January 9, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - A classified Pentagon report concludes that leaks by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden have set back U.S. efforts against terrorism, cybercrime, human trafficking and weapons proliferation, leaders of the House Intelligence Committee say. A damage assessment by the Defense Intelligence Agency indicates most of the estimated 1.7 million classified documents that officials say Snowden copied from NSA computers involve...
January 8, 2014 |
Is Edward Snowden a whistle-blower or a traitor? Debate over the renegade computer technician who leaked thousands of secret National Security Agency documents is too often reduced to that deceptively simple choice. But it's the wrong way to pose the question, because Snowden is both of those things at the same time. Yes, he's a whistle-blower, and if that were all he had done, he would deserve our thanks for forcing a debate over the NSA's swollen powers. PHOTO ESSAY: What last year's biggest political blunders mean for 2014 But he's also a scoundrel who deserves prosecution and public condemnation.
January 5, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - University of California President Janet Napolitano, the former chief of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said Sunday that she opposed offering clemency to Edward Snowden, putting herself at odds with a movement that has gained strength in many parts of the state. "I think Snowden has exacted quite a bit of damage and did it in a way that violated the law," Napolitano said on NBC's “Meet the Press,” referring to the former National Security Agency contractor's disclosure of classified documents on intelligence surveillance operations at home and abroad.
December 28, 2013 |
The National Security Agency mass collection of telephone data does not violate the Constitution, a federal judge in New York has ruled, creating a conflict within the federal courts and increasing the likelihood that the Supreme Court eventually will have to resolve the program's fate. The decision Friday by U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley will bolster the position of the NSA and its allies just as President Obama is considering whether to impose new restrictions on the spy agency's activities.
December 22, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - After news reports that the National Security Agency had secretly monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone calls, America's top intelligence official was asked why congressional oversight committees were kept in the dark. Shouldn't Congress have been briefed, Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank) asked James R. Clapper, the director of national intelligence, about a spying operation that would embarrass the U.S. government if exposed? "Well, sir, there are many things we do in intelligence that, if revealed, would have the potential for all kinds of blowback," Clapper replied at a House Intelligence Committee hearing in October.
December 20, 2013 |
Two days after a judge ruled that the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' telephone records was probably unconstitutional, the Obama administration on Wednesday released a report in which a presidential task force called for an end to the program. The President's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies also suggested other significant reforms in the collection of data about Americans and foreigners. President Obama, who said he welcomed a debate over the activities exposed by Edward Snowden, should take the panel's advice.
December 20, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama gave the first indication of the potential outcome of an intense debate over restricting the nation's intelligence agencies, signaling Friday that he may change one of the most controversial spy practices of the secretive National Security Agency - the collection of the daily telephone records of millions of Americans. Senior intelligence officials and their allies on the congressional intelligence committees are pushing the president to reject key recommendations made by an advisory panel he appointed, including some that are of keen importance to privacy advocates and major technology companies, such as Google, Apple and Microsoft, whose executives met with Obama this week.
December 20, 2013 |
For 12 years, America's national security apparatus has grown like kudzu on steroids, but, finally, President Obama may soon start trimming it back to preserve at least a small space for personal privacy in the United States. A panel of five independent experts appointed by the president has come up with 46 recommendations that would set limits on the broad authority of the National Security Agency to engage in cyber spying. The panel is suggesting enhanced oversight and new checks on such things as the NSA's spy operations targeting foreign leaders and cyber attacks abroad.
December 20, 2013 |
At President Obama's end-of-the-year news conference Friday, he was given the opportunity to second-guess two bureaucracies that report to him: the intelligence community and the Department of Justice. He threw only the first one under the bus by implying strongly that he was open to ending the National Security Agency's bulk collection of telephone records. He did this in two ways. First, he said that the metadata program - in which the NSA hoovers up information about the source, destination and duration of phone calls - might not be the only way of “skinning the cat.” He suggested that, given public concerns about potential abuse of metadata, maybe it would be a good idea to follow a task force recommendation and have telephone companies store the information, with access by investigators on a more limited basis.
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.