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Court Hearing in EFF Lawsuit to Uncover Secret Court Opinions Authorizing NSA Spying

PRESS RELEASE
May 29, 2014
EFF Faces Off Against Department of Justice in Federal Court in Oakland

Oakland - At a hearing on Tuesday, June 3, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Staff Attorney Mark Rumold will argue before a judge that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) must release key legal opinions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) regarding Section 215 of the Patriot Act—the law the National Security Agency (NSA) uses to collect telephone records on a massive scale.

EFF filed the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the DOJ to obtain "secret interpretations" of Section 215 in October 2011, 18 months before the public leak of the FISC order that showed how the NSA indiscriminately obtained call metadata from Verizon. So far, the court has ordered the government to release hundreds of pages of previously secret documents, including FISA court opinions that excoriated the NSA for misusing its mass surveillance database for years.

The June 3 hearing may determine whether the DOJ will be forced to release further records, some of which may shine light on other undisclosed mass surveillance programs.

"This hearing, almost a year to the day after the first article appeared in The Guardian about the NSA's use of Section 215, shows how far we've come in a year," Rumold said. "But it also shows how far we have left to go. Now, the public has much more information about the government's bulk collection of Americans' records, but other significant legal opinions and other collection programs still remain secret. The public needs access to this information, and the public needs that access now."

What: Motion for Summary Judgment
Date: Tuesday, June 3
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Place: Courtroom 1, 4th Floor
Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building
1301 Clay Street, Oakland, CA 94612
Judge: Hon. Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers

For more on EFF's 215 cases:
https://www.eff.org/foia/section-215-usa-patriot-act

Contacts:

Mark Rumold
Staff Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation
mark@eff.org

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