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National Security Agency

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NEWS
March 22, 1991 | By Tim Weiner, Inquirer Washington Bureau
In an unusual public hearing on subjects long deemed secret, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence yesterday began considering the first organized overhaul of the U.S. espionage empire. The committee is considering declassifying the "black budget" for intelligence - an estimated $30 billion a year, though the figure is an official secret - and creating a new intelligence czar to control that budget. It also aims to reform warring intelligence bureaucracies plagued by "duplication, waste and poor performance," said the committee's chairman, Sen. David L. Boren (D., Okla.
NEWS
June 10, 2013 | Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The agency with the power and legal authority to gather electronic communications worldwide to hunt U.S. adversaries says it has the technical know-how to ensure it's not illegally spying on Americans. But mistakes do happen in data-sifting conducted mostly by machines, not humans. Sometimes, former intelligence officials say, that means intelligence agencies destroy material they should not have seen, passed to them by the Fort Meade, Md.-based National Security Agency.
NEWS
June 14, 2013
Snooping practically no surprise Why is it so much of a surprise that Bush-era spying by the National Security Agency is still going on? President Obama may not be as liberal as his speeches indicate, but he is pragmatic. Congress signed off on these programs several times, so its members shouldn't be surprised. As for me, I keep most of my banking off-line (even if I don't believe I'm in any danger since I have nothing to hide). As for my Facebook entries, they wouldn't elicit a stir even in my own family.
NEWS
May 12, 2006 | Daily News wire services
Lawmakers demanded answers from the Bush administration yesterday about a spy agency secretly collecting records of millions of ordinary Americans' phone calls to build a database of all calls within the country. Facing mounting congressional criticism, President Bush sought to assure Americans that their civil liberties were "fiercely protected. " "The government does not listen to domestic phone calls without court approval," said Bush, without confirming the program of the National Security Agency.
NEWS
June 17, 2013 | Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Current and former top U.S. officials yesterday defended the government's collection of phone and Internet data following new revelations about the secret surveillance programs, saying the operations were essential in disrupting terrorist plots and did not infringe on Americans' civil liberties. In interviews on Sunday talk shows, guests ranging from White House chief of staff Denis McDonough to former Vice President Dick Cheney and former CIA and National Security Agency head Michael Hayden said the government's reliance on data collection from both Americans and foreign nationals was constitutional and carefully overseen by executive, legislative and court authorities.
NEWS
March 13, 2007
U.S. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales should resign. If he ever does, the nation could take it as a clear sign that President Bush finally grasps the need to preserve core civil liberties while guarding against terrorism. It would also be a sign that the president grasps that the Justice Department is at least one part of the government that should be free from the all-politics-all-the-time approach of his Karl Rove-led White House team. Until the day Gonzales does the right thing - or it's demanded of him - Americans must assume that their president doesn't get these key distinctions.
NEWS
May 16, 2006
It's possible to get lost in a crowd. Maybe that's why last week's disclosure of the Bush administration's data-mining of millions of dialed phone numbers hasn't pushed the public-outrage meter into the red zone yet. What with Iraq, gas prices and the scandal du jour involving a greedy congressman, there's so much for citizens to be upset about. Polling in recent days shows that one-half to two-thirds of Americans are OK with the National Security Agency collecting information on ordinary phone calls.
NEWS
June 26, 2013 | Associated Press
MOSCOW - Yes, he's at a Moscow airport, and no, you can't have him. Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the first official acknowledgment of the whereabouts of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden on Tuesday and promptly rejected U.S. pleas to turn him over. Snowden, who is charged with violating American espionage laws, fled Hong Kong over the weekend, touching off a global guessing game over where he went and frustrating U.S. efforts to bring him to justice. Putin said Snowden was in the transit zone of Sheremetyevo Airport and has not passed through Russian immigration, meaning he technically was not in Russia and thus was free to travel wherever he wanted.
NEWS
June 28, 2013 | By Michael Weissenstein and Julie Pace, Associated Press
QUITO, Ecuador - President Obama tried to cool the frenzy over Edward Snowden on Thursday as Ecuador stepped up its defiance against the United States and said it was preemptively rejecting millions in trade benefits that it could lose by taking in the fugitive from his limbo in a Moscow airport. The country seen as likeliest to shelter the National Security Agency leaker seemed determined to prove it could handle any repercussions, with three top officials calling a morning news conference to "unilaterally and irrevocably renounce" $23 million a year in lowered tariffs on products such as roses, shrimp, and frozen vegetables.
NEWS
February 24, 1992 | By Marc Schogol Compiled from reports from Inquirer wire services
RED FLAGS We're learning that there seems to be a skeleton in nearly everyone's closet. Advertising Age readers suggested the following resume items that might be tipoffs: "Part-time postal worker and member of the National Rifle Association. " "Experienced in segmentation and cannibalization studies. " "Blood-alcohol content hall of fame. " "Mostly keep to myself, but I always say hello. " "Never convicted. " UP YOUR NOSE Good news for sinus sufferers: A new, incisionless surgical procedure uses an endoscope inserted through either nostril to diagnose and then, if necessary, treat sinus problems.
