Jamshid Muhtorov is fighting a terrorism charge by saying that the evidence used against him was obtained by the National Security Agency (NSA) warrantless surveillance program.
The defense asserts that any information obtained through the NSA spy programs are a violation of Muhtorov’s 4th and 5th Amendment rights.
Muhtorov now has legal standing against the federal government because they revealed their use of NSA data in the creation of their terroristic charges.
Muhtorov, a legal US resident since 2007, was arrested 2 years ago in Chicago. In his possession was $2,800 in cash, two shrink-wrapped iPhones, an iPad and “a GPS device”.
Charges claimed that Muhtorov was planning on returning to his native Uzbekistan to visit family. Muhtorov denies these allegations.
It is also claimed by the prosecution that Muhtorov was intending on providing materials to the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), a group designated as a terrorist organization.
In court, Muhtorov filed a motion that requests prosecutors disclose more details about the logistics of the surveillance law used against him.
This motion from the defense comes on the heels of the Department of Justice (DoJ) asserting that they intended to use evidence taken from NSA surveillance against Muhtorov.
The motion reads in part: “Mr. Muhtorov believes that the government’s surveillance of him was unlawful for the simple fact that it was carried out . . . under a statute that fails to comply with the Fourth Amendment’s most basic requirements.”
The evidence in question includes emails and phone calls recorded in 2011. According to the prosecution, one email address was linked to the IJU.
The defense is asking for details on which emails and phone calls were intercepted without a warrant.
Earlier this month, the New America Foundation (NAF) released a report stating that the “50 threats that have been averted because of” the efforts of the NSA is actually “overblown, and even misleading.”
Clear points made in the report are:
• Metadata rarely proved to be useful in finding terrorists
• Collections of metadata were deemed “not very useful”
• Specifics concerning counterterrorism arrests are sketchy
• US government has lost its credibility
• Reform is necessary
The report entitled , “Do NSA’s Bulk Surveillance Programs Stop Terrorists?” reads: “Surveillance of American phone metadata has had no discernible impact on preventing acts of terrorism and only the most marginal of impacts on preventing terrorist-related activity, such as fundraising for a terrorist group.”
Interestingly, 1.8% of investigations used data from NSA mass surveillance programs to thwart terroristic activity.
Not surprising was the determination that 28% of cases reviewed were unclear as to the use of information from metadata as evidence.
According to the report “information played a role in the investigation” where data from the NSA proved to be non-productive.