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Google Sued US But After Inner City Press Reported It All 3 Nov 12 Filings Sealed

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive, Patreon
Honduras - The Source - The Root - etc

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 12 – Google sued the United States in response to a subpoena for e-mail accounts and it has asked to make its response under seal. Inner City Press first noted Google's lawsuit on October 22, here, and the underlying USAO Reference Number is 2018R01576.

  Now, after Inner City Press attended a November 1 hearing which was then abruptly ended, all filings in the case since have been sealed: two documents on November 8, and three more on November 12. Photo here.

  Inner City Press said it would stay on this case it uncovered, and it will. But with every filing being under seal, it is difficult to even know when the next court hearing is, without simply waiting outside Judge Koeltl's courtroom all day, every day. This is unacceptable.

  The request and case, as captioned, involves not only Google but also Microsoft, Oath and Oath Holdings, Appriver, and Apple / iCloud.

     On October 31 Inner City Press was alone in the gallery of the courtroom of Judge John G. Koeltl of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York when Google and three Assistant U.S. Attorneys including Matthew Podolsky.

    At first Judge Koeltl told Google's lawyer, at the podium to stop speaking and disclosing, saying, "I think we're done."

   Then as if on second thought, Judge Koeltl said, Some filings are sealed but the case docketed, it is public.   Indeed it is.

Since Inner City Press' tweet of the case caption on October 22, here, when it was assigned to SDNY Judge Paul A. Engelmayer, now the case is before Judge Koetlt.

      As first filed, Google's lawyer Peter G. Neiman of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP described it as a "motion to vacate or modify nondisclosure order pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 2705(b) on First Amendment grounds."

     On October 29, Judge Koeltl granted Google's "Unopposed Motion to Seal," and wrote that "Google may file its reply brief, and the motion to seal the reply brief, under seal."   

  The October 31 proceeding, past 5 pm, was not listed on PACER nor on the board in the lobby of the SDNY courthouse at 500 Pearl Street. But Inner City Press showed up, and heard Google's lawyer say that the U.S. Attorney's Office's ex parte submission does not satisfy the applicable standard.

      The AUSA took to the podium and cited without more a "very important interest," alluding to the Nebraska Press Association case.

 At the proceeding's abrupt end the genial court reporter went back into Judge Koeltl's robing room, presumably on the matter of sealing even this transcript. The case is Google v. USA, 19-mc-00478 (Koeltl). We'll have more on this. More on Patreon here.


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