Justice Department Declassifying Secret Court Orders

dojThe Justice Department is considering the declassification of some secret court orders that concern the government’s authority to seize records under the Patriot Act. On Wednesday, the department revealed its decision to declassify the opinions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court via filing with the federal court in the Northern District of California.

Department says ‘broadly construing’ the order

The Justice Department said in its filing that it is releasing the records upon the orders of a federal judge in California. The department added that it was ‘broadly construing’ that court order and was in fact, declassifying more material than required by the judge’s ruling.

The document, the Justice Department said would be handed over to the foundation by Tuesday.

Andrew Ames, a spokesman from the Justice Department said that the government had set apart some parts of the records in lawsuits that it did not consider as classified anymore, based on the recent decisions by the director of national intelligence.