One of my favorite parts of the biggest article I wrote this year is summed up in just a single line: “The Journal this week filed legal motions in a Texas federal court to unseal several cases.”
The paper’s publisher filed the motions in an effort to open up documents related to law enforcement requests for electronic surveillance that have been kept under seal for years. Such documents were the subject of my story, which looked at the increase in federal surveillance requests and the fact that most of them remain secret indefinitely, unlike traditional search warrants.
I’m excited about the case because it’s not the sort of thing in which I’m frequently involved. The legal issues involved here are relatively new and untested, and it’s great to get a news organization like the Journal on record behind the public’s right to information in this type of case.
For now, the matter is before a judge in Texas. An example of the government’s response is here, and one of our latest filings is here.