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Tag: NSA

Congress to Consider Restricting NSA’s Domestic Surveillance Programs

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The growing controversy over NSA’s domestic surveillance programs is likely to spark legislative debates that could change the extent to which feds can snoop on Americans, McClatchy Newspapers reports.

Elected officials have been growing increasingly concerned about the NSA since Edward Swowden leaked information about the surveillance last month.

“People at the NSA in particular have heard a constant public drumbeat about a laundry list of nefarious things they are alleged to be doing to spy on Americans — all of them wrong,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican, said last month. “The misperceptions have been great, yet they keep their heads down and keep working every day to keep us safe.”

Members of Congress said they are getting inpatient, McClatchy Newspapers wrote.

“I think the administration and the NSA has had six weeks to answer questions and haven’t done a good job at it,” said Rep. Rick Larsen, a Washington Democrat.

NSA Takes Steps to Strengthen Security of Sensitive Information Following Leak

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Hoping to strengthen its security to avoid another leak, the NSA is examining how former contractor Edward Snowden was able to access and remove sensitive information, The Los Angeles Times reports.

“This failure originated from two practices that we need to reverse,” Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said at a security forum at the Aspen Institute.

“In an effort for those in the intelligence community to be able to share with each other, there was an enormous amount of information concentrated in one place,” he said. “That’s a mistake. Loading everything onto a server creates a security risk.”

The second problem, he said, “You had an individual who was given very substantial authority to access that information and move that information.… We’re acting to reverse both of those things.”

Carter said the NSA was converting to a system that would have prevented a single person from accessing the information, The LA Times reported.

NSA Leaker Snowden May Be Granted Temporary Asylum in Russia

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

NSA leader Edward Snowden issued a hand-scrawled application for temporary asylum in Russia, and his lawyer said he could soon walk out of Sheremetyevo airport, The Christian Science Monitor reports.

“The question of giving him temporary asylum won’t take more than a week. I think that in the near future he will have the possibility to leave the Sheremetyevo transit zone,” the independent Interfax agency quoted the lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, as saying.

Although Russian President Vladimir Putin had appeared reluctant to help Snowden, The Christian Science Monitor wrote that the president appears to be resigned to the idea.

“As I understand it, Snowden didn’t aim to spend his whole life in Russia. I don’t understand how a young man decided to do what he did, but it’s his choice,” Putin said.

NSA Leaker Snowden May Leave Moscow Airport in Next Few Days

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

NSA Leaker may have plans to soon leave the Moscow airport where he has been stuck in legal limbo, the USA Today reports.

A lawyer assisting Snowden is helping him apply for temporary asylum in Russia. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Snowden has been advised not to do anything that would jeopardize Russian-U.S. relations, the USA Today wrote.

“We have warned Mr. Snowden that any actions by him connected with harming Russian-American relations are unacceptable,” Putin said.

It’s unclear where Snowden plans to go once he leaves the airport.

NSA Leaker Snowden Has More Sensitive Information about U.S. Surveillance, Journalist Says

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

NSA Leaker Edward Snowden has information that could cause more damage to the U.S. than “anyone else has ever had in the history” of the country, according to the Guardian journalist who reported about the widespread surveillance.

Columnist Glenn Greenwald said the U.S. should be careful.

“But that’s not his goal,” Greenwald told the newspaper. “His objective is to expose software that people around the world use without knowing what they are exposing themselves to, without consciously agreeing to surrender their rights to privacy. He has a huge number of documents that would be very harmful to the U.S. government if they were made public.”

Snowden’s information could be described basically as “an instruction manual” for how the NSA conducts surveillance, Greenwald said.

Microsoft Helped NSA, FBI Access Personal User Information

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Microsoft Corp has helped U.S. intelligence service intercept users’ communication, Reuters reports.

The software company also permitted the NSA to circumvent email encryption to gain access to users.

The information comes from documents released to the Guardian by NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Among the communication collected was conversations on Skype, an online chat service.

Microsoft denied the reports.

“To be clear, Microsoft does not provide any government with blanket or direct access to SkyDrive, Outlook.com, Skype or any Microsoft product,” the company said in a statement on its website. 

Human Rights Groups to Meet With Snowden at Moscow Airport Where He Will Break His Silence

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

NSA leaker Edward J. Snowden plans to break his silence after spending nearly three weeks in legal limbo at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, The New York Times reports.

Airport officials said Snowden plans to meet with international human rights groups Friday.

The rights workers will be escorted through security and into the transit zone to meet with Snowden, The Times reported.

Snowden reportedly sent an email to several rights organizations asking them to come to the airport.

Snowden revealed widespread phone and email surveillance by the U.S. government.

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Privacy Rights Group Sues Federal Government Over NSA Surveillance Program

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A privacy rights group is suing the Obama administration over its NSA surveillance program, the USA Today reports.

The Electronic Privacy Center has taken the case to the Supreme Court to argue the program is unconstitutional.

In its petition to the court, the group said the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ‘exceeded its statutory jurisdiction when it ordered production of millions of domestic telephone records that cannot plausibly be relevant to an authorized investigation.”

The Obama administration already is catching staunch criticism for its widespread surveillance of phone and email records.

The NSA leaker, Edward Snowden, is believed to still be in a Moscow airport in legal limbo.

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