking records that would show instances where DOJ evoked the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) to glean data used in criminal prosecutions.  

“The failure of these DOJ components to process and release responsive records is of particular concern because the request relates to a highly controversial surveillance authority whose wisdom, effectiveness, and legality is a matter of intense and ongoing public debate,” the ACLU's complaint said.

“Indeed, the debate over FAA surveillance has only grown more pitched since plaintiffs filed the request six months ago. Revelations concerning the National Security Agency's interception of electronic communications pursuant to the FAA – including the emails, text messages, and phone calls of Americans – have prompted public outcry and calls for legislative reform. The public interest in the release of the requested records is substantial,” the complaint said.

Through obtaining the documents, ACLU aims to shed light on the government's checkered history of failing to notify criminal defendants monitored through FISA – a practice that has “shielded warrantless wiretapping from judicial review,” the organization alleged.

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of SC Magazine to post a comment.

Sign up to our newsletters

More in News

Tinba variant aimed at U.S., international banks

Tinba variant aimed at U.S., international banks

Researchers at AVAST have unlocked a Tinba variant and discovered it has been customized to target U.S. financial institutions.

Adobe makes delayed updates for Reader, Acrobat available

The Reader and Acrobat fixes were delayed a week due to issues found during testing.

Nigerian police search for ringleader in major bank heist

The suspect, Godswill Oyegwa Uyoyou, conspired with others to hack bank systems and divert 6.28 billion Naira to mule accounts.