Monday, October 21, 2013

ACLU v. NSA over Criminal Surveillance

The ACLU has filed this lawsuit over NSA surveillance information being used in criminal cases.  As reported here, the Supreme Court dismissed the ACLU's last effort to obtain information about the NSA's surveillance programs because the ACLU lacked evidence that it had been targeted by the surveillance programs.  (See Clapper v. Amnesty International USA)

The suit, filed in the Southern District of New York, alleges that since the Clapper decision, in which the Government's briefing assured that it would notify defendants if NSA surveillance information was relied upon during the prosecution, not one defendant nationally has been notified of NSA involvement in their cases.  I apologize for the length of the last sentence.  Point being, NSA information is still being employed, and defendants are not being told.  At all.  So the ACLU has filed a FOIA request.

Along the same lines, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed an amicus brief authored by recent Kansas federal defender CLE presenter, Oakland A's fan (forgive the apostrophe) and all around bad man Hanni Fakhoury challenging similar DEA intelligence gathering.  The potential scope of DEA data gathering outlined by Hanni's brief is breathtaking, and worth your time.  Also, thanks very much to Hanni for donating his time to our presentations in Wichita and Lawrence.  He was fantastic, and we profoundly appreciate his service.

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