Thursday, September 06, 2007
Judge Rejects Government Secrecy Claims
The Justice Department must give more substantial reasons for not complying with the ACLU's FOIA request for NSA spy program documents.
"Today’s ruling deals a blow to the administration’s sweeping and often unfounded secrecy claims," said Nasrina Bargzie, an attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project. "When documents are withheld under the Freedom of Information Act, the government must have a better excuse for keeping the documents secret than ‘because we said so.’"
In December 2005, the ACLU and the National Security Archive submitted requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) seeking records relating to the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program. The ACLU and the Archive filed a lawsuit to enforce the FOIA requests and the case was consolidated with a similar lawsuit brought by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). The government asked the court to permit it to keep the NSA documents secret.