National Security Agency

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France Dismisses Snowden's Latest Asylum Request

It's 'not the time,' foreign minister says

(Newser) - France's foreign minister says "it's not the time" to grant a new asylum request from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, the AP reports. Snowden has been living in Russia to escape US prosecution after leaking classified documents detailing government surveillance programs. Asking France again for... More »

GOP Aide Reveals NSA Phone Program Not Being Used

Luke Murry suggests the White House may not renew the controversial program

(Newser) - Nearly six years ago, Edward Snowden exposed the National Security Agency's covert collection of millions of Americans' phone and text records; the White House defended it as a critical tool in the fight against terrorism. Now, a new White House may be done with the program. The New York ... More »

26-Year-Old Gets Longest Sentence Ever for Media Leak

Former NSA contractor Reality Winner sentenced to 5 years, 3 months

(Newser) - A 26-year-old just made history in a way she likely never anticipated. Georgia native Reality Winner received a sentence of 63 months in prison Thursday after she admitted leaking a government document to the media, reports CNN . Prosecutors say it's the longest sentence ever imposed on a federal defendant... More »

NSA Contractor Brought Classified Info Home. Russians Got It: Report

Sources say data breach compromises US cyber defense

(Newser) - A National Security Agency contractor who apparently wanted to get a little extra work done from home inadvertently provided highly classified material to the Russian government, the Wall Street Journal states in an exclusive report. Unnamed sources say an NSA contractor brought the material home with him in 2015 where... More »

Feds Say It Would Be Unsafe to Release Alleged NSA Leaker

Reality Winner denied bail

(Newser) - Alleged NSA leaker Reality Winner was denied bail Thursday after prosecutors warned that she might have more secrets to release—including those stored only in her head. Winner, 25, was shackled during her appearance in the federal courtroom in Augusta, Ga., where she pleaded not guilty to illegally transmitting national... More »

Feds Arrest First Leaker Under Trump

Reality Leigh Winner accused of leaking info on Russia election hack

(Newser) - Her name is "Reality," but her story sounds more like something from a spy thriller: Reality Leigh Winner, a 25-year-old intelligence contractor, was arrested Monday in the first criminal case of the Trump's administration's campaign against leaks, the New York Times reports. The arrest was announced... More »

NSA Contractor May Have Taken Hacking Tools

Which would explain how they turned up for sale online

(Newser) - Officials initially suggested the NSA contractor accused of stealing piles of state secrets, dubbed the "second Snowden," may have simply kept the files for himself . Now, they might be changing their tune. Investigators say there are "forensic clues" that Harold Thomas Martin III is the source of... More »

Feds: 'Second Snowden' Hoarded Secrets for Years

NSA contractor's motive still unclear

(Newser) - Authorities are still trying to figure out how much harm the NSA contractor dubbed the "second Snowden" may have done—but they know he had plenty of time to do it. Investigators believe Harold Thomas Martin III, a 51-year-old technology contractor, hoarded top-secret information for up to a decade,... More »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

US Tracked Billions of Calls Long Before 9/11

USA Today: DEA, Justice Department collected data for 20 years

(Newser) - Edward Snowden's revelations about the NSA and its surveillance tactics may have riled people up, but the agency apparently took its cue from two other government departments: the DEA and the DoJ. For almost 10 years before 9/11 took place, the agencies secretly kept records of billions of international... More »

'World-Leading' US Cyberspies Exposed

Report suggests NSA embeds malware deep in hard drives

(Newser) - If computer hacking were an Olympic event, the US would take home the gold medal every time, a report from Russian computer security firm Kaspersky Lab suggests. Not that the American hackers will welcome the recognition: Kaspersky says the spy programs it has unearthed are the most advanced it has... More »

Report: US Hacked North Korea Years Ago

Meanwhile, unknown hackers have trashed Kim Jong Un video game

(Newser) - The US was able to pin the Sony Pictures cyberattack on North Korea with confidence because the National Security Agency hacked its way into North Korean systems years earlier, according to the New York Times , which cites American and foreign officials as well as computer experts and a newly disclosed... More »

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