DOJ Argues Secret Ruling Over Secret Unconstitutional Surveillance Must Remain Secret Because It's Secretby Mike Masnick
Jun. 10, 2013
1.Trump is Right: GOP Debate Audience is Packed Full of Republican Donors
2.Government Agents Hunt Woman Down After Seeing Facebook Picture Of Her Rehabilitating Baby Squirrels
3.Florida Cops Unload On Man Holding Gun Fearing Home Invasion After Knock On Door At 1AM, Had Wrong House
4.VIDEO: Americans Express Support When Told Obama Had 'Launched A Preemptive Nuclear Strike On Russia'
5.Miami Police Retaliate Against Female Driver Who Filmed Herself Pulling Over Cop
6.Mandatory Mental Illness Screening and The Drive to Confiscate Firearms
7.Three Reasons to Be Worried About The Economy
8.Trump On Debate Audience: "They Gave Me 20 Tickets"
About a year ago, after a lot of pressure from Senator Ron Wyden, the government finally admitted (late on a Friday) that, yes, indeed some of its surveillance efforts had been found unconstitutional for violating the 4th Amendment. But they didn't explain what, nor did they reveal the FISA court ruling which made that assessment. Since that time, the EFF has been fighting the government to get it to reveal the ruling. The DOJ refused to release it following a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, and later said that even if it wanted to, it can't release the document, because only the FISA Court (FISC) could release it. But, in an earlier ruling in a different case filed by the ACLU seeking to reveal a FISC ruling, FISC had said that FISC couldn't reveal it, and the ACLU needed to seek the document from the DOJ. In other words, both the DOJ and FISC are pointing fingers at each other, saying that only the other one can reveal the document. In response, the EFF has asked for confirmation from FISC that if a district court rules against the DOJ and tells it to release the document, that FISC will actually do so.
Now, the DOJ is fighting back with the most circular and ridiculous logic imaginable:
In its response filed with the FISC today, the government offers a circular argument, asserting that only the Executive Branch can de-classify the opinion, but that it is somehow prohibited by the FISC rules from doing so.Basically, the finger pointing continues. However, considering the increasing concern about vast government surveillance, it certainly seems like the government should start looking into being a hell of a lot more transparent, and it could start by giving up this game and releasing that FISC ruling.
Doj Opposition to Eff Motion 06 07 13 (PDF)