domestic surveillance

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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 »

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 »

Snowden, John Oliver Explain NSA Spying in Terms of Dirty Pics

HBO host traveled to Russia to meet with whistleblower

(Newser) - Not long ago, Edward Snowden's NSA leaks were the focus of vast media attention. But two years later, "it seems like we've kind of forgotten to have a debate over the content of what Snowden leaked," John Oliver tells his HBO audience, showing them a series... More »

Secret US Spy Program Tracks Cellphone Users

Planes carrying 'dirtboxes' trick phones into sending identifying data and location

(Newser) - The extent to which the US government spies on US soil continues to unfold. The latest revelation: Using Cessna aircraft over at least five metropolitan-area airports, the Justice Department oversees (albeit to an unknown extent) a program that indiscriminately accesses large amounts of cellphone data, including identifying information and people'... More »

Feds Also Track Our Snail Mail

Postal Service audit cites limited oversight for 'mail covers' program

(Newser) - Domestic surveillance needn't be electronic. Last year alone, the US Postal Service OK'd almost 50,000 official requests to snoop on people's mail for investigative purposes, the New York Times reports. The numbers come from an audit conducted by the USPS inspector general, who pointed to a... More »

New Zealand Was Spying on Citizens, Lying About It

PM's claims to contrary 'false,' says Edward Snowden with election days away

(Newser) - Edward Snowden's latest revelations target New Zealand: The country's leaders repeatedly told the public that they weren't working on a domestic spying program, the whistleblower says, when in fact they were doing just that. "The Prime Minister’s claim to the public, that ‘there is... More »

Snowden: NSA Snoops Shared Sexy Photos

Inside agency, 'anything goes,' he says

(Newser) - Military personnel working on National Security Agency surveillance programs saw stumbling across explicit photos as one of the "fringe benefits of surveillance positions," Edward Snowden reveals in a wide-ranging interview with the Guardian . They may find, "for example, an intimate nude photo of someone in a sexually... More »

Muslim-American Leader: NSA Fails US History

Nihad Awad: Spying target says agency weak on checks and balances

(Newser) - One of the recent Edward Snowden revelations is that the NSA spied on a group of top Muslim-American leaders . Nihad Awad happens to be one of them, a discovery that left him "saddened, but not surprised," he writes at Time . The co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations... More »

Snowden Leak: NSA Spied on Muslim-American Leaders

Including a former Homeland Security official

(Newser) - The NSA and FBI targeted a number of prominent and seemingly upstanding Muslim-Americans for surveillance, including lawyers, professors, civil rights activists, and even a former Bush administration official, according to the latest revelation from Edward Snowden's document trove. A spreadsheet recapping the thousands of email addresses the NSA monitored... More »

Snowden Calls NSA Email Release 'Incomplete'

He says he raised concerns many more times

(Newser) - More back-and-forth between the National Security Agency and its least favorite former contractor: Edward Snowden says the single email from him that the NSA has released is an "incomplete" record and he voiced his concern about the agency's "indefensible collection activities" on multiple occasions. If the White... More »

NSA Confirms 'Back Door' Used to Spy on Americans

Sen. Ron Wyden wants to shut it quickly

(Newser) - It took a few months, but Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon finally got his answer from national intelligence chief James Clapper. Yes, Clapper wrote in a letter , the NSA does indeed spy on Americans' emails and phone calls—without a warrant—thanks to a revision in a law originally... More »

Obama Looks to Wind Down NSA's Bulk Data Collection

Proposal leaves data with phone companies

(Newser) - President Obama wants the federal government to stop sucking up huge amounts of data on Americans' phone calls, administration officials tells the New York Times . The president—days away from his own deadline for revamping the National Security Agency's phone-surveillance program —is set to roll out a proposal... More »

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 »

Lawyers to Obama: You Have 4 Options to Reform NSA

Scrapping phone-snooping program is one of them

(Newser) - President Obama asked White House lawyers last month to come up with ways to reform the National Security Administration's phone-surveillance program and they have delivered four options, insiders tell the Wall Street Journal . One option—and probably the least likely to be adopted—is scrapping the program altogether, while... More »

NSA Isn't Nearly as Good at Phone Data as We Thought

'Washington Post' says it can collect maybe 30% of records on US calls

(Newser) - Thanks to Edward Snowden, we now know that the NSA vacuums up data on virtually all US phone calls, right? Turns out, it's not even close, according to the Washington Post . While the NSA would love to have that capability—and is trying to figure out how to get... More »

Obama: I Don't Want the NSA Holding Phone Data

This morning's speech calls for private entity to hold metadata

(Newser) - President Obama today introduced a host of reforms to the NSA's surveillance programs, including ending the NSA's telephone metadata collection program "as it currently exists." In a speech today, Obama argued that the government shouldn't hold onto that phone data; he's asking Eric Holder,... More »

NSA Surveillance Hasn't Prevented Attacks: Study

All the foiled attacks relied on traditional methods

(Newser) - The NSA's controversial trove of phone metadata "has had no discernible impact on preventing acts of terrorism," a new analysis of 225 terrorism cases from the nonprofit New America Foundation has concluded. Most of the cases it looked at were cracked using old-fashioned investigative tools, like tip-offs... More »

FBI Thinks Americans Are Training for Terror in Syria

And it's watching them like a hawk

(Newser) - The FBI is keeping a close watch on Americans who have traveled to and returned from the war in Syria. The US believes that al-Qaeda affiliates in the war-torn country are actively attempting to recruit Americans there and train them to carry out attacks back home, senior intelligence and counterterror... More »

Snowden: My Mission Is Accomplished

'I already won,' he says in Moscow interview

(Newser) - While there's no sign of an end to the flow of leaked National Security Agency documents, Edward Snowden says he feels like his mission has already been accomplished. Speaking to a Washington Post reporter for more than 14 hours of interviews in Moscow, Snowden explained that he acted out... More »

Government Ruined My Life Over Auto-Complete: Suit

Man alleges that inadvertent search led to death threats, harassment

(Newser) - Jeffrey Kantor says the federal government mercilessly harassed him and got him fired over an accidental Google search. In a lawsuit spotted by Courthouse News , the Virginia man explains that he was trying to search for "How do I build a radio-controlled airplane?" But when he got as far... More »

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