A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a District Court judgment in favor of the National Security Agency in a case brought by the Electronic Privacy Information Center under the Freedom of Information Act. The FOIA request, readers may recall, sought communications between the NSA and Google related to a cyber attack on Google back in 2010 that targeted Chinese human rights activists. The NSA responded to the FOIA request and issued a Glomar response neither confirming nor denying the existence of any records, and EPIC subsequently filed suit.
The D.C. Circuit opinion characterizes the District Court’s holding, which it affirmed today, in the following way:
The district court held that NSA was entitled to summary judgment because the Janosek Declaration was “both logical and plausible” and “contain[ed] sufficient detail, pursuant to Section 6, to support NSA’s claim that the protected information [sought by EPIC] pertains to” NSA’s organization, functions, or activities.
The three-judge panel consisted of Senior Circuit Judge Douglas Ginsburg and Circuit Judges Brett Kavanaugh and Janice Rogers Brown–who wrote the opinion. Read the opinion here, and the District Court’s memorandum opinion here.