Surveillance court cases delayed due to shutdown

The Department of Justice replied to the companies last month, saying that the companies would be helping terrorists avoid detection by publishing more information about surveillance requests. Companies were scheduled to respond to the DOJ motion by Oct. 21.

In a motion to the FISC the DOJ and the companies said they are unable to work on the case during the shutdown and asked the court to postpone the Oct. 21 deadline.

During the shutdown, the DOJ “attorneys and employees are prohibited from continuing to work, even on a voluntary basis, except in very limited circumstances,” the companies and the DOJ said in a motion to the FISC.

The DOJ cannot discuss the case with the companies because of the shutdown, the motion said. This includes allowing the companies “to access classified information” in the government’s heavily redacted response filed last month.

A new deadline will be set once the shutdown ends, FISC Judge Reggie Walton ruled in granting the motion from the companies and the DOJ.

The U.S. government also asked the FISC for a shutdown-related extension in a separate surveillance case brought by Yahoo.