Government watchdog files FOIA lawsuit seeking alleged EPA encryption documents

Judicial Watch Inc. filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit March 23 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia alleging that some Environmental Protection Agency officials “may have used the cellphone encryption application ‘Signal’ to thwart government oversight and transparency,” according to a Judicial Watch news release.

Judicial Watch said it initially made an FOIA request for documents related to the encryption allegations Feb. 3. The EPA did not respond to that request, Judicial Watch said. According to the lawsuit, the EPA was required to decide whether to comply with the FOIA request within 20 days, meaning a decision would have been due by March 14.

Specifically, the lawsuit asks the court to order the EPA to turn over “any and all work-related communications sent to or from the following EPA officials using the app known as Signal for the period Feb. 3, 2016, to the present.”