Staffers for Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, reviewing drone flight data they'd finally received from the Border Patrol, noticed something weird. Some of the information that the agency withheld in what it provided to Coburn's Homeland Security committee was not redacted when it was given to the activist organization Electronic Frontier Foundation.
The Huffington Post's Ryan Reilly had the scoop on the letter sent by Coburn's office on behalf of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The Department of Homeland Security, which manages Customs and Border Patrol, "appears to have chosen to withhold information from Congress which the [Justice Department] — and, we must assume, DHS — has determined was appropriate to share with the American public," it reads in part.
Last year, the EFF received a response to a Freedom of Information Act request that outlined where and when the Border Patrol had used drones to provide aerial surveillance. "EFF received the three years of flight logs, a 2010 “Concept of Operations” report about the Predator program … and other records in response to our Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the agency," it wrote.