Saturday, October 15, 2016

Judge: Huge Southern Calif. wiretap program was legal

Arizona Central reports:
A Riverside County judge Friday upheld the legality of a massive wiretapping operation that secretly intercepted phone calls and text messages by tens of thousands of people to make arrests throughout the United States.

Superior Court Judge John Molloy ruled that the district attorney was allowed to delegate the responsibility of approving wiretap applications to his second-in-command. Defense attorneys, who had sought to persuade the judge that federal law required the district attorney to authorize the applications himself, said they would appeal.

Paul Zellerbach, the former Riverside County district attorney who presided over the nation’s largest wiretapping operation, was among those who testified during Friday’s five-hour hearing.

He said he “could not remember” if he ever signed off on the eavesdropping himself, despite a federal law that appears to require it. Instead, the former top prosecutor said he allowed his second-in-command to approve wiretap applications when he was “unavailable or absent,” including when he was in the bathroom.
Big Brother.