Free Ali Al-Timimi

September 1, 2008

I Spy

Filed under: I Spy — sandboxarea @ 1:38 am


I spy therefore I am

I spy therefore I am



It’s an old philosophers’ debate: “If I spy on you… and you don’t know about it… did I real spy?”. Well that’s the updated version about the fallen tree in the forest. It’s OK if I rewrite history, it happens all the time.

“What you don’t know can’t hurt” is the government’s position in Ali’s case… at least one of the many representations the government’s made. I’ll do my best to explain them in future posts.

In this post, I wanted to explain the essence of the spying issue. Unlike what’s suggested in the press, the issue of spying on Ali is not about a mere technicality. It’s not about forgetting that hyphen in his name. The real issue is about the government hiding information that would exonerate Ali, covering that up, and then lying to the court, defense, and jury. It seams that when the defense refers to the government lying to the court it uses the term “committing a fraud upon the court”:



The other important point to remember is that the Appeals Court remanded the case to investigate undisclosed intercepts irrespective of the group within the government that conducted the monitoring. 


So now that we know what’s at stake, let’s list the publicly know monitoring programs used against American persons (which include citizens, residents, and perhaps travelers within the US) :

  1. FBI by permission of a FISA warrant 
  2. FBI or state police by permission of a Title III criminal warrant 
  3. FBI link analysis data collection program 
  4. FBI telephone call records program
  5. FBI or Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) through Patriot Act provisions
  6. FBI or Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) through National Security Letters
  7. Various municipal intelligence programs such as the New York City program
  8. NSA by permission of a FISA warrant
  9. NSA communications monitoring program(s)
  10. NSA link analysis data collection program
  11. NSA telephone call records program
  12. Various Defense Department intelligence programs 


In future posts, we’ll look at these programs, the technologies that they employ, and how they relate to Ali’s case.


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