Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR) filed suit in federal court in early 1993 seeking the release of relevant Secret Service records under the Freedom of Information Act. The litigation of the case is being handled by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC).
In July 1994, U.S. District Judge Louis Oberdorfer ordered the Secret Service to release the vast majority of documents it maintains on the incident. The government appealed that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In a brief filed on June 2, 1995, EPIC and CPSR argued that the withheld documents demonstrate Secret Service misconduct and that the FOIA exemptions cited by the agency do not apply.
In an opinion issued on January 2, 1996, the federal appeals court partially rejected the Secret Service's attempt to withhold relevant information. The court ordered the agency to disclose some of the material it maintains concerning the incident. The Pentagon City incident has been described as an example of over-zealous law enforcement activities directed against so-called computer "hackers." The case raises significant issues of free speech and assembly, privacy and government accountability.