“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:
MFIA represents the Yale Law School Center for Global Legal Challenges (CGLC), which is seeking information from the U.S. Department of State on unclassified international treaty agreements.
Privacy International Production is continuing according to the parties' joint agreement. MFIA has procured several documents relating to information sharing agreements for its client.
EO 12333 On February 2, 2018, MFIA and the ACLU filed their brief as plaintiffs-appellants in the Second Circuit, asking for an in camera review of government redactions to several documents relating to EO 12333. The clinic is currently awaiting the government's response.
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.