It was just a matter of time before an enterprising defense lawyer would sink his teeth into the trove of private data the National Security Agency (NSA) has been secretly collecting on Americans.
Marshall Dore Louis, an attorney representing a Florida man accused of attempting to rob several banks, is calling B.S. on the prosecution’s claim that it can’t get hold of suspect Terrence Brown’s cellphone records because the company that provided the cell service had discarded them.
Louis argued Wednesday in a Ft. Lauderdale Federal court that the government must hand over its record of Brown’s phone metadata, since the information it contains could prove his innocence (since, apparently, the burden of proof is now falling on the defendant instead of the State) by placing him away from the crime scene.
“The president of the United States has recognized this program has been ongoing since 2006… to gather the phone numbers [and related information] of everybody including my client in 2010,” Louis argued, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
The presiding judge, U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenbaum, accepted the argument, but gave the State additional time to come up with a response.
Regardless of this case’s outcome, the precedent it sets could have immense nationwide significance.
“If the government is spying on our phone calls, it can’t then claim in the same breath that it won’t provide those calls when it helps the defense. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” said David Oscar Markus, an area defense attorney and legal blogger.