Justice Dept Updates its FOIA Regulations

The Department of Justice last week published newly updated regulations on implementation of the Freedom of Information Act, with several notable changes made in response to public comments.

Fifteen sets of comments were submitted by individual members of the public or public interest organizations after the Department released its draft FOIA regulations in 2011. In a lengthy Federal Register notice on April 3, the Department addressed all of the comments, and actually adopted a number of the changes recommended by public commenters.


Citing “Intense Public Interest and Concern” Over Mass Surveillance, Judge Orders DOJ to Turn Over Secret Legal Opinions for Cou

A federal judge today ordered the Department of Justice to hand over key opinions by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (also known as the “FISA court”) so the judge can directly review whether information about mass surveillance was improperly withheld from the public.


DOJ to disclose memo justifying drone strikes on Americans, easing Senate vote on author

In a bid to clear the way for a controversial Senate nominee, the Obama administration signaled it will publicly reveal a secret memo explaining its legal justification for using drones to kill American citizens overseas.

The Justice Department, officials say, has decided not to appeal a Court of Appeals ruling requiring disclosure of a redacted version of the memo under the Freedom of Information Act.


Federal court rules Justice adequately searched for records

From Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press:

A U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. has ruled that while a federal agency must conduct an adequate search for records when responding to a federal Freedom of Information Act request, the agency is not necessarily required to search every system of records in its possession or contact other agencies that may have information relevant to the request.