NSA

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Pardon Snowden So He Can Work for US Public

Human rights officials make the case in NYT

(Newser) - Edward Snowden put out a public plea earlier this week for a pardon from President Obama—and two human rights activists agree with his call for clemency. Making their case for the ex-NSA contractor in the New York Times , Kenneth Roth (director of Human Rights Watch) and Salil Shetty (secretary... More »

Hackers Say They Hacked NSA's Elite Hackers

Files released online appear to be genuine: experts

(Newser) - An apparent hacking group calling itself the "Shadow Brokers" claims to have hacked the NSA and is asking for about $570 million to share the data. Two sets of files were posted online Saturday—one open, the other encrypted—which the group claims are from the Equation Group, an... More »

Eric Holder Adjusts His View About Snowden

Former attorney general sees him a little differently now

(Newser) - Former US Attorney General Eric Holder seems to have mixed feelings about Edward Snowden, CNN reports. The NSA whistleblower who leaked classified documents about US surveillance techniques performed a "public service," says Holder, who insists Snowden still needs to come home and "go to trial." Speaking... More »

While Spying on Israel, NSA Recorded US Lawmakers, Too

Agency did keep 'trash talk' against administration out of reports: US officials

(Newser) - In 2013, after Edward Snowden dropped his NSA bombshell, President Obama called for an end to spying on certain world leaders. But Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli bigwigs remained on the "keep an eye on" list for "compelling national security" reasons, current and ex-US officials tell the Wall ... More »

Controversial NSA Surveillance Program Ends Saturday

'A long-awaited victory for privacy advocates'

(Newser) - After more than a decade, the federal government's practice of collecting data on telephone calls made by the vast majority of Americans will end at midnight Saturday, NBC News reports. According to Reuters , the end of the program—exposed by Edward Snowden more than two years ago—represents the... More »

NSA Analyst Who Spied for Soviets Freed After 30 Years

Ronald Pelton was paid $35K for NSA, Navy secrets

(Newser) - A former National Security Agency employee convicted of selling defense and communication secrets he gained during his career has been released from federal custody 30 years after his arrest. The sentence for Cold War-era spy Ronald Pelton, 74, ended on Tuesday. He had been placed on home confinement several months... More »

CIA Chief Blasts 'Hand-Wringing' Over Surveillance

Debate renews over whether government spying is a necessary evil

(Newser) - Civil liberty advocates are worried that a spate of ISIS attacks will bring a renewed push for more-intense government surveillance, and comments by CIA chief John Brennan won't make them feel any better. Following the downing of Flight 9268 , last week's suicide bombings in Beirut , and Friday's... More »

Austrian Student's Complaint Leads to Huge US-EU Decision

EU's Court of Justice nullifies pact allowing digital data transfers overseas

(Newser) - In 2011, a 24-year-old Austrian law student filed a complaint against Facebook alleging nearly two dozen violations of European laws that protected his data. Now, Max Schrems' case has morphed into a class-action lawsuit against the social media giant and led to a judgment Tuesday by the EU's highest... More »

Snowden: I'm Willing to Serve Prison Time

NSA Whistleblower is 'still waiting' to hear from authorities

(Newser) - Edward Snowden, NSA whistleblower on the lam? Indeed, but he's also willing to return to the US and serve time if authorities will cut him a deal, the Guardian reports. In an interview with the BBC show "Panorama," Snowden says he's offered to make such a... More »

GOP's Pataki Trolls 'Traitor' Snowden in Twitter Debut

Candidate wants 'great American company' to boot NSA leaker

(Newser) - Edward Snowden joined Twitter on Tuesday and along with the more than 800,000 followers he racked up within hours, he attracted the wrath of a man the Guardian calls his "first Twitter troll"—George Pataki. The bottom-of-the-pack GOP presidential candidate tweeted : "Some say you have courage,... More »

Snowden Just Joined Twitter

Neil deGrasse Tyson apparently talked him into the @snowden handle

(Newser) - "Can you hear me now?" isn't just a Verizon catchphrase anymore. It was also the first official tweet from Edward Snowden on Tuesday from wherever he's holed up in Russia, the Intercept reports. He was apparently cajoled into joining by Neil deGrasse Tyson during a StarTalk Radio... More »

Appeals Court Dumps Ruling Finding NSA Program Illegal

It's a win for the White House

(Newser) - A federal appeals court today ruled in favor of the Obama administration in a dispute over the National Security Agency's bulk collection of telephone data on hundreds of millions of Americans. The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed a lower court ruling that said... More »

AT&T's Help for NSA Was 'Especially Productive'

Investigation finds company went further than its rivals on surveillance

(Newser) - The Edward Snowden revelations have shown that multiple American telecom companies helped the NSA with its Internet surveillance. But AT&T, it seems, happily went much further than the rest. A new investigative piece by the New York Times and ProPublica describes the company's relationship with the spy agency... More »

China Snooping in Top US Officials' Emails Since 2010: NSA

And the intrusion is still happening, senior US intelligence official says

(Newser) - For those who've been wondering why such a big deal has been made about Hillary Clinton's private email server, this could add some context. A senior US intelligence official, as well as a "top-secret" NSA document from 2014, indicates that China has been reading the private emails... More »

Snowden: World Has Kicked Surveillance to the Curb

'This is the power of an informed public,' ex-NSA contractor writes in 'NYT'

(Newser) - Two years ago, Edward Snowden holed up in a Hong Kong hotel room to await reaction to his NSA revelations. Today, from somewhere in Moscow, he celebrates that anniversary by penning a New York Times op-ed that opines on privacy and surveillance in the wake of the expiration of key... More »

Senate Curbs NSA Surveillance Powers

Bill goes to Obama after amendments to water it down fail

(Newser) - Congress has sent legislation to the president remaking a disputed post-9/11 surveillance program two days after letting it temporarily expire. The vote in the Senate today was 67-32. The House already has passed the bill, and President Obama plans to sign it. The legislation will phase out, over six months,... More »

Surveillance Bill Heads for Showdown Today

Supporters of USA Freedom Act say no amendments are needed

(Newser) - The Senate is set today to tackle the USA Freedom Act —which would end the NSA's bulk collection of phone records—but the bill's House backers are warning senators to leave the bill alone. "The House is not likely to accept the changes," several members... More »

Feds Can Keep Snooping via 'Zombie Patriot Act'

Grandfather clauses, national security letters could serve as workarounds

(Newser) - Critical parts of the Patriot Act expired at midnight , but while the White House and security officials have warned that this lapse in surveillance could open the US up to terror attacks, others are saying there are workarounds that allow the US to still collect intelligence on possible terrorists and... More »

Activists Record Private Chats, Post Them Online

They're trying to make a point about the NSA

(Newser) - Spending time in New York City these days? You might peek under the table or bench you're using to see if there's a tape recorder marked "PROPERTY OF NSA"—which was placed there by anti-NSA activists trying to make a point, the Guardian reports. The activists... More »

Appeals Court: NSA's Phone Program Is Illegal

2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals rules the Patriot Act doesn't allow for it

(Newser) - The Patriot Act doesn't actually authorize the government's bulk collection of millions of Americans' telephone records, a federal appeals court ruled today. A three-judge panel of the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said a lower court, which had thrown out the case, had erred in... More »

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