Cyber Roundup: Terrorism Defendants Challenge the U.S. Gov and Hackers File Suit Against German Gov; Update on Lavabit’s Challenge to Civil Contempt Order

  • In October of last year, Lavabit challenged a civil contempt order issued after the service refused to hand over its encryption key that would have allowed the government to conduct surveillance on Edward Snowden.  According to the Washington Post, at the beginning of this month, the Fourth Circuit heard oral arguments on the issues.  Orin Kerr offers a link to the audio as well as insightful commentary on the arguments presented.  You can find both here.  Here, too, is a link to one of the briefs filed by the government.
  • According to Phys.Org, a group of hackers and human rights activists have filed suit against the German government for allegedly illegally aiding foreign spies, namely the National Security Agency (NSA) and GCHQ of Great Britain.  The plaintiffs claim the failures under Chancellor Angela Merkel allowed for surveillance to be conducted on German citizens beyond the scope of what is permitted by domestic law.
  • A reporter seeking (through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request) information on the cost to the federal government to build Guantanamo Bay’s prison facility is facing resistance from the Obama Administration, according to reports by the Miami Herald.  The sole document that is reportedly responsive to the request has been cited as exempt from disclosure because it “contained details of internal deliberations and the names of many officials who were entitled to privacy.”
  • Toward the end of last month, U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Coleman ruled that the defense would be permitted to see secret documents detailing the government’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) request to conduct clandestine surveillance of the 20-year-old defendant and accused attempted terrorist, Adel Daoud, according to the Washington Post.  Daoud is a United States citizen from Chicago who has denied allegations that he took a “phony car bomb from an undercover FBI agent . . . parked it by a downtown Chicago bar and pressed a trigger,” the report continues.
  •  Wired recently reported that Uzbekistan native and suspected terrorist Jamshid Muhtorov filed a challenge to the constitutionality of the NSA surveillance program, pursuant to which he was targeted.  Wired’s article states the challenge will “likely [] be litigated all the way to the Supreme Court.”
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2 Responses to “Cyber Roundup: Terrorism Defendants Challenge the U.S. Gov and Hackers File Suit Against German Gov; Update on Lavabit’s Challenge to Civil Contempt Order”

  1. […] well as against the directors of the country’s three intelligence agencies. As Tara already blogged on Monday, the hackers and human rights activists blamed the Merkel administration to have […]

  2. […] Circuit is considering an appeal filed by prosecutors challenging Judge Sharon Coleman’s ruling that the defense team for Adel Daoud will be permitted to review the Foreign Intelligence Surveillan…, Politico reports.  “However, on Wednesday, the Seventh Circuit issued a one-page order […]

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Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a third year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic. Full biography

Shelby E. Mann

Ryan D. WhiteShelby is a second year law student at the Syracuse University College of Law. She is the 2018-9 Editor in Chief of the Syracuse Law Review, as well as a member of the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. During her final year at the University of Missouri, she served as a full-time news producer for ABC 17 News. Shelby spent her first summer of law school at the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office in Memphis, Tenn., in the Public Corruption and Economic Crimes Unit. Full biography

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a 2017 graduate of SU College of Law. A non-traditional student, Christopher returned to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering. Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

Anna Maria Castillois 2016 graduate of Syracuse College of Law. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has interned at a London-based think-tank that specializes in transnational terrorism and global security and at the legal department of a defense contractor. She served as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse College of Law and is a prosecutor. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She was a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

Tara J. PistoreseTara J. Pistorese

holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and its College of Law. She wrote for this blog when a student. She is now a member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

Benjamin Zaiser

is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography


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