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Tag: NSA

Russia: NSA Leaker Snowden May Be Down to ‘Last Chance’ As Venezuela Gets Involved

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Venezuela appears to be NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s last hope of gaining asylum, an influential member of Parliament said, USA Today reports.

Alexei Pushkov, head of the Parliament’s international affairs committee, wrote on Twitter: “Venezuela is waiting for an answer from Snowden. This, perhaps, is his last chance to receive political asylum.”

Still, Venezuelan officials haven’t been in touch with Snowden, who is believed to be stuck in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.

Those officials plan to speak with Russian officials today about the situation, according to the USA Today.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

NSA’s Surveillance of Domestic Calls Was Permitted by Secret Court in Mid-2000s

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A secret court played a major role in the NSA’s ability to gather phone data on millions of Americans, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court decided in the mid-2000s to broaden the definition of “relevant,” which allowed the collection of millions of people’s phone records.

The information includes the phone numbers and locations of all domestic calls, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Some attorneys are unsettled by the decision.

“I think it’s a stretch” of previous federal legal interpretations, says Mark Eckenwiler, a senior counsel at Perkins Coie LLP who, until December, was the Justice Department’s primary authority on federal criminal surveillance law. If a federal attorney “served a grand-jury subpoena for such a broad class of records in a criminal investigation, he or she would be laughed out of court.”

Ecuador Delivers Blow to Snowden’s Chances of Gaining Asylum There

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Edward Snowden, the leaker of sweeping U.S. surveillance, is running out of options as he waits in legal limbo at a Russian airport.

Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa said Monday his country is not considering Snowden’s asylum request and never meant to get involved, the Guardian reports.

That means Snowden’s fate rests largely in the hands of Moscow officials, who have tried to distance themselves from the case since the former NSA contractor landed at a Russian airport from Hong Kong. 

“Are we responsible for getting him to Ecuador? It’s not logical,” Correa told the Guardian. “The country that has to give him a safe conduct document is Russia.”

Moscow confirmed Monday that Snowden had applied for asylum in Russia, among other countries, but officials there have expressed hesitance about getting involved.

NSA Leaker Stuck at Airport While Russia, Ecuador Reportedly Offer No Help for Asylum

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The fate of the NSA leaker remains in limbo as Russia and Ecuador send mixed messages about their role in Edward Snowden’s attempt to seek asylum, ABC News reports.

A spokesman for Vladimir Putin said Moscow would not help Snowden seek refuge.

Snowden is stuck at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport because the U.S. has revoked his passport, so he’s unable to fly.

His plan was to fly to Cuba and then connect to a flight to Ecuador.

Opinion: Where’s the Outrage Over NSA Surveillance of Americans Phone Calls, E-Mails?

 
By JENNIFER STISA GRANICK and CHRISTOPHER JON SPRIGMAN
New York Times

The twin revelations that telecom carriers have been secretly giving the National Security Agency information about Americans’ phone calls, and that the N.S.A. has been capturing e-mail and other private communications from Internet companies as part of a secret program called Prism, have not enraged most Americans. Lulled, perhaps, by the Obama administration’s claims that these “modest encroachments on privacy” were approved by Congress and by federal judges, public opinion quickly migrated from shock to “meh.”

It didn’t help that Congressional watchdogs — with a few exceptions, like Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky — have accepted the White House’s claims of legality. The leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, and Saxby Chambliss, Republican of Georgia, have called the surveillance legal. So have liberal-leaning commentators like Hendrix Hertzberg and David Ignatius. 

This view is wrong — and not only, or even mainly, because of the privacy issues raised by the American Civil Liberties Union and other critics.

To read more click here.

Russian President Putin Says He Had No Grounds to Arrest Snowden

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Russian President Vladimir Putin maintained Tuesday that he had no authority to take custody of the NSA leaker-turned-international fugitive, The Washington Post reports.

Both countries exchanged blows over the handling of Edward Snowden, who arrived in Russia from Hong Kong on Saturday.

Putin told the U.S. that he had no grounds to take Snowden into custody.

Secretary of State John F. Kerry responded that Russia was defying international convention by permitting a fugitive to be loose in an airport’s transit zone, the Post wrote.

 OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


Opinion: Congress Should Promptly End NSA Phone Surveillance

 
By Eugene Robinson
Washington Post

From the evidence so far, there’s no good reason to let the National Security Agency (NSA) continue its massively intrusive practice of logging our private phone calls. Congress should pull the plug.

I’m not ignoring all the officials, including President Obama, who swear that the electronic snooping has foiled dozens of terrorist plots and saved untold lives. I’m just listening carefully, and what we’re getting is a lot of doublespeak and precious little clarity.

It’s important to keep in mind that Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who absconded to Hong Kong and started blabbing secrets, has thus far disclosed the existence of two separate clandestine programs. One, known internally as PRISM, involves the international harvesting of e-mails and other electronic communications. The other involves the domestic collection of phone call “metadata” – a vast, pointillist record of our contacts and movements.

To read more click here.

 

NSA Outlines Rules for Using Phone, Internet Surveillance on U.S. Citizens

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The NSA, which has come under fire for its widespread use of surveillance, may keep copies of intercepted material involving an American if it contains evidence of a crime or significant intelligence, the Associated Press reports on the agency’s secret rules.

The documents, published by The Guardian in the latest leak, require feds to first build a case before spying on someone on the phone or Internet.

The person also must not be an American, according to the Associated Press.

But if the surveillance leads to involvement from an American, the feds may keep the records indefinitely.