F.B.I. Accused of Corrupting Computer Surveillance

Johannes Schneider Johannes.Schneider at gmx.net
Wed Aug 20 02:43:58 MDT 2003

>From the New York Times:

F.B.I. Accused of Corrupting Computer Surveillance

A defense lawyer in a New York terrorism prosecution has accused the
government of mishandling the computerized surveillance records of thousands
of phone calls, faxes and computer data collected in the case, a secret
filing shows.

The lawyer, Michael E. Tigar, has asked for a hearing on whether such
evidence should be declared inadmissible. He contends that the Federal
Bureau of Investigation used computer techniques that altered or corrupted
the surveillance files. Mr. Tigar also cites a government acknowledgment
that it cannot retrieve audio files of about 480 intercepted calls, saying
that raises "questions about the entire system of record-keeping of all
files, not just audio files of voice conversations."

The allegations were made in a court filing by Mr. Tigar, the lawyer who
represents Lynne F. Stewart, the prominent attorney who faced charges of
supporting terrorism before a federal judge dismissed them against her and
two co-defendants last month. Ms. Stewart and her co-defendants still face
trial on other charges in the long-running legal battle, in which the
government has said that it intercepted more than 85,000 calls since the


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