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EFF Sues DOJ For Access To Secret Court Orders On Decryption ( 62

An anonymous reader writes: TechCrunch reports the Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice to reveal documents that "show whether DOJ has ever forced a company like Google or Apple to provide technical surveillance assistance in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a federal court that issues secret surveillance warrants in national security cases and has been criticized for rubber-stamping NSA overreach." The EFF has been rejected in its attempt to gain access to the documents under the Freedom of Information Act. "Even setting aside the existence of technical assistance orders, there's no question that other, significant FISC opinions remain hidden from the public," EFF senior staff attorney Mark Rumold said in a statement regarding the lawsuit. "The government's narrow interpretation of its transparency obligations under USA FREEDOM is inconsistent with the language of the statute and Congress' intent. Congress wanted to bring an end to secret surveillance law, so it required that all significant FISC opinions be declassified and released. Our lawsuit seeks to hold DOJ accountable to the law." The full lawsuit can be read here.
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EFF Sues DOJ For Access To Secret Court Orders On Decryption

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  • reminder to self (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 19, 2016 @09:36PM (#51944491)

    donate some more dollars to EFF.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... reveal documents that "show whether DOJ has ever forced a company like Google or Apple to provide technical surveillance assistance...

    No, none of the companies we forced were like Google or Apple.

  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Tuesday April 19, 2016 @10:24PM (#51944653)

    I certainly hope things turn out for the best because a government unaccountable to the people ends poorly. []

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It used to end poorly when spears were involved. Unfortunately these days the kill ratio will be closer to 100,000:1 martyrs-to-cops.

      Hard to stand against rocket launchers, lasers and sonic cannons when all you have is rocks. The only way we can win is to die in large enough numbers that the workforce and economy will subsequently fall apart.

      • Assume for a moment that none of the citizens serving in our military would fight on the right side. I present to you the following examples of the US government using its "rocket launchers" vs a "clearly outmatched" population:

        It turns out that a determined population isn't readily defeated by even the strongest military in the world.

        Consider further what happens when even a single B-2 pilot decides to put 80 JDAM-equipped guided bombs into the White House and whatever other government tar

    • Shit happens when you constantly reelect corrupt people into office. It give full consent to all government actions. Complaints coming from those who keep voting for republicans and democrats really have no credibility. You all know the routine.

      Instead of suing, try voting for someone else. Suing the government really is like suing ourselves for being stupid in the voting booth.

      • Sadly, so long as we have first-past-the-post voting laws, voting for the lesser evil is generally the rational choice. To overcome that you need to be able to convince a majority of people that a third-party candidate both has a real chance of winning, and will be sufficiently better than the lesser evil to risk handing the election to the greater evil instead. That combination is extremely difficult to accomplish, especially in the face of a media empire that has a vested interest in preserving the stat

        • The "lesser evil" is never rational. It is merely expedient, leaving responsibility behind. In the media polls disapproval of the major candidates runs about 60%. If that was transferred to the actual vote, the democrats and republicans can be purged. There is only one place to put the blame.

          • That would be great, IF you could get a substantial percentage of that 60% to unite behind a single candidate. Heck, we've generally got a voter turnout below 50%, if you could just motivate a majority of the non-voters to unite behind someone you could probably win the election, and they don't even have to worry about the spoiler effect since they weren't going to vote for either of the "big two" anyway.

            Until then though the rational choice is the one that maximizes personal benefit. Suppose Bernie wins t

            • Desired change is squarely upon the voters' shoulders. There is no other place to turn. It really is that simple.

    • :-) I like the "foe" thing. Did I leave a mark? Can't you accept responsibility for your vote?

      • that wasn't the problem at all. it's just you were so off base and the political party isn't even relevant. it was off-topic and slightly trolly, so i looked at your comment history which revealed your comments are boring and inane. marking you as "foe" merely means your comments get stripped out by a browser extension. i don't take offense to your comments, i just don't have time to bother with all the people like you that comment just to comment. bye.

        • Nothing "offtopic" there. I already know that we are under a single party system with minor factional divisions. But we still can vote them out for others, as an experiment at least. You don't seem interested in trying to get the word out. I suspect partisanship on your part, and very typical when it comes to passing blame to all expect those responsible (that would be you, the voter) Eh, whatever. Stay in your echo chamber as you wish and live with what you bring down upon yourselves.

        • Though I know you aren't listening anymore, I'm just going to point out that all you people crying about "unaccountable government" are the real trolls. Any lack of accountability is directly due to your lack of demand for any, which is reflected by your votes.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    For one thing the DOJ is claiming there weren't any FISC opinions or orders pertaining to EFF's rather broad FOIA request, and secondly they came across two items that potentially could fall under the EFF's scope of their request, but can't be released because there were classified by Executive Order which is exempt from the FOIA. So either the EFF secretly has a copy or copies some FISC documents that meet the criteria of their FOIA request and are trying to go through this route in order to release them p

  • by wbr1 ( 2538558 ) on Tuesday April 19, 2016 @11:01PM (#51944733)
    Standing? Can the EFF show harm caused to the it?
    • Re:One question (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 19, 2016 @11:50PM (#51944853)

      They have standing because its their FOIA request that's been denied. The EFF is asserting that the DOJ didn't do a proper search and that they are withholding FISC documents. After exhausting the administrative appeals process, the law allows them to sue the DOJ to get the federal court to exam their request and determine if, indeed, there are FISC opinions or orders that should have been released publicly.

  • by mentil ( 1748130 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @12:58AM (#51944999)

    I imagine the DOJ will respond that the FISC opinions in question aren't significant enough for the USA FREEDOM act to apply, the obvious loophole I saw coming before it was passed. Luckily, the executive branch will certainly release those documents anyways because we're headed by the most transparent administration ever. Thanks, Obama!

  • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @09:01AM (#51946461)

    You can't handle the truth.

    Anyway, with a name like USA FREEDOM it is clear those words do not mean what they think it means.

Memory fault -- brain fried