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Judge orders DOD to speed up FOIA request on monitoring of student protesters

[JURIST] A federal judge has ordered the US Department of Defense to expedite processing of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) [text; DOJ materials] request submitted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and several student groups regarding the alleged use of a terrorist database to spy on organizers of demonstrations against military recruiters on college campuses in April 2005. The judge only ruled that the DOJ should speed up its response to the FOIA request, saying the information is related to "a breaking news story of significant importance to public policy and public protests," and did not comment on whether the request should actually be granted. The information may be exempted from FOIA requests for national security reasons.

The ACLU complaint [PDF text] alleges that the DOD spied on student protest organizers with the TALON database, which was reviewed by the Pentagon [Washington Post report] after complaints surfaced that the database was being used for purposes other than preventing terrorist attacks. CBS News has more.

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