CIS's Director of Civil Liberties and Cryptography Fellow are petitioning the federal court for the Northern District of California to unseal years' worth of sealed surveillance matters filed in that court. The public has First Amendment and common-law rights to access judicial documents and proceedings. Yet surveillance matters filed in the federal courts often remain under seal indefinitely, long past any need for secrecy. The goal of the Petition is to inform the public about how the government uses legal authorities to get court authorization for electronic surveillance, particularly novel forms of surveillance such as compelling companies to assist investigators in decrypting or otherwise accessing private data.
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