domestic wiretapping

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Feds: Sprint Overcharged Us for Wiretaps

Firm accused of bilking agencies for $21M upgrade

(Newser) - Telecommunications companies that assist government wiretappers are allowed to claim back "reasonable expenses"—but the federal government says Sprint Communications padded its bill to the tune of $21 million. In a lawsuit filed yesterday, the government accuses the firm of having "knowingly submitted false claims " to... More »

FBI Pushes for Easier Online Snooping

White House expected to back surveillance expansion

(Newser) - In a shift expected to spark a major debate on Internet freedom, the White House is leaning toward granting the FBI's wish to make it easier to eavesdrop on online communications, insiders tell the New York Times . The FBI, which argues that advances in technology are causing its ability... More »

Sarandon: Gov't Tapped My Phone

Actress says she's been 'under surveillance'

(Newser) - Susan Sarandon says she's had her phone tapped by the government, she revealed at a Tribeca Film Festival forum with Michael Moore yesterday. "We know we were under surveillance," Sarandon said during the audience Q&A. "I’ve had my phone tapped," she added, claiming... More »

Feds Push for Stronger Law on Wiretapping

Government can't keep up with phone companies' upgrades

(Newser) - Law enforcement and counterterrorism officials are pressing to change a 1994 wiretapping law to force wireless carriers to make their phones easier to wiretap. Telecom companies have been upgrading their services faster than the government can keep up, the New York Times explains. Now an Obama administration task force is... More »

Feds Want to Make It Easier to Eavesdrop Online

Bill seeks to expand government's wiretapping power

(Newser) - The feds want to overhaul wiretapping regulations to expand their ability to eavesdrop online, reports the New York Times . The Obama administration plans to submit a bill to Congress next year that would require all service providers to be technically capable of wiretapping the communications they enable, from encrypted BlackBerry... More »

Harman: Release Wiretap Transcripts

Calif. rep decries 'outrageous' 'abuse of power'

(Newser) - California Rep. Jane Harman demanded today that Justice Department release “unredacted” transcripts of telephone conversations recorded without her knowledge, Politico reports. Harman demanded the wiretapped conversations be released in response to media reports that she was recorded agreeing to try to help two pro-Israel lobbyists accused of spying in... More »

Senate Will Probe NSA in Wiretapping 'Overcollection'

(Newser) - The Senate Intelligence Committee is planning an inquiry into the National Security Agency after reports the spy group has been engaged in “overcollection” of information domestically, the New York Times reports. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the chair of the committee, said a hearing would be held within the month. The... 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 »

Investigate Bush: Conyers

Congress must review his abuses to prevent a repeat

(Newser) - As the country moves forward, we can’t afford to repeat the mistakes of the past: it’s time to review the abuses of the Bush administration, writes Michigan congressman John Conyers, Jr. in the Washington Post. Congress must keep pushing for “stonewalled” Bush documents; it should create an... More »

Wiretap Whistleblower Reflects on Fateful Leak

Fmr. Justice official wrestles with effects of NYT call

(Newser) - The government lawyer who blew the whistle on the Bush administration’s domestic wiretapping program has wrestled with the consequences of his decision, but he felt obligated to tell the truth, Newsweek reports. “I thought this (secret program) was something the other branches of the government—and the public—... More »

Obama Likely to Keep Bush Intel Policies

Positions likely to be filled with pragmatists

(Newser) - Barack Obama isn’t likely to deliver the radical intelligence policy overhaul many civil liberty groups are craving, advisers tell the Wall Street Journal. Those advisers include former Republican supporters and centrist Clinton officials. “He’s going to take a very centrist approach,” said an ex-Bush and Clinton... More »

Surveillance Law Gives Sweden Broad Powers

No warrant needed for cross-border phone, e-traffic; foes outraged

(Newser) - Sweden's intelligence service will have broad new powers to intercept cross-border calls and emails, without a warrant, under a law passed yesterday, the BBC reports. Critics, meanwhile, say it is impossible to fully distinguish domestic from international traffic without compromising the transmissions. Protesters handed out copies of George Orwell's 1984... More »

McCain Backs Bush Wiretaps: Adviser

Says candidate believes president has right to 'override' law

(Newser) - John McCain supports President Bush's warrantless wiretapping program, a top adviser writes in a letter posted on the National Review website. The adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, outlines McCain's belief that the Constitution authorizes the president to override a federal statute that requires court oversight for surveillance. The position marks a sharp... More »

Congress Looks Into FBI's Telecom Spying

Pipeline for intercepted data raises red flags

(Newser) - Congressional Democrats are questioning the cozy relationship between the FBI and telecom companies, the Washington Post reports. Thanks to a 1994 law, all telecom firms have “Quantico circuits”—little-known electronic lines straight to the FBI technology office in Virginia. Telecom technicians can instantly send data over those lines,... More »

NSA Spying Branches Out

Domestic calls, email, financial transactions under scrutiny—all without a warrant

(Newser) - Traditionally charged with foreign surveillance, the NSA has increasingly been analyzing data collected domestically, reports the Wall Street Journal—on a scale comparable to that of a Pentagon proposal Congress killed 5 years ago. "When it got taken apart, it didn't get thrown away," says a former government... More »

Bush Urges Economic Boost

In Union speech, prez also backs climate change accord and troop funding

(Newser) - In his final State of the Union speech, an upbeat President Bush plugged his $150 billion stimulus plan today and urged lawmakers not to "load up the bill," CNN reports. He also advised cutting $18 billion in "bloated" programs, promised to veto pork-barrel funding, and asked policymakers... More »

McGovern: Oust Bush, Cheney

Former Dem. nominee rails against duo's 'high crimes and misdemeanors'

(Newser) - Now is the time to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney, declares former Democratic nominee George McGovern in a passionate, if quixotic, plea in the Washington Post. The duo have committed a plethora of "high crimes and misdemeanors," says McGovern, including illegal wiretapping, systematic torture, and substantial... More »

Senate Brokers Truce With Bush on Domestic Spying

Includes immunity for phone companies

(Newser) - Senate Democrats and Republicans have brokered a deal on legislation regarding the White House domestic spying and wiretapping program—including a highly controversial grant of immunity to telecommunication companies that co-operated with warrantless wiretaps. The deal marks a victory for the White House because Democrats had to kill a House... More »

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