The following is a news analysis
The Justice Department National Security Division reports no records responsive to Freedom of Information (FOIA) law regarding the government surveillance of me and my computers while I was an investigative correspondent at CBS News.
The claim of no responsive records was made after a request two years ago by attorney Ty Clevenger.
The forensically-proven government surveillance on me and my family is the subject of an ongoing lawsuit I filed against ex-federal agents involved. The court has already awarded me a clerk's default in the instance of one defendant who admitted being part of the illegal surveillance. He also acknowledged that many other US citizens were illegally surveilled. Instead of holding the federal agents accountable, the Dept. of Justice continues to use taxpayer money to fight the charges and defend the guilty agents. They include an ex-Secret Service agent who recently served time in prison on a separate case of corruption.
Under the law, federal agencies are required to provide FOI documents within about 30 days of the request, which is often far too late for them to be useful in a breaking news report. Even so, the agencies commonly stonewall or flout the law so that it takes years to get a response. And even when the response is provided, or forced through a FOI lawsuit, the public documents ultimately provided are often heavily redacted from public view.
Another strategy federal agencies are increasingly relying upon when forced to produce documents is to offer them on a "rolling production schedule." In other words, they find so many documents they claim they don't have the time and resources to go through all of them to redact anything they wish before releasing them and, therefore, they will only do a certain amount per month. This schedule can play out for decades-- on a request that was due to be filled under the law within 30 days.
You can read the Dept. of Justice National Security Division response below. Click and enlarge the image if necessary.