National Security Agency

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NSA: Spying Foiled Stock Exchange Bomb Plot

Agency defends itself in congressional hearing

(Newser) - The NSA's controversial spying activities have prevented more than 50 terror attacks since 9/11, the agency's director told the House Intelligence Committee today, including attempted bombings of the New York Stock Exchange and, as previously disclosed , the New York City Subway. Gen. Keith Alexander said he'd go...

Apple: Feds Made 5K Data Requests Since December

Plus: China urges US to open up on surveillance

(Newser) - After revelations from Facebook and Microsoft , Apple is offering the public some details on government information requests. The US made between 4,000 and 5,000 requests to Apple for user data from December through May, the firm says; the requests were tied to between 9,000 and 10,000...

NSA: We Only Scrutinized 300 Numbers

But that helped break up 'dozens' of terror plots

(Newser) - The NSA would like you to know that, while it may have data on millions of phone calls from US carriers, it only sought detailed information on less than 300 phone numbers. That's according to an (unclassified) government memo making the rounds, reports Reuters , in an apparent attempt to...

Facebook, Microsoft Unveil Thousands of User Data Requests

Just "a tiny fraction of 1% of our user accounts" targeted: social network

(Newser) - In the second half of last year, Facebook got between 9,000 and 10,000 requests from local, state, and federal officials for user data on 18,000 to 19,000 accounts, the company says. It complied with 79% of the requests, it says. Under fire, Facebook released the data...

Snowden: NSA Has Been Hacking China Since 2009

Agency has had 61K targets globally

(Newser) - Edward Snowden is still in Hong Kong, where he's making more claims about NSA practices: In an interview with the South China Morning Post , he says the agency has been hacking systems in China and Hong Kong since 2009. "We hack network backbones—like huge internet routers, basically—...

Snowden Stole Secret Data With ... Thumb Drive

LA Times: But it's still not clear why he had access to such sensitive data

(Newser) - Edward Snowden didn't need any high-tech gadgetry to make off with the NSA's surveillance secrets—all it took was a humble thumb drive, reports the Los Angeles Times . Authorities have determined that the former contractor used the portable device to smuggle out his classified data, and they...

NSA Chief: Surveillance Stopped 'Dozens' of Plots

Gen. Keith Alexander defends data mining

(Newser) - The head of the NSA told a Senate panel today that his agency's controversial surveillance had helped prevent "dozens of terrorist events," reports the Wall Street Journal . Gen. Keith Alexander said he couldn't go into specifics but was working to declassify some of the details. He...

Critics Piling On US Intelligence Chief

James Clapper's 'least untruthful' explanation not sitting well

(Newser) - Edward Snowden may be getting vilified in some camps over the NSA leaks, but the nation's intelligence director isn't having such a great time, either. Witness this piece in Slate by Fred Kaplan demanding that James Clapper be fired for lying. The issue, as the Washington Post and...

Tech Giants to Feds: Let Us Air Our Role in NSA Spying

Google, Facebook urge feds to lift gag orders

(Newser) - Google and other tech giants are far from happy about being seen as willing partners in the NSA's Internet surveillance program and they want the government to lift gag orders so they can show otherwise. Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Yahoo have requested secrecy orders be eased so that they...

As Snowden Vanishes, Russia Reaches Out to Him

NSA whistleblower drops out of sight in Hong Kong

(Newser) - Edward Snowden checked out of his hotel in Hong Kong yesterday and has essentially disappeared. And while he is believed to still be in the territory, Russia has suggested it might welcome the man who exposed the NSA's secret surveillance, the Wall Street Journal reports. If a request for...

How to Block NSA Spying
 How to Block NSA Spying 

How to Block NSA Spying

Timothy B. Lee offers up 5 ideas

(Newser) - Don't like the idea of the NSA spying on your phone calls and emails? In the Washington Post , Timothy B. Lee offers five ways for you to protect yourself:
  • Tor : This Internet browser lets you remain anonymous, and does not reveal your IP address or other identifiers. One fan:

Whistleblower's Employer Has Cozy Ties to Uncle Sam

98% of its revenue in last fiscal year came from government

(Newser) - If you haven't previously heard of Booz Allen Hamilton, the employer of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, it's not for its lack of ties with Washington, DC. Some 98% of the company's revenue in the past fiscal year came from its government contracts, and 23% of that—or...

5M Americans Can Access Classified Info

'Top secret' info available to 1.4M

(Newser) - If all the Americans cleared to access classified information lived in the same US city, it would be second only to New York City in population, USA Today finds in the wake of the NSA's leaked surveillance program . More than 4.9 million people have some kind of government...

Greenwald: Ever Heard of the Constitution?
 Ever Heard of 
 the Constitution? 
talk show roundup

Greenwald: Ever Heard of the Constitution?

'Guardian' reporter trades blows with Mike Rogers

(Newser) - Glenn Greenwald is resolutely standing by his story , telling ABC today that if the NSA comes calling, “I will tell them that there is this thing called the Constitution, and the very First Amendment of which guarantees a free press.” Of his sources, the Guardian reporter dismissed claims...

Greenwald: I'm Not the One You Should Investigate

People who reveal government's secrets are heroes, he argues

(Newser) - Glenn Greenwald isn't worried about the prospect of a Justice Department investigation —and he thinks it's vile that the Obama administration is going after the people behind the NSA leaks in the first place. "The people who do this are heroes," he writes at the...

AT&T, Sprint Users: Yep, NSA Tracks Your Calls, Too

And it has collected credit card, web-browsing data: insiders

(Newser) - It's not just Verizon customers who face government surveillance: The NSA has also been keeping track of phone records from the other two biggest phone networks, AT&T and Sprint Nextel, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Journal puts it starkly: When most Americans make a call, the NSA...

NSA's Verizon Monitoring Has Gone on for 7 Years: Senators

It's 'nothing new,' and has been successful

(Newser) - The leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee today downplayed the revelation that the NSA is collecting millions of phone records from Verizon, Politico and CNN report:
  • "As far as I know, this is the exact three-month renewal of what has been in place for the past seven years,"

NSA Is Seizing Millions of Verizon Phone Records

White House defends 'ongoing, daily' surveillance as a 'critical tool'

(Newser) - A new report in the Guardian suggests the Obama administration isn't so different from its predecessor when it comes to domestic phone surveillance: The National Security Agency has been gathering the phone records of millions of US Verizon users thanks to a secret court order . The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance...

US Spy Chiefs: Cyber Threat Is on Par With Terrorism

Cyber Command looks to go on offense

(Newser) - With China , Iran , and other countries increasingly hacking the United States, its infrastructure, and its companies, the Pentagon is stepping up its cyber defense operations in a major way—provided Washington's budget battles don't hamstring its efforts, reports the Washington Post . Gen. Keith Alexander, the head of the...

Watchdog: Feds Illegally Spied on Americans

Electronic Frontier Foundation sues for documents to prove it

(Newser) - A watchdog agency is suing for the release of documents it says show the feds violated their own 2008 wiretapping law. The suit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation is based on statements made by Democratic Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, reports Wired . Wyden didn't say exactly how the government violated...

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