MIAMI – The Justice Department has shifted course on whether terrorism defendants deserve notice about evidence derived from formerly secret government surveillance programs.
Prosecutors in a Miami case involving two Pakistani-born brothers now acknowledge they must notify the defendants if evidence from National Security Agency phone and Internet surveillance programs were part of the case. In May, the government insisted no such notice was required.
The change follows leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealing the massive surveillance programs to the public. The programs were authorized by amendments to the Patriot Act in 2008.
Despite the shift, prosecutors say they don't plan to use any of this evidence to prosecute Raees Alam Qazi and Sheheryar Alam Qazi. Both have pleaded not guilty to terrorism-related charges involving an alleged New York bomb plot.