University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Electronic Frontier Foundation v. Office of the Director of National Intelligence NS-CA-0017
Docket / Court 3:08-cv-02997-JSW ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) National Security
Case Summary
On June 17, 2008, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a nonprofit organization that promotes civil liberties related to technology, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The EFF sued the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the ... read more >
On June 17, 2008, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a nonprofit organization that promotes civil liberties related to technology, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The EFF sued the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552. The EFF filed an amended complaint on July 11, 2008.

The EFF alleged that the defendants wrongfully withheld records that the EFF requested under FOIA. The EFF’s mission was to inform policymakers and the public about civil liberty issues related to technology, and to defend those liberties. The EFF used FOIA in its work to gather information about pertinent federal agency activities. The EFF’s FOIA claims concerned proposed amendments to the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) granting the U.S. government greater authority to conduct widespread surveillance with the assistance of telecommunications companies. In early 2008, the EFF submitted two FOIA requests for records related to the efforts defendants and the telecommunications companies took to amend FISA to keep the telecommunications companies from being held liable for their cooperation with surveillance efforts. According to the EFF, the defendants did not respond within the statutory timeframe, nor did they release all documents when ordered to do so by the court. (The EFF later filed a second, similar FOIA request, which was also litigated. See NS-CA-0018 in this Clearinghouse.)

On September 24, 2009, the district court (Judge Jeffrey S. White) filed an order denying the defendants’ motion for summary judgment while granting the EFF’s cross-motion for summary judgment and ordering the disclosure of withheld records. On October 8, 2009, the defendants appealed the judge’s order to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Judge Hawkins wrote the April 9, 2010 opinion for the court. 639 F.3d 876. Judge Hawkins ordered defendants to release the names and email addresses of telecommunication carriers and their agents under FOIA Exemption 6 except those email addresses that have a privacy interest and little public interest, and remanded the same issue under FOIA Exemption 3. The court also remanded the question of releasing communications.

Following the remand, the parties arranged for certain documents to be disclosed to the plaintiff in this case and the EFF's other FOIA case. Those disclosures have been uploaded to the plaintiff's website and are also made available at NS-CA-0018 in this Clearinghouse. After these disclosures were made, the plaintiff filed a stipulation of dismissal, which the court granted on September 29, 2010.

The case is now closed.

Virginia Weeks - 10/05/2016


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Content of Injunction
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Required disclosure
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
General
Records Disclosure
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Causes of Action Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552
Defendant(s) Department of Justice
Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Plaintiff Description Electronic Frontier Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation acting to defend civil liberties related to technology
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Case Closing Year 2010
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
3:08−cv−02997−JSW (N.D. Cal.)
NS-CA-0017-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/29/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
NS-CA-0017-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/17/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint for Injunctive Relief [ECF# 9]
NS-CA-0017-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/11/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment and Granting Plaintiff's Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF# 72] (N.D. Cal.)
NS-CA-0017-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/24/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Amending Opinion and Amended Opinion [Ct. of App. ECF# 92] (639 F.3d 876)
NS-CA-0017-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/20/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Hawkins, Michael Daly (Ninth Circuit)
NS-CA-0017-0004
White, Jeffrey Steven (N.D. Cal.)
NS-CA-0017-0003 | NS-CA-0017-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Hofmann, Marcia (California)
NS-CA-0017-0001 | NS-CA-0017-9000
Opsahl, Kurt Bradford (California)
NS-CA-0017-0001 | NS-CA-0017-0002 | NS-CA-0017-9000
Sobel, David L. (District of Columbia)
NS-CA-0017-0001 | NS-CA-0017-0002 | NS-CA-0017-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Berman, Marcia (District of Columbia)
NS-CA-0017-9000
Kirschner, Adam D. (District of Columbia)
NS-CA-0017-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -