Tuesday, June 18, 2013

FBI Secrets: Feds Reportedly Used Secret Evidence Obtained Under Secret Surveillance Law . . .




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By John Shiffman, Kristina Cooke and Mark Hosenball
Reuters
6-18-13


     WASHINGTON, June 18 (Reuters) - The FBI has used secret evidence obtained under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to prosecute at least 27 accused terrorists since 2007, according to a Reuters review of public records.

While the recent spotlight has been on the use of the FISA law by the U.S. National Security Agency for surveillance programs following disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the FBI also makes extensive use of the law for domestic counterterrorism.

The Reuters review highlights the extent to which the FBI has come to rely on FISA to investigate or thwart domestic attacks. It involved searching the national court docket using the database of Westlaw, which is owned by Thomson Reuters Corp, and includes only cases where prosecutors are required to file a notice under FISA. Other cases where FISA was used may be sealed. . . .

. . . When the FBI uses FISA, it seeks approval from judges at the secret U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) for phone, email and electronic surveillance and for searches of property, including "sneak-and-peak" search warrants in which agents covertly enter a business or home when the occupants are away, and try to leave no trail of their visit. . . .
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