Tuesday, July 19, 2011

NSA Deflects FOIA Challenge About Possible Google Ties

President George W. Bush addresses the media d...Image via WikipediaWhether the National Security Agency has forged a relationship with Internet search engine colossus Google will remain under wraps for now as the NSA successfully rebuffed a document request by public interest watchdog group, the Electronic Privacy Information Center ("EPIC") under the Freedom of Information Act [5 U.S.C. sec. 552 et seq.].

As reported by Suits & Sentences, a blog published by The McClatchy Co. media conglomerate, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Richard J. Leon denied EPIC's FOIA document request, relying on Exemption 3 of the sunshine law. The restriction holds that material does not have to be produced that is otherwise protected from disclosure by another statute; in this case, one that guards "the organization or any function of the National Security Agency, [or] any information with respect to the activities thereof," the Suits & Sentences post noted.

The NSA ain't talkin' about whether it has worked with Google.  EPIC initially filed its FOIA request after stories emerged concerning a possible connection between the NSA and Google regarding a cyber attack by hackers in China.

The case is Electronic Privacy Information Center v. National Security Agency (Case No. 1:2010-cv-01533).

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