December 18, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- A presidential task force has urged the White House to adopt significant new curbs on the National Security Agency, including that the spy agency stop bulk collection of domestic telephone records and that the U.S. consider “no spying agreements” with close allies overseas. The five-member panel said their 46 recommendations were designed to add transparency, accountability and oversight over the NSA, a secretive electronic spying agency that has operated in the shadows even as its ability to intercept Internet traffic and eavesdrop on other communications has burgeoned in recent years.
December 18, 2013 |
Edward Snowden should be proud. Until this week, the National Security Agency could argue that its massive effort to collect every American's telephone records had been approved, at least tacitly, by all three branches of government. The president was on board; the people running the program were his appointees. The House and Senate intelligence committees knew what was going on and chose not to stop it. And the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which reviews NSA activities in secret, hadn't objected.
December 16, 2013 |
The Beatles and the National Security Agency? There may be stranger bedfellows, but it's difficult at the moment to come up with a good example. Nevertheless, Federal District Court Judge Richard J. Leon turned to the Fab Four in the course of his ruling in Klayman vs. Obama , a suit brought by a consortium of citizens led by conservative public-interest lawyer Larry Klayman. Leon ruled that the NSA's collection of information on U.S. citizens through their cellphone providers “surely” infringes on the rights of privacy established under the 4th Amendment and is, therefore, unconstitutional.
December 16, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - A federal judge has for the first time ruled that the National Security Agency's once-secret policy of collecting the dialing records of all phone calls in the country probably violates the Constitution, a defeat for the government that could alter the political debate over the controversial program and set up an eventual review by the Supreme Court. Monday's ruling will not immediately stop the NSA's massive data collection program because U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon immediately stayed it to give the government time to appeal.
December 13, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- A presidential task force presented its recommendations to the White House on Friday on how to restore public confidence in domestic surveillance by the National Security Agency, which has been buffeted by leaks by former contractor Edward Snowden. The independent panel submitted more than 40 recommendations for changes, said Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council. She declined to provide any details, but a senior U.S. intelligence official said he did not believe the changes would fundamentally alter how the spy agency conducts operations.
November 24, 2013 |
Remember Edward Snowden? For a while, the National Security Agency's renegade contractor seemed like the most influential man in American intelligence, even though he's been hiding out in Moscow. Snowden's disclosures touched off a wave of enthusiasm in Congress for reforming the NSA's surveillance practices - and anger overseas when he revealed that American spies were listening to foreign leaders' cellphone calls. But now, as Congress counts only a few working days remaining in its year, the momentum toward intelligence reform has slowed.
November 23, 2013 |
The Web can feel like an endless onslaught of information. There's never enough time to take it all in. Great stories slip by unread in the constant stream of updates, alerts and notifications. After a long week of info-overload, take a moment to unwind and relax with some of the week's best reads, long-form journalism and investigative reports from newspapers, magazines, websites and blogs -- including a few stories of our own. A three-part Reuters investigation looks into Setad , a powerful organization controlled by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
November 21, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- A House bill to authorize spending on intelligence contains a provision designed to help stem further leaks of classified information by Americans with security clearances. The provision, by Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), would require the director of national intelligence to undertake, “on an urgent basis, a study to determine whether our insider threat and security clearance processes are sufficient to detect both those looking to engage in traditional espionage and those seeking to make sensitive information public,” said Meg Fraser, his spokeswoman.
November 19, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The National Security Agency acknowledged that it repeatedly violated its own privacy guidelines in a now-defunct program to collect "to and from" data in American email, according to newly released documents that paint a picture of incompetence but offer no evidence that the agency intentionally misused its surveillance powers. A judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, John D. Bates, said in an opinion whose date was redacted that there had been "systemic over collection" in the email program and that "those responsible for conducting oversight at the NSA had failed to do so effectively.
November 12, 2013 |
PEN American Center's report “Chilling Effects,” officially released Tuesday morning, offers some disturbing data about the effect of government surveillance on free expression and self-censorship in the literary world. Of more than 520 American writers surveyed, 16% have avoided writing or speaking on what they consider controversial topics, and 11% “have considered doing so.” The percentages are even higher when it comes to phone or email conversations and social media, which is increasingly part of the writers' toolbox.