Seed World

Seed Theft Defendants Ask That FISA Evidence Be Supressed

Defendants in an Iowa seed theft case ask that evidence gathered under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) — a law created to combat terrorists and “agents of foreign power” — be thrown out of court.
ABC reports that “attorneys for Mo Hailong, 46, also known as Robert Mo, a Chinese national, claimed in the motion this was the first time the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act has been used to investigate a trade secret dispute between two privately owned companies.”
The defendants argue the surveillance exceeded the law and violated Hailong’s rights, and say the FISA evidence should be suppressed.
According to the Department of Justice, FISA was initially enacted in 1978 and sets out procedures for physical and electronic surveillance and collection of foreign intelligence information. Initially, FISA addressed only electronic surveillance but has been significantly amended to address the use of pen registers and trap and trace devices, physical searches and business records. It has been repeatedly amended since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The case against the two Chinese brothers, Mo Hailong and Mo Yun, began in 2011 when DuPont Pioneer was the victim of seed theft after a field manager in Iowa noticed a man on his knees in a field of a new corn variety not yet released publicly by the company.
For more information, visit