DOJ statement: public interest outweighs security concerns

Jan 27, 2014
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In accordance with orders sent out earlier this month by the President of the United States on intelligence reforms, the US Department of Justice has begun "acting to allow" more transparency in a number of areas. The number of "national security orders and requests" sent to communications providers as well as the number of customer accounts that that are targeted will be part of this set of "more detailed disclosures."

Also included in this move are the names of the "underlying legal authorities" that are making these requests. Disclosing this sort of data will likely be similar to what we've seen from a number of companies over the past year - you'll see numbers of requests from the government as well as numbers of authorizations given by said companies - and not a whole lot more.

"This action was directed by the President earlier this month in his speech on intelligence reforms. While this aggregate data was properly classified until today, the office of the Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with other departments and agencies, has determined that the public interest in disclosing this information now outweighs the national security concerns that required its classification." - Attorney General Eric Holder and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper

According to the Department of Justice's Office of Public Affairs, this move will have communications providers permitted "to disclose more information than ever before to their customers." We'll likely see the effects of this set of actions within a month or two rather visibly.

One of several documents shared as a result of this letter is a Stipulation for Voluntary Dismissal of Action through the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in Washington DC. Here you'll that the "above-entitled actions shall be dismissed without prejudice." Each is included in a gallery here.

As for those mentioned in this document, "the parties, being the only parties who have appeared in this action, stipulate and agree," include representatives from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, and LinkedIn, including attorneys from each.


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