Friday, January 05, 2007, 1/05/2007 07:41:00 AM

FISA Wiretaps and Corporate Espionage

From The National Law Journal via, a story about a recent case from the 7th Circuit, U.S. v. Wen, No. 06-1385 (7th Cir. Dec. 14, 2006), which permits prosecutors to use evidence gathered under a FISA warrant in contexts outside of spy cases. Judge Easterbrook wrote the opinion in which the court held that "[u]nless there is a constitutional problem in domestic use of evidence seized as part of an international investigation, there is no basis for suppression."

The article posits that FISA evidence could play a role in other federal law enforcement efforts such as corporate espionage prosecutions. Wen, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was arrested in 2005 in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, for sending $500,000 worth of computer parts to China which the government claimed could be used to improve missile systems. The government also alleged that the computer chips sent out of the United States to China without permission could be used for military radar and missiles.

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