Amerston Post sues over secret surveillance

The Amerston Post is suing Connor Stumperth, Director of Abelden’s federal intelligence agency, over his refusal to reveal how many private conversations the agency collects.

The Post made a freedom of information request to Stumperth, Director of the Renadi, asking for details on the agency’s activities.

Much of the information was provided. For instance, we learned that the Renadi has seven employees and holds information on a GUM member state, and an unspecified company or organisation.

But the intelligence chief refused to answer the following question:

Please tell me whether the RND holds records of any private communications (including details of what was communicated), where at least one party to the communication is unaware that the RND holds these records. If so, please tell me precisely how many of these records the RND holds (for instance, how many online messages, or minutes of recorded audio calls).

Amerston Post FOI request

Under federal law, public authorities must release information unless it is protected by privilege. Director Stumperth claims this information would prejudice national security if it is released.

In a complaint filed in the Federal Information Tribunal (responsible for adjudicating disputes over freedom of information), The Post made two arguments.

First, that the information is quantitative rather than qualitative, and therefore cannot harm national security interests.

Secondly, that the RND’s refusal to provide the information, taken with the constitutional right to privacy, violates the constitutional right to an effective remedy for a violation of rights. If Abeldane citizen’s do not know the scope of the agency’s programs, they can’t challenge those programs if their rights are being violated.

You can read the court register entry (which includes a copy of The Post’s complaint) here.

The case continues.

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