FBI, DOJ and DEA Stall Release of Records on Bid to Expand Surveillance Laws

Today EFF filed a reply brief in its FOIA lawsuit seeking records from the FBI, DOJ and DEA that would justify the Administration’s need to expand federal surveillance laws like the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). The proposed expansion would require communications providers like Skype, Facebook, Blackberry and Twitter to build wiretapping capabilities right into their systems, and although we know Congress intends to turn to this issue early this year, FBI, DEA and DOJ have argued they can’t give us all the documents we asked for until the summer of 2012. To force the government to turn over documents on a timeline that would actually allow them to influence the debate, we filed a motion for partial summary judgment, asking the court to order the agencies to produce documents within 10 days.This lawsuit is based on two separate but related FOIA requests, one of which has now been pending with the FBI for almost two years. The earlier request seeks documents on the FBI’s “Going Dark Program,” a program intended to bolster the Bureau’s electronic communications intercept capabilities that could be strengthened by new legislation. The second request, now pending for four months, seeks materials related to a legislative expansion to CALEA, including evidence of any limitations of current surveillance technologies and records of communications between DOJ agencies and technology companies, trade organizations and Congress about potential legislation.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/02/fbi-doj-and-dea-stall-release-records-bid-expand

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