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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Wed Aug 7, 2013, 07:48 PM

25. U.S. Spy Program Lifts Veil in Court

U.S. Spy Program Lifts Veil in Court

Justice Department Says Prosecution in Terrorist Cases Must Tell Defendants When Surveillance Program Was Used

By DEVLIN BARRETT

The Justice Department acknowledged for the first time in a terrorism prosecution that it needs to tell defendants when sweeping government surveillance is used to build a criminal case against them.

The about-face, contained in a Tuesday court filing, marks another way in which the Obama administration is adjusting to revelations by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden about phone and Internet surveillance by the NSA. The revelations forced the government to acknowledge publicly aspects of its widespread collection of Internet and phone records, giving critics of such surveillance more legal ammunition to challenge the programs.

The filing suggests a new potential avenue for legal challenges to the surveillance programs.

<...>

Patrick Toomey, a lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union, called the filing "a very important first step, because it's the government finally owning up to some of its obligations in a way that it hasn't really grappled with up to this point.'' The Justice Department didn't immediately comment.

The change in legal direction also brings government prosecutors in line with statements Solicitor General Donald Verrilli made to the Supreme Court last year...that in cases where a bulk surveillance program led to evidence against criminal defendants in court, those suspects must be notified that the evidence was derived from the surveillance program.

His assertion was an important one, because the high court ultimately adopted his characterization of when notification was required.

- more -

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323854904578638363001746552.html

Note this article appeared a week before the Reuters piece. It also indicates that this is a position that Solicitor General Donald Verrilli took last year.

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