Court: Judge ‘Disobeyed’ Statute, Defendant Shouldn’t Have Access to Secret Surveillance Records

By: Monday June 16, 2014 4:14 pm

A federal appeals court has overturned a first-of-its-kind ruling by a district court, which had granted a defendant access to secret surveillance records in his case. The court found the district court judge had “disobeyed” a statute and inappropriately decided to disclose materials to defense counsel.

 

In Terrorism Case, Defense Challenges Being Barred from Secret Session on Access to Surveillance Records

By: Monday June 9, 2014 10:55 am

The defense for a young Muslim who was arrested outside a Chicago bar in an undercover FBI sting operation and charged with trying to blow up the bar has submitted a motion objecting to a secret session that was held in court over access to secret surveillance records. Defense attorneys were barred from being present. Only people from the US Attorney’s Office, the FBI, and “other agencies” were allowed, despite the fact that court proceedings were supposed to be open to the public.

Fear in Terrorism Case in Chicago Leads to Court Not Recording Oral Argument; Court Orders Do-Over

By: Saturday June 7, 2014 8:29 am

Disclosures from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden made it possible to see how the government misled the FISA court and manipulated secret processes intended to provide a check on surveillance powers. That likely inspired the district court judge to take the bold move of granting defense attorneys access to surveillance records. However, it would appear this federal appeals court is still compromised by the national security state and unwilling to act independently of the fear prosecutors manufacture to maintain control over the courtroom.

House Committees Take First Step to Reform NSA

By: Thursday May 15, 2014 5:16 pm

Last week, the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees approved a bill that would begin the process of restoring constitutional limits to dragnet government surveillance. While a praiseworthy step in the right direction, the progress to date remains both entirely too slow, and deferential to the intelligence agencies.

In Possible FBI Entrapment Case, Lawyers Urge Judge to Uphold Decision Granting Unprecedented Access to Surveillance Data

By: Tuesday May 6, 2014 10:01 am

Defense attorneys representing a young Muslim who was arrested in an undercover FBI sting operation and accused of plotting a terrorist attack have urged a federal district court judge to uphold a landmark decision granting access to government surveillance records.

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.

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