DOJ to Use Warrantless Surveillance in Criminal Case

The New York Times has an article about DOJ notifying a criminal defendant in Colorado that it intends to use warrantless surveillance obtained under FISA in its case against him.From the Notice:

...the government intends to offer into evidence or otherwise use or disclose in proceedings in the above-captioned matter information obtained or derived from acquisition of foreign intelligence information conducted pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, as amended, 50 U.S.C. 1881a.

The case is an interesting one. I wrote about it here. [More...]

Jamshid Muhtorov (an Uzbek political refugee and truck driver, living in Colorado) and Bakhtiyor Jumaev, (added later, from Philadelphia, who has an asylum application pending)are charged with providing material support to the Islamic Jihad Union. Muhtorov quit his truck driving job in January, 2012, planning to fly to Turkey. He was arrested at the airport in Chicago before boarding his flight. A few months later, Jumaev was arrested in Philadelphia and added to the case. Neither were planning attacks against the U.S.

From the Complaint:

The FBI has been investigating Jamshid MUHTOROV based on his communications with www.sodiqlar.com website administrator and Islamic Jihad Union ("IJU") facilitator "Muhammad." "Muhammad" is known as "Abu Muhammad." (Hereafter referred to as Muhammad in this "Facts ofthe Case" section) MUHTOROV communicated with Muhammad using at least two email addresses through the IJU -affiliated email address sodiqlar@gmail.com. MUHTOROV's two email addresses are ***** and *****. Pursuant to court authorization, the FBI obtained the email communications for both of these accounts.

Additionally, pursuant to court authorization, the FBI obtained communications originating from MUHTOROV's phone lines. FBI lawful search and surveillance has shown that the email address ***** is associated with and used by Jamshid Muhtorov. The FBI lawfully discovered that these email accounts are regularly accessed through a Sony Vaio laptop computer with a Toshiba hard drive, serial number ******. Additionally, through legally authorized methods, the FBI learned that the mobile phone used by MUHTOROV is an Android Blackberry with the telephone number ******.

In an earlier pleading, Jumaev's lawyer equated the secrecy of the FISA information to Kafka.

Josef K., the tragic protagonist in Franz Kafka's The Trial, was arrested by two agents "one fine morning" and spent a nighmarish year in jail waiting to stand trial. He had no idea of the charges against him or what secret court authorized the process that led to his arrest. One year later, two agents again came for the unknowing Josef K and took him to a quarry outside of town. There, he was executed. Surely Josef K. would sympathize with the not too dissimilar circumstances confronting defendant Jumaev.

When the defendants sought disclosure of FISA surveillance over a year ago, the Court denied the motion. The Order is here.

On April 30, 2013, DOJ submitted this letter to Senator Harry Reid as its report on the number of FISA applications in 2012. There were 1,856 applications to the FISA court for electronic and physical searches. Of them, 1,789 were for electronic surveillance. All but one (which the Government withdrew) were granted. There were also 212 requests to the FISA court for business records. None were denied. More than 15,000 requests for National Security Letters were submitted, seeking information on more than 6,000 U.S. persons. This number does not include requests for telephone subscriber information (for which no reporting requirement exists.)

The Goverment's Notice represents a change in DOJ policy. The Times reports:

Still, it remains unclear how many other cases — including closed matters in which convicts are already service prison sentences — involved evidence derived from warrantless wiretapping in which the National Security Division did not provide full notice to defendants, nor whether the department will belatedly notify them. Such a notice could lead to efforts to reopen those cases.

< NFL Sunday Open Thread | RIP Lou Reed >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    A little OT (none / 0) (#1)
    by ragebot on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 10:03:14 AM EST
    but some interesting 4A stuff

    Seems like judge Kreep (gotta love that name) was not so big on limits on 4A protection for those on bail or probation so the DAs were able to get him moved to traffic court Judge Kreep

    Chevy Chase: (none / 0) (#2)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Oct 31, 2013 at 12:51:17 AM EST
    Tastes Great!

    Less Filling!

    Fisa's New Fruit of the Poisonous Tree
    is good for you
    - and good for your Constitution!