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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

NSA surveillance disclosure could affect court cases

By Matt Pearce


Law and Order from Bigstock





Could potentially create seismic rifts in the nation's legal system


JewishWorldReview.com |

POS ANGELES — (MCT) When federal officials recently confirmed the existence of a massive National Security Agency program that has been collecting Americans' phone data for years, they argued it was needed to fight terrorism.

But that acknowledgment has opened potentially seismic rifts in the nation's legal system, allowing defendants to argue that the government is holding a massive trove of evidence that is necessary to their cases — the same kind of evidence that, when it's collected by police, is commonly turned over to defendants.

As a result, one south Florida case has become a surprise center of focus in the debate over secret government surveillance. It may prompt a mid-trial showdown with the federal government that would be closely watched by privacy advocates and national security officials alike.

"This falls into the category of 'you have to be careful of what you ask for,'" Jonathan Turley, professor at George Washington University Law School, said of the NSA's phone-monitoring program. "The government asked for complete storage of data for all citizens, and they got it. Now they're in possession of a unique resource of information."

Since the end of May, Terrance Brown has been on trial on suspicion of masterminding a Brinks armored-truck robbery in south Florida that left a man dead in October 2010.

About a week into the trial, the Guardian newspaper published a top-secret order showing the U.S. government forced wireless provider Verizon to hand over phone records and metadata on millions of customers daily. Official acknowledgment of a broader program shortly followed.

The disclosure riled privacy advocates, who pointed out that such records can typically show where someone has been and with whom they've spoken. Brown's attorney had a different perspective.

Phone data have long been used in court to show what defendants were doing — and where they were — at the time of a crime. In Brown's case, the FBI used phone data to compile maps that show that least one of Brown's codefendants had apparently made calls in the same multi-block area where a series of robberies related to the case were committed.

Investigators weren't able to find all the relevant data for Brown's phones, because his carrier apparently didn't keep records covering the entire span of the crimes.

On Sunday, after federal officials acknowledged the NSA trove, Brown's attorney, Marshall Dore Louis, filed a mid-trial motion asking the NSA to turn over Brown's phone records.

"The records are material and favorable to Mr. Brown's defense," Louis wrote, adding that the request was "not intended as a general fishing expedition."
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On Monday, U.S. District Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum asked the Justice Department to file a response by Wednesday so that she could decide on Brown's request. (Her deadline was later extended to next Wednesday.)

Rosenbaum added that she would review the legality of any NSA data gathered on Brown as part of the surveillance dragnet affecting the nation's phone users.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in southern Florida said prosecutors planned to file a response by the judge's deadline but declined to say whether it would oppose Brown's motion. A Justice Department spokesman said the request for NSA data appeared to be the only one of its kind — at least for now.

"I think that the government is going to be very aggressive in snuffing out this request," said Turley, noting that a successful bid for the NSA's records would open the floodgates for other defendants seeking otherwise unavailable phone records for their cases, or civilians filing open-records requests for their phone data. "The acknowledgment of the program has been a true game-changer for litigation."

That view was echoed by David Oscar Marcus, a Florida federal defense attorney closely watching the Brown case, who supports the motion to compel the NSA to turn over evidence.

"The government shouldn't be able to use secret surveillance as a sword to investigate and as a shield to keep helpful evidence from the defense," Marcus said.

Turley said he didn't think Brown's request would ultimately be successful, but noted that the claim would likely force the government to come up with new arguments against the release of NSA data.

"I think what you're going to see, legally, is the Justice Department is going to be desperately trying to get this cat to walk backward," Turley said.

Jameel Jaffer, the ACLU's deputy legal director, said the government would have to pay the price for its admission.

"That's one consequence of building these kinds of databases, is that people are going to want to know what's in them for all kinds of reasons," Jaffer added. "Sometimes they'll have a constitutional right to know what's in them."

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© 2013, Los Angeles Times. Distributed by MCT Information Services