January 20, 2014 |
For all the attention generated by the controversy over Edward Snowden's disclosures of U.S. spying operations, much of the public has paid little attention to the details of the policy debate over government surveillance, polls have shown. The latest evidence comes from a new Pew Research Center poll showing that half the public said they had heard nothing at all about President Obama's speech Friday outlining new restrictions on the National Security Agency. Only 8% of those surveyed said they had "heard a lot" about Obama's plans.
January 17, 2014 |
President Obama will modify the way the government uses a vast database of American phone records so that officials must have judicial permission before examining the data, a senior administration official said. In a speech Friday morning, Obama will also order an eventual end to the way the government holds the records, the official said. The database shows which phone numbers are called from which others and when. Obama will direct the Justice Department to figure out how to maintain the database without having the government directly control the data.
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.
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.
October 30, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting Internet data -- almost certainly including American email traffic -- as it transits to Google and Yahoo servers abroad, according to the latest disclosure from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden . The documents, reported by the Washington Post , describe a project code-named MUSCULAR, a cooperative effort with the agency's British counterpart, GCHQ. Even though NSA has been obtaining data directly from Google and Yahoo with court orders through the previously disclosed PRISM program , the new documents show it also has been taking data without permission abroad, outside the oversight of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
October 30, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The expanding transatlantic scandal over U.S. eavesdropping on Europe's leaders and spying on its citizens has begun to strain intelligence relationships and diplomatic ties between allies that call each other best friends, according to diplomats and foreign policy experts. The cascade of embarrassing disclosures is not expected to upend one of President Obama's goals, a proposed transatlantic free-trade agreement that could generate billions of dollars a year, or halt cooperation on top security issues, such as efforts to curb Iran's nuclear program and contain the Syrian civil war. But the documents leaked by former National Security Agency computer specialist Edward Snowden, which on Wednesday exposed a joint U.S.-British spying operation on the Internet, have caused friction in multiple capitals and put the Obama administration on the defensive at home and abroad.