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NEWS
June 8, 2015 | By Andrew Seidman and Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Gov. Christie hasn't negotiated with other countries or shaped foreign policy. But he does claim one resumé detail to distinguish himself on national security ahead of a likely 2016 presidential run: the Patriot Act. Even as Congress scales back the law, Christie has been arguing forcefully for the tools given to law enforcement and intelligence agencies after 9/11 as crucial to prosecuting terrorists. Yet the importance of the Patriot Act in Christie's tenure as a prosecutor is less clear than he asserts.
NEWS
July 12, 2014 | By Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Rutgers University professor who has twice attempted to run for president of Iran says he is disappointed, but not angry or surprised, that the United States reportedly has monitored his e-mail. The online news outlet the Intercept reported Wednesday that e-mail addresses linked to Hooshang Amirahmadi, along with four other prominent Muslim Americans, appeared on a list of more than 7,000 monitored by the FBI and National Security Agency beginning between 2002 and 2008. It remains unclear whether monitoring continues.
NEWS
April 9, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
The U.S. Supreme Court opted not to weigh in Monday on an early challenge, brought by a Philadelphia man and a conservative activist, to the National Security Agency's bulk collection of phone records. Charles Strange of Torresdale and his attorney, Larry Klayman, had asked the justices to bypass the traditional appellate process to hear their case, saying the constitutional questions it raised were too weighty to wait for a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
NEWS
March 28, 2014
PRESIDENT Obama reportedly will soon announce a proposal to end the National Security Agency's bulk collection of data about Americans' phone calls and require the agency to get a court order before seeking such information in the future. But putting limits on the agency's capacity to spy on Americans may not be as easy as it sounds, especially if the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court, which is supposed to rule on the legality of NSA programs, continues to rubber-stamp its approval of every request the agency apparently makes.
NEWS
March 12, 2014 | By Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Staff Writer
AUSTIN, Texas - The music portion of the South by Southwest conference doesn't begin until Tuesday, but there's no question that the week's biggest rock star has already appeared before the crowd gathered in this capital city. On Monday, Edward Snowden, the fugitive former National Security Agency contractor who leaked thousands of classified documents last year, focusing world attention on the U.S. government's data-surveillance programs, appeared via teleconference from Russia before a packed house of 3,500 at the SXSW Interactive conference.
NEWS
January 11, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
Like a thunderbolt, the decision hit the news with a crash. Calling it "almost Orwellian," U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington found on Dec. 17 that the National Security Agency's collection of telephone data - of practically every call made by every U.S. resident - likely violated the Constitution. "It's one thing to say that people expect phone companies to occasionally provide information to law enforcement," Leon wrote in a case brought by a Torresdale man. "It is quite another to suggest that our citizens expect all phone companies to operate . . . a joint intelligence-gathering operation with the government.
NEWS
December 27, 2013
THE independent review released last week of the National Security Agency's spy programs puts the onus on President Obama. He has to explain to the American people how the collection of metadata and other spying techniques are necessary tools to combat terrorism, and if he can't, he's got to abandon them. That would mean a massive overhaul of NSA operations, including an end to the collection of Americans' telephone records. The bigger question is whether the recommendations of the presidential panel go far enough in reining in the federal government's attacks on privacy, particularly as they affect Silicon Valley's tech industry.
NEWS
December 23, 2013
What a difference the daylight makes. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the star chamber charged with applying a thin coat of legality to the constitutionally rickety house the NSA built, secretly approved mass collection of Americans' telephone data 35 times. But once the dragnet was dragged into a regular court - the kind that hears arguments from all two sides and publishes opinions in visible ink - it was declared the Orwellian misadventure that common sense suggested it was. In a ruling last week that could mark the start of a welcome turn away from the nation's overzealous post-9/11 surveillance stance, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon found that the National Security Agency's all-encompassing phone database likely violates Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure.
NEWS
December 18, 2013 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a case brought by a Philadelphia man, a federal judge in Washington ruled Monday that the National Security Agency's bulk collection of phone records is likely unconstitutional. The ruling offered the first legal setback to a controversial program that records data on nearly all calls placed to or from the United States. In a 68-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon described the agency's phone metadata surveillance program as "almost Orwellian" and said it more than likely posed a violation of constitutional rights against search and seizure.
NEWS
December 16, 2013
Exotic names; assumed identities; violent preoccupations: Of course the National Security Agency was interested. And in an age of virtually unchecked government information collection, the agency wasn't about to be distracted by the fact that none of it actually existed. Last week's revelation that American and British spies monitored online video games underscores the ubiquity and questionable utility of much of our post-9/11 surveillance, as well as the inadequacy of its official oversight.
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