Feeds

Judge knocks back NYT wiretap documents suit

Details of Bush-ordered NSA eavesdropping stay secret

Top three mobile application threats

A US federal judge has ruled in favour of government agencies' refusal to release classified information related to a controversial surveillance programme.

AP reports that a lawsuit filed against the Defense and Justice departments by the New York Times was dismissed, on the grounds that the information withheld was exempt from the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.

The Times had sought information regarding the hotly-disputed National Security Agency (NSA) mass wiretapping effort against international communications from within the USA, which was authorised by President Bush in the wake of 9/11 on his sole authority.

Normally, any attempt by US intelligence to eavesdrop on US citizens must be conducted with a judicial warrant, if necessary issued by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FIS) federal court. The NSA programme was reportedly placed back under FIS jurisdiction in January, but details of its conduct are still unclear.

The story was broken by the Times in 2005. The paper had actually known of the NSA programme since 2004, but had been asked by the government to suppress the story on national security grounds. Now its ongoing attempts to uncover the details appear to have foundered. The judge has decided that the classified material requested by the paper would reveal US intelligence sources and methods, perhaps compromising security.

A later decision will be made regarding unclassified documents, but these are relatively unlikely to contain anything of significance.

However, the issue of enhanced powers conferred on US security and intelligence officials in the wake of 9/11 remains a live one. The Senate judiciary committee has issued subpoenas requiring that legal evaluations of the NSA programme be handed over. Other organisations are engaged in lawsuits and manoeuvres on the same general topic.

The AP report can be read here. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
US Supreme Court supremo rakes Aereo lawman in oral arguments
Antenna-array content streamers: 'Ruling against us could dissipate the cloud'
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.