warrantless wiretapping

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NSA Has 'Backdoor' to Search US Emails

Senator Ron Wyden confirms latest Snowden leak

(Newser) - The NSA has a secret legal "backdoor" allowing it to search for emails and other information related to specific Americans without a warrant, the Guardian reports. It's the latest leak from Edward Snowden, and this time it comes with confirmation from Senate Intelligence Committee member and perpetual NSA... More »

Forget Prism: NSA Is Tapped Straight Into the Internet Pipeline

Prism is just part of a much broader spying program, says the AP

(Newser) - The existence of Prism has shocked many Americans, but perhaps it shouldn't have, because the program is a direct result of two things we already knew about, the AP says in an extensive new report. Firstly, the NSA is tapped straight into the fiber optic cables that carry a... More »

Obama's Pick for FBI Defied Bush Over Wiretaps

President set to name former Bush official James Comey to lead agency

(Newser) - President Obama is preparing to nominate former Bush administration official James Comey to head the FBI. Three people with knowledge of the selection said Obama planned to nominate Comey, who was the No. 2 in George W. Bush's Justice Department. Comey became a hero to Democratic opponents of Bush'... More »

Court Seals It: We Live in a 'Surveillance State'

Glenn Greenwald: Justices protect Obama's 'Kafkaesque' warrantless wiretapping

(Newser) - The Supreme Court yesterday gave the green light to the Justice Department to continue eavesdropping on Americans without need of a warrant. In so doing, the court's five conservative justices agreed with the "Kafkaesque reasoning" of the Obama administration, which was borrowed and expanded upon from the Bush... More »

Lame-Duck Congress Back as Fiscal Cliff Looms

Postal Service, Sandy relief may also be on agenda

(Newser) - Congress is back in Washington today, bracing for battle over how to avoid the fiscal cliff. Legislators have seven weeks to hit on a deal, with tax cut extensions taking center stage, notes Reuters . But analysts warn that "the longer it takes the president and Congress to negotiate a... More »

Watchdog: Feds Illegally Spied on Americans

Electronic Frontier Foundation sues for documents to prove it

(Newser) - A watchdog agency is suing for the release of documents it says show the feds violated their own 2008 wiretapping law. The suit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation is based on statements made by Democratic Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, reports Wired . Wyden didn't say exactly how the government violated... More »

Americans Willing to Give Up Some Freedoms for Security

Public fine with surveillance cameras, not fine with email snooping

(Newser) - Americans are willing to give up some privacy and freedoms for security—but not others. A new AP poll has charted just which freedoms Americans are partial to. For example:
  • 71% are OK with surveillance cameras in public places
  • 58% are fine with full-body scans and pat-downs at the airport
... More »

Feds May Have to Pay Terror Group for Rights Violations

Wiretap ruling leaves Holder facing dilemma

(Newser) - Eric Holder's Justice Department would probably like to accept last month's ruling that warrantless wiretapping under the Bush administration was illegal. There's a big catch, however, reports Newsweek : doing so would mean the department may have to pay damages to the Islamic charity that was wiretapped, which has been declared... More »

US Illegally Wiretapped Islamic Charity: Judge

Case finds Bush taps unconstitutional

(Newser) - A federal judge ruled today that government investigators illegally wiretapped the phone conversations of an Islamic charity and two American lawyers without a search warrant. US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker said the plaintiffs have provided enough evidence to show "they were subjected to warrantless electronic surveillance." The... More »

Obama Raises Bar on What Passes for State Secrets

AG must personally approve all requests to keep programs veiled

(Newser) - The Obama administration will announce much more stringent rules on state secrets today, two Justice Department officials tell the Washington Post, in what amounts to a major shift from Bush-era practice. To keep a program secret, an organization—including intelligence agencies and the military—will have to convince the attorney... More »

Yoo Fights Back on Torture

(Newser) - The embattled Bush administration lawyer who drafted memos justifying waterboarding and warrantless wiretaps is fighting back as his role comes under greater scrutiny, the Washington Post reports. John Yoo, now a University of California law professor, has been giving speeches around the country defending the tactics and his view that... More »

Yoo: Wiretaps Were Legal and Necessary

President had right to violate 'obsolete' FISA, Bush lawyer writes

(Newser) - Last week the inspectors general of the Justice Department, CIA, and other agencies suggested the Bush administration violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, singling out lawyer John Yoo for memos justifying warrantless wiretapping. Yoo defends himself today in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, writing that FISA was "an obsolete... More »

Wiretap Program Had 'Limited' Value: Fed Report

(Newser) - The Bush administration's warrantless wiretap program wasn't such a great anti-terror tool after all, says a new federal report. The wiretaps—on the international communication of Americans—"generally played a limited role" in counterterrorism efforts, despite the assertions of President Bush, Dick Cheney, and other top officials that they... More »

Wiretapping Memos Drafted in 'Inappropriate' Secrecy: Report

Only 3 Justice officials knew of program

(Newser) - The legal justification for the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program was handled with unprecedented secrecy that sidestepped usual Justice Department procedure, the Washington Post reports. Only three Justice officials—John Ashcroft, John Yoo, and staff attorney James Baker—were made aware of the program and participated in drafting memos... More »

US Judge Boots Warrantless Wiretap Cases Vs. Telecoms

(Newser) - A federal judge has tossed out more than three dozen lawsuits filed against the nation's telecommunications companies for allegedly taking part in the government's email and telephone eavesdropping program that was done without court approval. The dismissals were widely expected after Congress in July agreed on new surveillance rules that... More »

Wiretap Catches Rep Making Deal for Pro-Israel Lobby Group

Bushies helped kill probe of Dem Harman

(Newser) - A wiretap by the National Security Agency caught California Rep. Jane Harman promising a suspected Israeli agent she’d intervene on behalf of two pro-Israeli lobbyists facing espionage charges, sources tell CQ Politics. In exchange, the agent promised to pressure then-minority leader Nancy Pelosi into making Harman chair of the... More »

NSA Violated Domestic Wiretap Limits

Agency overcollected Americans' emails, phonecalls: officials

(Newser) - The NSA has been listening in on the domestic communications of American citizens well in excess of the limits placed on it by Congress last year, say intelligence officials. The Justice Department has confirmed to the New York Times that it detected "issues" in recent months but said it ... More »

Critics Blast Obama's 'State Secrets' Court Fight

White House seeks to kill lawsuit by Islamic charity over FBI wiretaps

(Newser) - Civil liberties activists are accusing President Obama of going back on his word and behaving like George Bush when it comes to protecting administration secrets, reports the Washington Post. The harsh criticism comes in the wake of a lawsuit brought by an Oregon Islamic charity seeking damages for the alleged... More »

Americans Want Torture Investigation: Poll

(Newser) - Two-thirds of Americans want an investigation into alleged Bush administration misdeeds, including torture and warrantless wiretapping, a USA Today/Gallup poll shows. Forty percent of respondents would like to see criminal probes; one-quarter would prefer investigations without the possibility of criminal charges. And even more—70% of those surveyed—said the... More »

Obama Could Expose Secrets of the Bush Years

On torture, wiretapping, and more, Bush legacy rests with successor

(Newser) - Good government groups spent years suing and lobbying to expose the Bush administration’s secrets. Will President Obama spill the beans on his predecessor? Politico outlines major secrets Obama can choose to air or keep:
  • US attorney firings: Claiming executive privilege, Karl Rove refused to testify. But Rove has been
... More »

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