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National Security Agency

WORLD
December 22, 2013 | By Ken Dilanian
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.
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NEWS
December 20, 2013 | By Michael McGough
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.
OPINION
December 20, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
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.
NATIONAL
December 20, 2013 | By David Horsey
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.
NATIONAL
December 20, 2013 | By Christi Parsons and Ken Dilanian
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.
NEWS
December 18, 2013 | By Ken Dilanian and Christi Parsons
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.
NATIONAL
December 18, 2013 | By Ken Dilanian and Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON - A presidential task force has urged President Obama to impose significant curbs on National Security Agency operations, including an end to bulk collection of domestic telephone records, reform of a secret surveillance court and limits to spying on close foreign allies. The independent five-member panel said its 46 recommendations were designed to add transparency and accountability at the NSA, which has vastly expanded its ability to secretly intercept Internet traffic and other communications since the Sept.
OPINION
December 18, 2013 | Doyle McManus
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 16, 2013 | By Randy Lewis
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.
NATIONAL
December 16, 2013 | By David G. Savage
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.
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