In January 2014, a federal district court for the first time ever required the government to turn over to a defendant classified information that was submitted in support of the government’s request for a surveillance order under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, so the defendant could challenge the lawfulness of the surveillance.  But that glimmer of sunshine into the FISA process was blotted out earlier this month by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which held, in U.S. v. Daoud, that the district court should not have disclosed the evidence, but should have made its ownex parte determination about the legality of the surveillance.  Transparency into government surveillance and intelligence activities has been a hot topic, especially after the Snowden leaks.  While the government has made some small steps toward allowing more transparency, this decision shows that it is still willing to go to the mat to protect secrecy.  And it has a strong ally in the Seventh Circuit.