A federal judge says warrantless surveillance programs used to gather evidence against a Denver-area man accused of helping a terrorist group didn't violate his constitutional rights.

Senior U.S. District Judge John Kane acknowledged in a Thursday ruling that the National Security Agency's programs have the potential for abuse. But he said they were used appropriately in the case of Jamshid Muhtorov, who was accused in 2012 of providing material support to an Uzbek terrorist organization active in Afghanistan. The evidence against him consists largely of phone calls and Internet communications.

The Muhtorov case touches on concerns raised by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden about the government's expanding spying practices. It was the first time the Justice Department said it would use information from a warrantless program against someone suspected of terrorism.