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Government Must Come Clean About Exports of American-Made Spying Tools

PRESS RELEASE
October 19, 2015
Wednesday Hearing On EFF Demand to Disclose Export Applications for Surveillance Technology

Stanford, California—On Wednesday, October 21, at 12:45 pm, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will urge a federal appeals court to order the U.S. government to disclose information about its role in facilitating exports of American-made surveillance tools to foreign nations.

The hearing is part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Commerce Department, which denied a request seeking disclosure of export applications for surveillance technologies. The agency has argued that it could withhold the documents under a 1979 law—even though that law expired in 2001. In July 2013, a federal judge agreed with EFF, finding the lapsed law did not justify withholding the information. He ordered the records disclosed, and the government appealed that decision.

At Wednesday’s hearing, EFF Staff Attorney Mark Rumold will argue that the government can’t resurrect dead laws to keep information from the public. “EFF’s FOIA request would shed light on the role our government plays when technology companies export spying equipment to nations that don’t respect human rights. The government can’t rely on a law that expired almost 15 years ago to hide this critical information from the public,’’ said Rumold. 

The hearing is being held at Stanford Law School in a special sitting of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

What:
EFF v. U.S. Department of Commerce

When:
Wednesday, Oct. 21
12:45 pm

Where:
Stanford Law School
Room 80 Moot Courtroom
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305

For more on this case:
https://eff.org/cases/eff-v-us-department-commerce

Contact: 
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