Elec. Frontier Found. v. DOJ, No. 12-01441, 2014 WL 3542124 (D.D.C. July 18, 2014) (Jackson, J.)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Elec. Frontier Found. v. DOJ, No. 12-01441, 2014 WL 3542124 (D.D.C. July 18, 2014) (Jackson, J.)

Re: Request for documents concerning government's collection of foreign intelligence pursuant to section 702 of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, as amended in 2008 by FISA Amendment Act of 2008

Disposition: Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment; denying plaintiff's motion for summary judgment

  • Exemption 1:  The court holds that "[b]ecause the limited remaining redactions are all properly withheld under FOIA Exemption 1, defendant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, and the Court need not address the applicability of Exemption 3."  The court notes that plaintiff "challenges only defendant's position that all redacted information in the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court] opinion falls into one of the categories listed in section 1.4 of that order as well as defendant's position that releasing that information would impact national security."  The court also notes that "[m]oreover, plaintiff contends that at least some of that information was never properly classified under the Executive Order."  The court states that " [it] conducted an in camera review of the unredacted October 2011 FISC Opinion, and it reviewed defendant's ex parte response to the targeted questions the Court propounded in its June 11, 2014 Minute Order" and, "[b]ased on its review of those documents, the Court finds that none of the remaining redactions appear to be for an improper purpose, such as to shield embarrassing information from the public."  "The Court also finds that defendant met its burden to justify continued withholding of the very limited number of remaining redactions under FOIA Exemption[] 1" because "[t]he information has been properly classified under Executive Order No. 13526, and giving defendant the deference it is owed on matters of national security, . . . the Court finds that defendant met its burden to show that 'disclosure of the information reasonably could be expected to result in damage to the national security.'"


District Court
Exemption 1
Updated October 6, 2014