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Case: The New York Times Company v. National Security Agency

1:15-cv-02383 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Filed Date: Jan. 12, 2015

Closed Date: 2016

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On January 12, 2015, the New York Times (“the Times”) submitted a Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) request to the National Security Agency (“NSA”) pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552. The Times sought copies of all NSA Inspector General Reports related to three topics: the NSA’s content collection activities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”) amendments section 702 (and the predecessor law, the Protect America Act); bulk phone records collected un…

On January 12, 2015, the New York Times (“the Times”) submitted a Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) request to the National Security Agency (“NSA”) pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552. The Times sought copies of all NSA Inspector General Reports related to three topics: the NSA’s content collection activities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”) amendments section 702 (and the predecessor law, the Protect America Act); bulk phone records collected under Section 215 of the Patriot Act; and bulk Internet metadata collected under the FISA pen register/trap and trace provision (the ‘FISA PR/TT’ program).

The NSA informed the Times that it would deny the request for expedited processing, but it did not address any other aspect of the request. The NSA did not communicate any further within the 20 days as required by FOIA. Therefore, on March 31, 2015, the Times filed a complaint requesting the documents sought in the original FOIA request.

On May 15, 2015, Judge Katherine B. Forrest signed a jointly agreed to schedule, under which the NSA would process and release all nonexempt responsive documents in three batches, on August 11, 2015, November 10, 2015, and February 10, 2016. The parties agreed at the time that if they disputed the extent of the released documents, then they would resolve the dispute through summary judgment motions rather than proceeding to trial. The NSA engaged in an extensive declassification process and released hundreds of pages of material, many of which contained redactions. Following the three releases, the New York Times challenged certain redactions, some of which the NSA agreed were appropriate for publication in a supplemental release.

The remaining conflict between the Times and the NSA concerned three redactions in two NSA Inspector General Reports. The Times challenged a redaction in the “Report on the Special Study of NSA’s Purge of Pen Register and Trap and Trace Bulk Metadata.” The report was said to summarize the Office of the NSA Inspector General’s “special study of the Agency’s processes to destroy Pen Register and Trap and Trace (PR/TT) bulk metadata from its declared systems, databases, and backups before the authority expired on 9 December 2011.” The Times also challenged two redactions in the “Report on the Special Study: Assessment of Management Controls Over FAA §702.” The report stated that it summarized the Office of the NSA Inspector General’s “special study of management controls that ensure compliance with Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA §702) and the Targeting and Minimization Procedures associated with the 2011 Certifications.”

On March 22, 2016, the NSA moved for summary judgment and submitted a declaration in support of the motion from David J. Sherman, the Agency’s Associated Director for Policy and Records and the official responsible for processing FOIA requests for NSA records. After the Times submitted its own motion for summary judgment on April 21, 2016, the court found the NSA’s and Sherman’s reasonings for the redactions persuasive. The Times argued that the NSA had not sufficiently justified the redactions under FOIA; however, the court stated that the reasonings set forth by the Defendants were “both logical and plausible.”

On August 25, 2016, Judge Katherine B. Forrest signed an order granting summary judgment in favor of the NSA and denying summary judgment in favor of the Times. 205 F.Supp.3d 374.

The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Mary Kate Sickel (1/14/2018)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4355027/parties/the-new-york-times-company-v-national-security-agency/


Judge(s)

Forrest, Katherine Bolan (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Kutner, Jeremy Alexander (New York)

McCraw, David E (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bharara, Preetinder S. (New York)

Clopper, John Dalton (New York)

Daughtry, Emily E. (New York)

Krause, Andrew Edward (New York)

Judge(s)

Forrest, Katherine Bolan (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Kutner, Jeremy Alexander (New York)

McCraw, David E (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bharara, Preetinder S. (New York)

Clopper, John Dalton (New York)

Daughtry, Emily E. (New York)

Krause, Andrew Edward (New York)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:15-cv-02383

Docket [PACER]

The New York Times Company et al v. National Security Agency

Aug. 26, 2016

Aug. 26, 2016

Docket
1

1:15-cv-02383

Complaint

The New York Times Company et al v. National Security Agency

March 31, 2015

March 31, 2015

Complaint
10

1:15-cv-02383

[Endorsed Letter re Scheduling Order]

May 11, 2015

May 11, 2015

Order/Opinion
29

1:15-cv-02383

Opinion & Order

Aug. 25, 2016

Aug. 25, 2016

Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4355027/the-new-york-times-company-v-national-security-agency/

