National Security

“The only effective restraint upon executive policy and power in the areas of national defense and international affairs may lie in an enlightened citizenry—in an informed and critical public opinion which alone can here protect the values of democratic government.”
New York Times Co. v. United States 403 U.S. 713, 728 (1971)

MFIA represents clients asserting constitutional and statutory rights to information critical to oversight of our nation’s security policies.  On behalf of our clients, we have sought access to judicial opinions, regulations, and rules governing communications surveillance, in addition to fighting for limits on the extent to which the recipients of investigative demands may be prevented from discussing the government’s actions with the press and the public.  Our current cases include:

American Civil Liberties Union v. National Security Agency, No. 13-cv-9198 (S.D.N.Y.)
MFIA students represent the ACLU in a federal Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking disclosure of the rules that govern communications surveillance abroad pursuant to Executive Order 12,333.

FISC Access Litigation
MFIA and the ACLU are pursuing access to secret judicial opinions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that address the legal authority for surveillance, including the bulk collection of data.

Rosenberg v. Dep't of Defense
MFIA represents prize-winning reporter Carol Rosenberg and the Miami Herald in a FOIA lawsuit against the Department of Defense seeking access to emails sent and received by General John F. Kelly, former Secretary of Homeland Security and current White House Chief of Staff, during General Kelly’s time as commander of the U.S. Southern Command.

Privacy International v. NSA et al.
The Clinic is representing Privacy International, a United Kingdom-based charity, in FOIA litigation seeking information concerning the UKUSA Agreement, the so-called “Five Eyes” signals intelligence sharing agreement entered into by the United States and United Kingdom in 1947 and later joined by New Zealand, Australia, and Canada.

For a list of previous matters, please see the MFIA Archive.