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Thursday, June 20, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Justice Dept. Ordered To Speed Up Record Release

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - A federal judge ordered the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice to release records related to the Bush administration's efforts to gain legal immunity for telecommunications carriers that cooperate in the government's surveillance program.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White granted a preliminary injunction to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, ordering the agencies to quickly process and disclose the information sought under the Freedom of Information Act by April 21. The request asked for information about which there is "an urgency to inform the public about an actual or alleged federal government activity" and was "made by a person primarily engaged in disseminating information."

Each agency granted the petitioner's request for expedition, but has yet to process that request.

"The agencies have, therefore, exceeded the generally applicable 20-day statutory deadline for processing standard, non-expedited FOIA requests," White wrote.

White found that the foundation had sufficiently demonstrated that it would suffer irreparable harm without an injunction, and concluded that the release of the records would serve the public interest.

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