CALEA FOIA - Order on Parties' Cross Motions for Summary Judgment

In this order, the court agreed with two of the arguments EFF raised in its cross motion for summary judgment on its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for records related to the government's push to expand the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). The court held the three government agencies—DEA, DOJ Criminal Division, and FBI—must go back and review documents they withheld as "not responsive" or "outside the scope" of EFF's FOIA request. The court noted that information that appears on the same page as or is in close proximity to other information that was "undisputably responsive" to EFF's request, is presumptively responsive because it "is likely to qualify as information that in 'any sense sheds light on, amplifies, or enlarges upon' the plainly responsive material, and that it should therefore be produced, absent an applicable exemption." (p. 4-5.) The court also agreed with EFF and held that the FBI's 170+ page declaration attempting to justify its exemption claims was repetitive and confusing and "insufficient to provide an adequate foundation for review of the soundness of the exemption claims." (p. 6.) Once the agencies have addressed these issues, EFF will once again ask the court to find that the government has withheld significantly more information than it is entitled to under FOIA.

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