NEW YORK — An activist group in New York is suing the NYPD to stop their usage of an ambiguous non-answer to questions about secret surveillance programs.

Court papers show the New York Civil Liberties Union has sued the NYPD to ask the courts to set guidelines on the department’s usage of answering questions with the statement “can neither confirm nor deny,” also known as the Glomar response.

An NYPD spokesman tells The New York Times ( ) the department’s use of the Glomar response is both legal and limited.

The NYCLU argues that police’s current use of the Glomar response could have a “chilling effect” on Freedom of Information Law requests, which requires government agencies to produce requested records or certify the records asked for do not exist.

Information from: The New York Times,