Thursday the NSA’s bulk phone record collection program was dealt a blow as a federal appeals court said the controversial program exceeds what Congress has allowed and urged lawmakers to step in. A 3 judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan permitted the National Security Agency program to continue temporarily as it exists, and all but pleaded for Congress to better define where the boundaries exist.
The Obama administration has tightened rules governing how the FBI, CIA and other intelligence agencies use Internet and phone communications of foreigners collected by the NSA. On Tuesday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence announced the new policy.
Edward Snowden says that he repeatedly raised constitutional concerns over the NSA spying on Americans, but in a search, the NSA alleges that it only found one email. In that single email, Snowden gently asks for “clarification” on a technical legal question about training materials. Snowden, a former NSA systems administrator whose leaks have exposed some of the agency’s most sensitive spying operations, called himself a patriot in an interview this week with NBC News’ Brian Williams. He said he felt he had no choice but to expose what he considered illegal NSA surveillance by leaking secret details to journalists.
The NSA once again is in hot water over the report that it knew about and exploited a defect in Internet security technology that left millions of computer users vulnerable to hackers, now known as the “Heartbleed” bug. Bloomberg News reported Friday that the spy agency knew about the flaw in the way numerous websites send sensitive information for at least two years before it was fixed, and gathered critical information by exploiting it.
The top US intelligence official called on Wednesday for Edward Snowden and journalists who obtained documents the former contractor took without authorization from the National Security Agency to return the materials to authorities. At a hearing U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper made comments that appeared to accuse journalists who wrote stories based on Snowden’s leaks.
Just like his buddy Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron is huffing and puffing, throwing his weight around. He told Parliament on Monday that the British government may take action against the newspapers publishing the intelligence documents leaked to the press by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
Spying by the NSA has cost the United States economically and angered allies, a bipartisan group of senators said Wednesday in unveiling legislation that would end the collection of millions of Americans’ phone records and data on Internet usage.