Five former federal employees have filed a lawsuit against several agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency, alleging that they were censored. The lawsuit, filed in federal court on Tuesday by the Knight First Amendment Institute and the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the plaintiffs, who were all given high-level security clearance, concerns the pre-review process for publication that requires former intelligence agency and military personnel to get approval before writing, publishing, or speaking about their service. The lawsuit alleges that the process is an unconstitutional “system of censorship,” violating the First and Fifth amendments.
Each agency can censor speech for “any legitimate government interest,” according to the newspaper. There is no requirement that the agency explain its requested redactions. According to the lawsuit, writers are frequently forced to redact even unclassified information.