ACLU Sues Government Over Unreleased FISA Court Opinions

The US government is still holding onto its opacity ideals while publicly touting transparency directives. The FISA court — which presides over the NSA's surveillance programs — has normally been completely shrouded in darkness. Things changed in 2013 after Ed Snowden began leaking documents.

Forced into a conversation about domestic surveillance, the administration responded with more transparency promises and the signing of the USA Freedom Act into law. The new law curtailed the collection of domestic business records (phone metadata and other third-party records) and required the court to make its opinions public following declassification reviews.

All well and good, but the government has apparently decided the new law only requires transparency going forward. FISA opinions dating back to 2001 still remain locked up, despite transparency promises and reform efforts.