I am a law professor but not a lawyer, and so would like opinions from those who know more than I do about current American law as to the legal consequences of the facts coming out of Snowdon's revelations. For instance ... .
It appears that U.S. firms deliberately put back doors into the encryption provided by their programs in order to let the NSA access material. If such firms advertised their encryption as secure, are they at risk of suits for damages, possibly class actions on behalf of all customers who bought software whose characteristics had been deliberately misrepresented?
It appears that the DEA has been using information provided by a massive search of phone company records while deliberately misrepresenting at trial the source of their information. If it is arguable that the information was obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment, does it follow that the prosecution in all such cases failed its legal obligation to provide the defense with relevant facts—in this case about how evidence used in the trial was obtained, information that the defense could have used to argue that such evidence should be excluded? I assume that issue does not arise if it is clear that the DEA was entitled to the information it got, but does arise even if it is not clear that it wasn't. If it arises, do we end up with a situation similar to what happened in Massachusetts when it was discovered that a large number of drug test results used at trial were fraudulent, hence that a large number of convictions were tainted?
Whether or not the DEA was violating the rights of people whose records were searched, were its agents engaged in multiple acts of perjury and its higher ups in large scale suborning of perjury by deliberately misrepresenting to courts the source of evidence introduced at trial? The usual oath is to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, which it seems obvious they were not doing. Is it sufficient that they did not make any direct statements that were false, supposing that to be the case?
Is there some way of bringing before the court system the question of whether mass wiretapping by the NSA was or was not constitutional, now that the legal basis for it has been made public? Could someone sue to enjoin them from continuing their activities or to require them to destroy data collected (arguably) illegally? Who would have standing—anyone whose phone data might have been collected? If such a suit succeeded, are there any legal consequences for past activities, civil or criminal?
One obvious problem in this situation is that criminal prosecution is controlled by the state. The Director of National Intelligence has confessed to committing perjury, although not in those words, but there appears to be zero chance that he will be indicted for it. Could federal officials be charged at the state level with violations of state wiretapping laws, supposing there are any? Sued in a civil case?
As should be obvious, I have no clear idea what legal recourse there is if, as seems entirely possible, various parts of the government have been doing things they had no legal right to do. But perhaps someone else does.