NSAThis is one of the crazier things I’ve seen in a while, and as someone who works with a lot of whistleblowers, that’s saying something.

The EFF is suing the NSA and other government agencies  in the case Jewel v. NSA, attempting to stop illegal dragnet surveillance. According to EFF there was a hearing on June 6 in a crowded courtroom, but after it was over the government asked to have “classified information” that they had presented in open court removed from the court transcript. And they wanted to do so in secret so it would never be a matter of public record.

Moreover, EFF was under a gag order not to speak about it until today when the judge granted their motion to unseal the court order:

The Court allowed the government a first look at the transcript and indicated that it was going to hold the government to a very high standard and would not allow the government to manufacture a misleading transcript by hiding the fact of any redactions. Ultimately, the government said that it had *not* revealed classified information at the hearing and removed its request. But the incident speaks volumes about the dangers of allowing the government free rein to claim secrecy in court proceedings and otherwise.

As the EFF notes, “federal law governing court reporting requires that ‘each session of the court’ be ‘recorded verbatim’ and that the transcript be certified by the court reporter as ‘a correct statement of the testimony taken and the proceedings had.’ 28 U.S.C. § 753(b).”  Did the government lawyers not know this?

According to EFF, “The government’s attempt to change this history was unprecedented. We could find no example of where a court had granted such a remedy or even where such a request had been made.”

I’m bored with both reading and writing “most transparent administration ever” so insert your own joke here.