Secret U.S. surveillance court suspends Silicon Valley lawsuits until government shutdown ends

Secret U.S. surveillance court suspends Silicon Valley lawsuits until government shutdown ends

Summary: The secretive court suspends operations until the government ends its shutdown. A number of Silicon Valley tech companies are battling the court for data disclosure transparency.

TOPICS: Government US
(Image: Justice Dept.)

It's bad news for Silicon Valley tech giants that are fighting on behalf of their users to disclose crucial data requests by the U.S. government, as the case grinds to a halt amid the government shutdown.

In a published filing, the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) granted a motion holding off on any continued litigation, because attorneys with the U.S. Justice Department are not yet allowed to return to work.

The court said that active litigation will be put on hold until attorneys with the Justice Dept. "are permitted to resume their civil litigation functions and consult with [the tech companies'] access to classified information." 

It follows an earlier request by the Justice Dept., submitted to the FISC on Monday.

Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Yahoo, among others, are battling with the U.S. government in regards to its massive surveillance programs, which were disclosed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in June. 

The companies are trying to prove that they were forced to disclose user and customer data to the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), and that it was not acting voluntarily or in collusion with the intelligence agency as initial reports suggested. Along with that, many companies outside the big named four are also trying to force the government to allow them to disclose full figures relating to requests for user data.

But as a result of the government shutdown, the court is shutting its doors. 

Here's the short and sweet filing from the secret court.

Topic: Government US

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  • Secret U.S. surveillance court !!! ???

    There are secret police. Secret surveillance courts.

    Are you sure you're not talking about Iran?
    • the USA = everyone's enemy

      No, the fascistic USA is very close to its martial I predicted

      And the fascists can rule the world without limits
      • We ae not close to martial law, nor close to anything you believe

        So you can drop the act and concentrate on stocking up on tin-foil for your new line of fall hats.
        John Zern
        • wake up

          USA suppresses rights, attacks other nations, has under control almost everyone....... = you don't mind these fascistic practices? Just a small step and after a huge crisis you have a martial law ;)
    • Ah, No. You just grossly misread the headline.

      It is not a "Secret US Court", its the Court hearing the issue on "Secret U.S. surveillance ".

      It's like having a court the hears nothing but issues regarding "wheels".
      The headline would read "U.S. Court on Wheels suspends lawsuits until government shutdown ends"

      It doesn't mean that the court is mobile, moving around on a bus.
  • FISC is a joke.

    Does anyone think it's anything more than a rubber stamp for the government? Aside from putting on a charade there's some form of checks and balances I don't even know why this "court" exists. Might as well abolish it and do away with the pretense they're worthwhile.