On November 29, 2017, the Knight Institute and the Freedom of the Press Foundation filed a FOIA lawsuit to enforce their requests for records concerning the U.S. government’s surveillance of journalists and other investigative tactics that threaten the freedoms of speech, association, and the press.
The initial FOIA requests, filed on October 10, 2017, followed Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s announcement that his department had more than tripled the number of leak investigations that were ongoing at the end of the previous administration. After receiving only two publicly available documents in response to the requests, the Knight Institute and the Freedom of the Press Foundation filed this lawsuit to enforce their requests.
Agencies Involved: Department of Justice (Criminal Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Division, Office of Information Policy, Office of Legal Counsel); National Security Agency; Central Intelligence Agency; Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Status: On October 9, 2020, the District Court issued an opinion granting the Freedom of the Press Foundation and the Knight Institute’s motion for summary judgment as to two DOJ Criminal Division records and ordered the government to release those records. The court denied the remainder of the plaintiffs’ challenges.
Case Information: Freedom of the Press Found. v. DOJ, 1:17-cv-9343-JGK (S.D.N.Y.).