Last updated Nov. 2, 2022, 3:22 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against National Security Agency. (Filing Fee $ 350.00, Receipt Number 465401121330)Document filed by The New York Times Company, Charlie Savage.(moh) (Entered: 04/01/2015)

March 31, 2015

March 31, 2015

RECAP
2

CIVIL COVER SHEET filed. (moh) (Entered: 04/01/2015)

March 31, 2015

March 31, 2015

PACER
3

RULE 7.1 CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT. No Corporate Parent. Document filed by Charlie Savage, The New York Times Company.(Kutner, Jeremy) (Entered: 04/01/2015)

April 1, 2015

April 1, 2015

PACER
4

ORDER. The Court shall hold an initial conference on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. (Initial Conference set for 4/29/2015 at 10:00 AM before Judge Katherine B. Forrest.) (Signed by Judge Katherine B. Forrest on 4/2/2015) (rjm) (Entered: 04/02/2015)

April 2, 2015

April 2, 2015

PACER
5

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE. National Security Agency served on 4/1/2015, answer due 4/22/2015. Service was made by Mail. Document filed by The New York Times Company; Charlie Savage. (Kutner, Jeremy) (Entered: 04/08/2015)

April 8, 2015

April 8, 2015

PACER
6

LETTER MOTION to Adjourn Conference and to reset the corresponding deadline to submit a proposed scheduling order addressed to Judge Katherine B. Forrest from Andrew E. Krause dated April 15, 2015. Document filed by National Security Agency.(Krause, Andrew) (Entered: 04/15/2015)

April 15, 2015

April 15, 2015

PACER
7

ORDER granting 6 Letter Motion to Adjourn Conference and to reset the corresponding deadline to submit a proposed scheduling order. A letter setting out how the parties propose to proceed in this matter is certainly fine. The initial conference is adjourned to 5/15/15 at 3:30 pm. (Initial Conference set for 5/15/2015 at 03:30 PM before Judge Katherine B. Forrest). (Signed by Judge Katherine B. Forrest on 4/15/2015) (kko) (Entered: 04/15/2015)

April 15, 2015

April 15, 2015

PACER
8

ANSWER to 1 Complaint. Document filed by National Security Agency.(Krause, Andrew) (Entered: 05/04/2015)

May 4, 2015

May 4, 2015

PACER
9

ORDER: The initial conference scheduled for Friday, May 15, 2015 shall now take place at 11:00 a.m. Initial Conference set for 5/15/2015 at 11:00 AM before Judge Katherine B. Forrest. (Signed by Judge Katherine B. Forrest on 5/14/2015) (lmb) (Entered: 05/14/2015)

May 14, 2015

May 14, 2015

PACER
10

ENDORSED LETTER addressed to Judge Katherine B. Forrest from Andrew E. Krause dated 5/11/2015 re: The parties submit this joint scheduling proposal in lieu of the Court's standard Scheduling Order form. ENDORSEMENT: Schedule adopted as set forth herein., ( Cross Motions due by 4/1/2016., Motions due by 3/11/2016., Responses due by 4/22/2016., Replies due by 4/29/2016.) (Signed by Judge Katherine B. Forrest on 5/15/2015) (lmb) (Entered: 05/15/2015)

May 15, 2015

May 15, 2015

RECAP
12

LETTER MOTION for Extension of Time for briefing deadlines for the parties' contemplated cross motions for summary judgment addressed to Judge Katherine B. Forrest from Andrew E. Krause dated February 29, 2016. Document filed by National Security Agency.(Krause, Andrew) (Entered: 02/29/2016)

Feb. 29, 2016

Feb. 29, 2016

13

ORDER granting 12 Letter Motion for Extension of Time. So ordered. Cross Motions due by 4/12/2016. Motions due by 3/22/2016. Reply due by 5/10/2016. Responses due by 5/3/2016. (Signed by Judge Katherine B. Forrest on 3/1/2016) (lmb) (Entered: 03/01/2016)

March 1, 2016

March 1, 2016

14

MEMO ENDORSEMENT on re: 11 Notice (Other) filed by The New York Times Company, Charlie Savage. ENDORSEMENT: So ordered., Attorney Jeremy Alexander Kutner terminated. (Signed by Judge Katherine B. Forrest on 3/1/2016) (lmb) (Entered: 03/02/2016)

March 2, 2016

March 2, 2016

15

MOTION for Summary Judgment . Document filed by National Security Agency.(Krause, Andrew) (Entered: 03/22/2016)

March 22, 2016

March 22, 2016

16

MEMORANDUM OF LAW in Support re: 15 MOTION for Summary Judgment . . Document filed by National Security Agency. (Krause, Andrew) (Entered: 03/22/2016)

