Even more troubling: '"Parallel construction is a law enforcement technique we use every day," one official said. "It's decades old, a bedrock concept."... Some defense lawyers and former prosecutors said that using "parallel construction" may be legal to establish probable cause for an arrest. But they said employing the practice as a means of disguising how an investigation began may violate pretrial discovery rules by burying evidence that could prove useful to criminal defendants.'
So it's been accepted practice for decades, with or without the NSA, and yet only drug defense lawyers have ever heard of it. A lot of questions reporters could ask: can defense attorneys get the whole meta-data drop for the phone numbers involved? Can civil case parties get any of this stuff?
The defense data dump would seem to be especially on point, since it would allow the defendant to point fingers in other directions.
Choice parts at the end of the article: 'If cases did go to trial, current and former agents said, charges were sometimes dropped to avoid the risk of exposing SOD involvement... Current and former federal agents said SOD tips aren't always helpful - one estimated their accuracy at 60 percent.... "It was an amazing tool," said one recently retired federal agent. "Our big fear was that it wouldn't stay secret."' That last comment is the absolutely most corrupt.