Saturday, October 26, 2013

Just As I Feared: Government Now Using NSA Data in Court

The Edwin Snowden disclosures have done nothing so far other than allow the government to openly use, in court, data collected by the NSA.

WSJ reports:
For the first time, the U.S. government notified a terror suspect that one of the National Security Agency's far-reaching surveillance programs was used to build a criminal case against him, setting the stage for a constitutional challenge.

The notification was filed to the lawyer of Jamshid Muhtorov, who is charged in Colorado with providing material support to a designated terrorist organization, specifically the Islamic Jihad Union. Authorities say he sought to travel to Syria to join a group of fighters there.

The notification to Mr. Muhtorov's lawyer marks the first time the government has acknowledged a criminal case against a terror defendant was derived at least in part from communications gathered by the NSA. Based on court documents, it appears in Mr. Muhtorov's case the government monitored his emails and Internet usage, though they also tracked his telephone

Back in June, I wrote:
[The Snowden leaks appear to be] something of a limited hangout here by USG. The purpose is unkown, though I suspect what may be going on is that the USG may want to use, in court cases, some of the data they are collecting. BUT in order to do this, they have to make the public aware  thatthey have the data in the first place, which may be what the leaks to Greenwald are all about (and the leaks to WaPo about USG tracking internet data).



  1. Bob, you have a dirty mind. All the better to sniff out the dirty deeds of our overlords.
    “Trust no one, Mr. Mulder.”

  2. Interesting take on the Snowden affair. Very Machiavellian which means probably true.

  3. Although you must admit, this "hangout" doesn't seem very "limited." I think it is an interesting theory, but its likelihood diminishes with each new revelation. I don't think the USG was in on releasing the Merkel surveillance, or Petrobras revelations, just to name two.