Justice Department to provide memo on surveillance after suit from privacy group

Features Associated Press

The Justice Department has agreed on Friday to turn over a legal opinion regarding government surveillance and census data after a years-long court fight with a privacy group.

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The department on Thursday dropped its appeal of a federal judge's decision requiring it to provide the opinion from its Office of Legal Counsel to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

That group in 2011 sued under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain documents about government surveillance under the Patriot Act.

Among the documents it sought was a memo analyzing law enforcement access to census data gathered under a National Security Agency program authorizing the bulk collection of phone records.

A Justice Department spokeswoman said on Friday while the department disagreed with the court ruling, it would turn the document over to EFF.