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FOIA Requests

FOIA Requests

Significant FISC Opinions

Part of the goal of the USA Freedom Act was to end secret law. Section 402 of USA Freedom requires the federal government to declassify and release all "significant" opinions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)—the federal court that reviews the legality of many of the government's national security...

DNA Collection

EFF has long been concerned about the privacy risks associated with the collection, testing, storing and sharing of genetic data. DNA contains an extensive amount of sensitive personal information beyond mere identifying information and has the potential to reveal intensely private details about a person’s life and future, including who...

Yahoo's Challenge to the Protect America Act in the Foreign Intelligence Court of Review

In 2007, a then-unknown service provider challenged the constitutionality of a government request for user information under the Protect America Act. The provider lost its challenge in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and appealled the decision to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, the appellate court charged with reviewing...

Drone Flights in the U.S.

EFF filed suit against the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), receiving thousands of pages about the certifications and authorizations the agency has issued for the operation of unmanned aircrafts, also known as drones. The Federal Aviation Authority, part of the DOT, is the sole entity within the federal government responsible...

Skype Surveillance

In February 2008 EFF requested documents from the FBI related to its surveillance of Skype communications a common Voice-over-IP (VoIP) program. The request came after an article in Computerworld Magazine suggesting that German law enforcement had commissioned a private company to create "Skype-hacking Trojan." EFF sought to discover whether...

Digitization Agreements

In 2007 EFF requested copies of contracts for document digitization services between eight federal agencies and Google or other technology companies. Over the next year the agencies released a number of contracts with Google and other technology firms. We are expecting further releases from NASA and the USDA.

Smart Dust

In September 2006 EFF requested copies of and National Science Foundation (NSF) grant awards to fund the development of wireless microelectromechanical sensor technology for law enforcement intelligence gathering or military purposes so-called "smart dust." In October 2006 the NSF released three separate grant awards to George Washington University the University...

Social Networking Monitoring

EFF and the Samuelson Clinic at the UC Berkeley School of Law filed suit against a half-dozen government agencies for refusing to disclose their policies for using social networking sites for investigations, data-collection, and surveillance. In response to our lawsuit, we received training materials, manuals, powerpoint presentations, memos, and an...

Surveillance of Soldier Blogs

In this case EFF sought information concerning the Pentagon's monitoring of military websites including soldiers' blogs. According to news reports an Army unit called the Army Web Risk Assessment Cell ("AWRAC") reviews hundreds of thousands of websites every month notifying webmasters and bloggers when it sees information it finds inappropriate...

TALON Reporting

In December 2005 NBC News reported that the Department of Defense had created a database of more than 1500 “suspicious incidents” throughout the United States over a ten-month period. The DOD insisted that all of its domestic intelligence was “properly collected” for the “protection of Defense Department installations interests...

Analysis Dissemination Visualization Insight and Semantic Enhancement (ADVISE)

In 2007 EFF submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Homeland Security for information about a trial-stage data mining program called Analysis Dissemination Visualization Insight and Semantic Enhancement (ADVISE). This system was intended to sift through a wide variety of databases to find suspicious patterns between...

Telecom Lobbying Records

EFF has filed suits against the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice demanding any information about telecommunications companies' efforts to get off the hook for their role in the government's illegal electronic surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans. EFF's suits ask for the immediate...

Automated Targeting System (ATS)

EFF sued the Department of Homeland Security to learn more about the Automated Targeting System (ATS), an invasive, unprecedented data-mining system deployed on American travelers. ATS reviews data from seven large government databases plus the Passenger Name Record data obtained from the airlines. Individuals who travel internationally are assigned "risk...

Border Searches

The Asian Law Caucus (ALC) and EFF have filed suit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for denying access to public records on the questioning and searches of travelers at U.S. borders. The suit responds to growing complaints by U.S. citizens and immigrants of excessive or repeated screenings...

Net Neutrality Lobbying

In July 2010 EFF filed a FOIA request with the Federal Communications Commission seeking records of meetings or discussions between FCC officials and representatives of telecommunications cable and Internet companies and organizations concerning potential net neutrality regulations. Specifically EFF's request sought records concerning: (1) potential legislation of broadband Internet regulation...

DCS-3000 and Red Hook

In this Freedom of Information Act lawsuit the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) seeks information about two electronic surveillance systems developed by the FBI: DCS-3000 and Red Hook. Little is publicly known about these spying tools. DCS-3000 was developed in the wake of "Carnivore" or DCS-1000 a controversial surveillance system the...

Pen Registers

Federal law requires the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to http://www.uscourts.gov/library/wiretap.html">report each year on law enforcement wiretapping activities which gives the public a sense of how often the government intercepts phone calls emails and other communications. Unfortunately there's no similar public reporting for the government's use of pen registers...

DCS-5000 "Redwolf"

In October 2006 after receiving an anonymous tip EFF filed a FOIA request for information related to the FBI's DCS-5000 or "Redwolf " surveillance system. The FOIA request sought information related to the use and abuse of the FBI's DCS-5000 surveillance capabilities. When the request was filed Redwolf was the...
Printer Dots

Printer Dots

EFF submitted FOIA requests to several government agencies seeking information related to the agencies' use of "printer dots" -- tracking codes embedded in pages printed from certain printers. In a purported effort to identify counterfeiters the US government has succeeded in persuading some color laser printer manufacturers to encode each...
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