February 15, 2014
Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. recently talked with Washington Bureau Justice Department reporter Timothy M. Phelps about various aspects of his last five years in office. Second Term Agenda : What I have tried to do in this second term, after a conversation with, a memo that I shared with the president, is to really kind of put some attention on the areas that are of great interest to me and of great interest to him as well. Criminal justice reform, reformation of the voting rights act, works on financial fraud cases, I mean these are the kind of things that I've been interested in for a good amount of time but we have focused on as part of the second term agenda.
February 7, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Although U.S. intelligence officials have indicated since last summer that the National Security Agency was vacuuming up nearly every American telephone record for counter-terrorism investigations, officials acknowledged Friday that the spy agency collects data from less than a third of U.S. calls because it can't keep pace with cellphone usage. In a speech last month, President Obama called the bulk collection of telephone records the most controversial part of the debate over security and privacy sparked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's leaks of classified material.
January 31, 2014 |
Granting Edward Snowden clemency, as many have urged, would send a terrible message to other potential whistle-blowers. Yes, he may have sparked an important national privacy debate, but he did so through reprehensible actions that harmed national security. If that's a harsh verdict, I have earned the right to it. In terms of sheer media hype, I was the Snowden of my day, a disaffected ex-spy who, in the late 1970s and early '80s, rocked the security community by publishing a memoir about intelligence failures I'd witnessed as a CIA officer during the last years of the Vietnam War. I did so only after the agency backhanded my repeated requests for an in-house review of our mistakes and refused to help me or anyone else rescue Vietnamese allies abandoned during the evacuation of Saigon.
January 27, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - After legal action and months of lobbying, Internet and telecommunications companies won permission from the Obama administration Monday to disclose broad details about the data requests they have been secretly complying with under national security orders. The companies and civil liberties groups praised the new rules, but they still will not allow the companies to reveal exactly what information is collected or even precisely how much is turned over. In a letter to lawyers for Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft and Yahoo, Deputy Atty.
January 23, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - In the week since President Obama called for ending the National Security Agency's bulk collection of U.S. telephone data "as it currently exists," telephone carriers have uploaded customer calling records to NSA computers just as they have since the program was created after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The daily transfer of Americans' telephone toll records to a government database is likely to continue at least for the next 18 months despite the president's speech last Friday and a growing debate over the legality and effectiveness of the once-secret operation.
January 18, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Dianne Feinstein got out of her chair, grabbed a 54-page federal court opinion and poked her finger at the bullet points buried inside, insisting a visitor read each carefully as the busy senator watched and waited. The opinion described terrorist bombing plots - aimed at New York's subways and stock exchange and at a newspaper office in Denmark - that, according to the judge, had been foiled by the government's collection of data on billions of American phone calls.