Nicholas Iovino reports:
A federal judge Thursday ordered the Department of Justice to give her files on a secret telephone data-mining program so she can determine if it can withhold the records from the public.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation sued the Department of Justice in July 2015 after it refused to release files on the Hemisphere Project. The secret program, revealed in a New York Times article in September 2013, involved placing AT&T employees in law enforcement agencies to track records on trillions of phone calls dating back to 1987.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James found Thursday that the government failed to justify a slew of Freedom of Information Act exemptions it cited to avoid revealing details of the clandestine project. She ordered the Justice Department to deliver the files for her to review behind closed doors.
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