September 9, 2009

HMM: NSA-Intercepted E-Mails Helped Convict Would-Be Bombers.

he three men convicted in the United Kingdom on Monday of a plot to bomb several transcontinental flights were prosecuted in part using crucial e-mail correspondences intercepted by the U.S. National Security Agency, according to Britain’s Channel 4. . . . It’s unclear if the NSA intercepted the messages as they passed through internet nodes based in the U.S. or intercepted them overseas. If the former, it’s possible the interception was part of the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance program — a surveillance program aimed at intercepting foreign correspondence as it passed through domestic internet switches. Such interception was previously illegal unless conducted with a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. After news stories revealed that the NSA was conducting such surveillance without a warrant, however, Congress legalized such collection activities last year in its passage of the FISA Amendments Act.

Via Orin Kerr, who doubts this story will get the attention it deserves.

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