March 22, 2016

March 22, 2016

17

DECLARATION of David J. Sherman in Support re: 15 MOTION for Summary Judgment .. Document filed by National Security Agency. (Krause, Andrew) (Entered: 03/22/2016)

March 22, 2016

March 22, 2016

18

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by Tali Ravit Leinwand on behalf of Charlie Savage, The New York Times Company. (Leinwand, Tali) (Entered: 04/05/2016)

April 5, 2016

April 5, 2016

19

MOTION for Summary Judgment and Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment . Document filed by Charlie Savage, The New York Times Company. Responses due by 5/3/2016(McCraw, David) (Entered: 04/12/2016)

April 12, 2016

April 12, 2016

20

MEMORANDUM OF LAW in Support re: 19 MOTION for Summary Judgment and Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment . . Document filed by Charlie Savage, The New York Times Company. (McCraw, David) (Entered: 04/12/2016)

April 12, 2016

April 12, 2016

21

DECLARATION of David E. McCraw in Support re: 19 MOTION for Summary Judgment and Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment .. Document filed by Charlie Savage, The New York Times Company. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit C)(McCraw, David) (Entered: 04/12/2016)

April 12, 2016

April 12, 2016

22

LETTER MOTION for Extension of Time for the NSA to file its reply brief in further support of its motion for summary judgment/opposition to Plaintiffs cross−motion for summary judgment addressed to Judge Katherine B. Forrest from Andrew E. Krause dated April 25, 2016. Document filed by National Security Agency.(Krause, Andrew) (Entered: 04/25/2016)

April 25, 2016

April 25, 2016

23

ORDER granting 22 Letter Motion for Extension of Time. So ordered. Reply due by 5/20/2016. Responses to Brief due by 5/13/2016. (Signed by Judge Katherine B. Forrest on 4/25/2016) (lmb) Modified on 4/27/2016 (lmb). (Entered: 04/25/2016)

April 25, 2016

April 25, 2016

24

REPLY MEMORANDUM OF LAW in Support re: 15 MOTION for Summary Judgment . and in opposition to Plaintiffs' cross−motion for summary judgment . Document filed by National Security Agency. (Krause, Andrew) (Entered: 05/13/2016)

May 13, 2016

May 13, 2016

25

REPLY MEMORANDUM OF LAW in Support re: 19 MOTION for Summary Judgment and Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment . . Document filed by Charlie Savage, The New York Times Company. (McCraw, David) (Entered: 05/20/2016)

May 20, 2016

May 20, 2016

26

LETTER MOTION for Leave to File sur−reply letter of no more than two pages addressed to Judge Katherine B. Forrest from Andrew E. Krause dated May 25, 2016. Document filed by National Security Agency.(Krause, Andrew) (Entered: 05/25/2016)

May 25, 2016

May 25, 2016

27

ORDER granting 26 Letter Motion for Leave to File Document. Permission granted. Defendants may file a sur−reply of not more than two pages. (Signed by Judge Katherine B. Forrest on 5/25/2016) (lmb) (Entered: 05/25/2016)

May 25, 2016

May 25, 2016

28

SECOND REPLY MEMORANDUM OF LAW in Support re: 15 MOTION for Summary Judgment . . Document filed by National Security Agency. (Krause, Andrew) (Entered: 05/25/2016)

May 25, 2016

May 25, 2016

29

OPINION & ORDER re: 19 MOTION for Summary Judgment and Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. filed by The New York Times Company, Charlie Savage, 15 MOTION for Summary Judgment . filed by Nation al Security Agency. For the reasons stated above, the National Security Agency's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED and the New York Times Company and Charlie Savage's motion for summary judgment is DENIED. The Clerk of Court is directed to close the motions at docket numbers 15 and 19 and to terminate this matter. As further set forth in this Order) (Signed by Judge Katherine B. Forrest on 8/25/2016) (lmb)

Aug. 25, 2016

Aug. 25, 2016

RECAP
30

CLERK'S JUDGMENT: It is, ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED: That for the reasons stated in the Court's Opinion &Order dated August 25, 2016, the National Security Agency's motion for summary judgment is granted and the New York Times Company and Charlie Savage's motion for summary judgment is denied; accordingly, the case is closed. (Signed by Clerk of Court Ruby Krajick on 8/26/2016) (Attachments: # 1 Right to Appeal, # 2 Right to Appeal)(km) (Entered: 08/26/2016)

Aug. 26, 2016

Aug. 26, 2016