Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Brief Note on Possible Abuses of NSA Information

When I posted some comments on the NSA in July, I was worried about potential abuses of NSA information in the future. I was unaware of any current abuses. On August 7, though, Reuters published an article that reports on possible misuse of NSA information by the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) and the IRS.  Apparently, there was an IRS manual that was used to train law enforcement agents “to ‘recreate’ the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated [the NSA], a practice that some experts say violates a defendant's Constitutional right to a fair trial.”  According to the article, the origin of the initial information was concealed “not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges.”

Probably any law enforcement agents engaged in this practice justified it to themselves because it helped in their fight against bad guys. But it is not the way law enforcement is supposed to work.

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