New York Times Sues Obama Administration Over Denied Information Request

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The paper had filed a Freedom of Information Act request in June to get an explanation of the federal government's interpretation of a part of the Patriot Act.

NEW YORK - The New York Times has sued the Obama administration over the Justice Department's denial of a Freedom of Information Act request, Yahoo's Cutline blog reported.
 
The paper had filed the request in June to get an explanation of the federal government's interpretation of a part of the Patriot Act. The issue in question was a proposed amendment to legislation to extend some expiring provisions in the Patriot Act, which has been in effect since 2001.

The amendment, proposed by two senators, would have required the Justice Department to publicly explain its interpretation of a surveillance law modified by the Patriot Act.

The Act, a response to the 9/11 attacks, loosened restrictions on law enforcement agencies' ability to search records and take other actions.

The Times filed its FOIA request demanding the release of a secret report by Attorney General Eric Holder and director of national intelligence James Clapper that included the government's position on the law.

The Justice Department denied the request, arguing that the report was classified. The Times appealed that decision in August. The Justice Department has yet to respond, according to Cutline.

In its lawsuit, filed last week, the Times argues that the "DOJ has an obligation to redact non-public portions of the report and release those portions that are public," according to the news report.
 

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