Defense Argues Warrantless Surveillance Requires New Trial in Portland Car Bomb Plot

By: Monday April 7, 2014 6:30 pm

The defense for a a young Somali-American man, who was convicted of trying to bomb a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, Oregon, after being targeted and arrested in an FBI sting operation, has requested that a court vacate his conviction, suppress evidence, dismiss the indictment in his case or grant a new trial.

The government, according to a defense motion, “directly violated Congress’ instruction” to notify the court and the defense that it would be using data from communications “collected, retained and accessed through warrantless electronic surveillance.”

In Terrorism Case, Government Fights Potential ‘Sea Change in FISA Litigation’

By: Tuesday April 1, 2014 4:35 pm

Courts had been asked by defendants to disclose details related to United States government applications for surveillance, which were authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, many times before. The judge had ruled on the legality of the surveillance without ordering the disclosure of classified information to a defendant. However, in January, in a federal case in Chicago involving a young Muslim, who was arrested in an undercover sting operation by the FBI and accused of plotting a terrorist attack, the judge ordered the government to provide the information to the defense.

Obama NSA Speech: Pretty Words, No Real Change

By: Saturday January 18, 2014 2:30 pm

A massive, frighteningly expensive program that does much harm and no good does not need tweaking. It needs to be ended.

Bill Introduced to End NSA Bulk Telephone Records Collection

By: Thursday September 26, 2013 6:45 am

A bipartisan bill was introduced yesterday that would to finally start regulating the NSA including ending the bulk collection of Americans’ communication records. The bill is authored by Democrats Ron Wyden, Mark Udall and Richard Blumenthal, and Republican Rand Paul. This is one of the first attempts to rein the NSA in after abuses by the agency were revealed by Edward Snowden.

FISA Court Ruled NSA Program Unconstitutional, Said NSA Misled Them

By: Thursday August 22, 2013 6:35 am

The initial defense of the NSA spying program echoed by everyone from Congress to the agency heads to the White House was that the program was “legal.” But newly declassified material shows that even the secret court stacked with Chief Justice Roberts’ judges recognized the NSA was conducting a domestic spying program when the NSA gathered thousands of Americans’ emails.

After Lavabit and Silent Circle Shut Down, Is Email Privacy Even Possible?

By: Friday August 9, 2013 10:10 am

Yesterday the email services believed to be used by Edward Snowden — Lavabit — ceased operations, announcing they would suspend business rather than continue in compliance with court orders. Shortly thereafter Silent Circle, another privacy focused email service run by PGP creator Phil Zimmerman, saw the handwriting on the wall and ceased operations as well.

Pope Sixtus V Has a Suggestion for the FISA Court

By: Saturday August 3, 2013 9:00 am

One of the ripples from Edward Snowden’s revelations of the orders issued by the FISA court has been shock and surprise (from those who have not been paying much attention) at the workings of the FISA court. They have been roundly attacked for operating behind closed doors, hearing only one side of things, and issuing judgments only in secret. Thus, when Snowden made public one of their rulings — the order to Verizon to turn over metadata — it not only brought that specific surveillance tactic into the open, but demonstrated more broadly how the secret rulings of this confidential court reach into everyday life of ordinary people.

Pope Sixtus V has a suggestion that might improve matters . . .

Documents Show NSA Violated Court Orders

By: Thursday August 1, 2013 6:40 am

One of the key deflections over the ethical questions related to domestic spying by the government is that “it’s legal.” Stated ad nauseum, this defense was supposed to reduce violations of Fourth Amendment protected privacy to technical misunderstandings. However, it turns out the NSA did, in fact, go beyond technical limits by violating court orders.

Late Night: They Must Love Us Now

By: Thursday July 25, 2013 8:00 pm

As I watched the first tiny peep of congressional rebellion against the odious, authoritarian policies that have swamped America since The Day That Changed Everything narrowly defeated in the House yesterday, I was reminded of the endlessly repeated, tinny refrain of those dark days, “They hate us for our freedom.” According to such preschool logic, the “Patriot Act,” passed nearly unanimously a few weeks later, should have fixed that once and for all.

NSA Admits to Even More Surveillance

By: Thursday July 18, 2013 3:30 pm

In the government nexus of public and legally disclosed information there is a surreal pocket of time where something that everyone knows cannot be legally admitted to. We know, they know we know, but officials cannot admit anything until there is a legal clearing process. Such it is now with the NSA. We all know they monitor, record and archive every phone call and email within the United States and elsewhere in the world, they know we know, but they cannot admit it under the law. So drip drip drip.

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