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

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.

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.

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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.