Local journalist and artist Susie Cagle drew this sketch at the June 3, 2014 EFF v. DOJ hearing in Oakland. Susie Cagle

In a key transparency case, a federal judge has ordered the United States government to hand over four orders and one opinion from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) published in secret between 2005 and 2008. US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers will then review those documents in private.
The case, known as Electronic Frontier Foundation v. Department of Justice, hinges on which, if any, documents from the FISC should be made public. The original lawsuit (PDF) dates back to October 2011, when the EFF asked the government to handover “all reports, memoranda, guidance, presentations, legal briefs, e-mails or any other record” pertaining to Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act.
Following the Snowden revelations, we’ve learned that this is the crucial section of US law that governs the routine metadata handover program from Verizon (and presumably other telcos) to the US government. However, EFF v. DOJ case began nearly two years before Snowden.
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