[JURIST] The Electronic Privacy Information Center [advocacy website] has announced plans to file a federal Freedom of Information Act [text] lawsuit Thursday against the US Justice Department [official website] seeking the release of documents about the department's role in the government's domestic spying program [JURIST news archive]. EPIC has filed FOIA requests asking DOJ officials to release audits and legal opinions relating to the NSA program, a checklist to help determine whether a legal basis exists to eavesdrop on communications, and documents covering the use of information obtained through the NSA program to secure warrants for further monitoring of communications. The DOJ has agreed to expedite the process, but said that it will take longer than 30 days to process the requests. In the lawsuit, EPIC will seek a court order compelling the DOJ to release the documents within 20 days. EPIC has said that the documents are a matter of "extraordinary public interest" and should be released in advance of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing [JURIST report] on the program, scheduled for February 6. AP has more.
4:08 PM ET - EPIC filed the lawsuit [press release] Thursday, as expected. Read the complaint [PDF text] and motion for preliminary injunction [PDF text] that would require the DOJ to release the relevant documents within 20 days.