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Judge orders DOJ response on request for domestic surveillance documents

[JURIST] US District Judge Henry Kennedy on Thursday ordered [PDF opinion] the US Department of Justice to respond to a FOIA request [PDF text; JURIST report] filed by the Electronic Information Privacy Center (EPIC) [advocacy website] and produce documents related to the Bush administration's domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive]. Among the documents lawyers for EPIC requested were the guidelines used by government officials to decide whether to monitor an individual's phone or email communications.

The court's order gave the Justice Department 20 days to fulfill the advocacy group's request. In the accompanying opinion, Judge Kennedy reasoned that the attention given to the surveillance program by the media and many private citizens suggests that public interest will be well served by timely production of the relevant documents. Reuters has more.

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