Docs Confirm Metadata Snooping Started Under Bush

Newly released documents that were apparently submitted by the federal government in several legal challenges to the NSA's illegal surveillance programs confirm that the mining of metadata from emails began under direct order from President Bush. … [Read more...]

It Gets Worse: NSA Hacking Operations Revealed

As if the revelations of NSA data mining released by Edward Snowden weren't already disturbing enough, now Glenn Greenwald reports on new information from the documents he turned over that show the NSA is potentially hacked into millions of computers. … [Read more...]

Will Obama Rein in the CIA?

In the wake of allegations that the CIA spied on the Senate committee that oversees it and hid evidence from them, along with revelations about the NSA's data mining activities, there is at least some pressure on President Obama to rein in the power of America's intelligence community. Will he? I think that's unlikely. Eli Lake suggests that doing so would lead the CIA to retaliate by leaking damaging details about the administration's policies. … [Read more...]

Feinstein’s Hypocrtical Outrage

Remember that report about the CIA spying on staffers of the Senate Intelligence Committee last week? Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who chairs that committee and might as well be a Republican when it comes to government surveillance, is suddenly very outraged by this invasion of privacy. … [Read more...]

CIA May Have Illegally Spied on Congress

When the Senate Intelligence Committee was investigating the CIA torture program (the report of which the Obama administration still refuses to release), they made a deal with the CIA that they could use computers at the agency without being monitored. It looks like the CIA violated that agreement and spied on legislators and staffers anyway. … [Read more...]

New Revelation: NSA Spying on Webcam Chats

The revelations continue to come out from the documents Edward Snowden leaked to the Guardian. My former AINN colleague Spencer Ackerman, now the national security editor for that paper, told NPR about documents that show the NSA and the British intelligence agencies have eavesdropped on millions of webcam chats: … [Read more...]

Clapper Lies About His Lie. Again.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has now given us a second lie about why he lied to the Senate and the American public about not collecting data on millions of Americans. The first dishonest excuse was that he gave the "least untruthful" answer to the question. Now he says he misunderstood the question. … [Read more...]

RNC vs Peter King on the NSA

The Republican National Committee last week made the blatantly hypocritical move of adopting a resolution condemning what they called unconstitutional NSA surveillance programs. This from the same party that defended illegal surveillance under Bush (though to be fair, Bush isn't black). Rep. Peter King is hopping mad about it because he may be wrong, but he's consistently wrong. … [Read more...]

When the FBI Tried to Make MLK Commit Suicide

As the nation celebrated Martin Luther King Day on Monday, Danielle Cadet gave an important reminder of the dangers of illegal surveillance by the government and the nefarious uses it can be put to, recalling how the FBI bugged King's home and office and used information it gained to try to make him commit suicide. … [Read more...]

What Obama Didn’t Do on the NSA Reforms

Geoffrey Stone, the University of Chicago law school professor who served on President Obama's review group on the NSA and privacy, thinks that the president's recent speech and immediate reforms are important steps in reining in illegal surveillance. In particular, he praises him for the decision to require the NSA to get warrants from the FISA court to access any metadata that is archived. But he also points out an important reform he refused to endorse: … [Read more...]

Obama’s Mostly Meaningless NSA ‘Reforms’

President Obama gave what was billed as a very important speech on Friday that included a new presidential directive to rein in the NSA's data mining programs and provide more safeguards for privacy. It was, predictably, a mostly meaningless collection of surface reforms that change very little. … [Read more...]

Study: NSA Metadata Mining No Help in Preventing Terrorism

A new study from the New America Foundation of 225 terrorism cases concludes that the NSA's cell phone metadata mining program has done nothing to prevent terrorism. In fact, only 4 times in all of those cases did the NSA use any authority under Section 215 of the Patriot Act at all. … [Read more...]