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Tag: NSA

Eric Holder: Plea Deal Possible to Bring Back NSA Leaker Snowden

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department could make a deal to convince NSA leaker Edward Snowden to return to the U.S. after he fled in 2013 following the shocking release of secret surveillance documents.

That’s according to former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who spoke to Yahoo News about the issue.

Holder said the U.S. likely would be interested in striking a deal with the whistleblower and even conceded that Snowden’s document leak “spurred a necessary debate” on surveillance.

“I certainly think there could be a basis for a resolution that everybody could ultimately be satisfied with. I think the possibility exists.”

But current AG Loretta Lynch didn’t seem as open to a deal.

“This is an ongoing case so I am not going to get into specific details but I can say our position regarding bringing Edward Snowden back to the United States to face charges has not changed,” Lynch spokeswoman Melanie Newman said in an email.

State AG: NSA Officers Did Nothing Wrong by Shooting Transgender Women Outside Agency

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

NSA officers did nothing wrong when they shot and killed a transgender woman outside of a security gate at the entrance of the agency in Fort Meade, Md., the Washington Post reports.

The Maryland U.S. attorney’s office said no evidence of a crime agains the officers were was found.

“Federal prosecutors and agents reviewed the evidence from the March 30, 2015 shooting at the National Security Agency and determined that there was no crime committed by the officers,” Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in a statement. “Video recordings of the incident make clear that the driver ignored directions given by NSA guards, rammed a barrier at high speed and was racing toward the officer who fired at the vehicle.”

An FBI spokeswoman said the agency “does not have a case open on that matter.”

Ricky S. Hall, 27, who was driving, was killed. Her passenger, Kevin Fleming, was wounded.

The women had stolen the car, a Ford Escape.

Other Stories of Interest


Senate Takes Some Muscle Out of Retooled Patriot Act, Worrying FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Senate on Tuesday ended the NSA’s controversial bulk phone-records program but reauthorized most of the Patriot Act that expired over the weekend.

President Obama signed the measure, which passed the Senate with a 67-32 vote, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

The FBI warned that the move would hamper agents who must now obtain phone records on a case-by-case basis from telecommunications companies, rather than collecting data in bulk.

“After a needless delay and inexcusable lapse in important national security authorities, my administration will work expeditiously to ensure our national security professionals again have the full set of vital tools they need to continue protecting the country,” Mr. Obama said in a statement Tuesday.

Civil liberties proponents applauded the move.

“Today the American people are now safe from the federal government’s collection of their personal data,” said Sen. Mike Leeof Utah, the bill’s chief GOP proponent in the Senate.

 

 

U.S. Government Loses Terrorism Fighting Tools As Patriot Act Provisions Expire

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. government has fewer tools to fight terrorism after key provisions of the Patriot Act expired late Sunday despite a last-minute push by some Senators.

CNN reports that the expiration ends the NSA’s controversial bulk data collection program. The NSA had been collecting phone metadata on millions of Americans.

Law enforcement also won’t be able to get roving wiretaps to track suspects who frequently change phones. Now they will have to get individual warrants – a timely, burdensome task that could mean some suspects slip away, law enforcement officials said.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch warned last week that the U.S. would face a “serious lapse” in national security without these tools.

The Senate is expected to debate restoring some of the expired authorities later this week.

NSA Blasted for Unlawfully Collecting Data on Every American’s Phone Calls

Edward Snowden has been outside of the U.S. since leaking the NSA data, making the same claim that the surveillance was illegal.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In a crushing defeat to the President Obama administration, a federal appeals court has unanimously ruled Thursday that the NSA violated the law by collecting data on all U.S. telephone calls.

The U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the surveillance program was “an unprecedented contradiction of the privacy expectations of all Americans,” The Los Angeles Times reports.

The court ruled in sharply worded language that the NSA had no right to spy on Americans who were not targets of counter-terrorism efforts.

Now Congress must decide how to reform the bulk collection of phone data.

“This is a huge step for individual Americans’ rights,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, (D-Ore.), an outspoken opponent of the program. “This dragnet surveillance program violates the law and tramples on Americans’ privacy rights without making our country any safer.”

The decision also at least partially vindicates Edward Snowden, who has fled U.S. prosecution after revealing the illegal records.

Ex-FBI Agent Ordered to Undergo Psychiatric Exam After Strange Encounter with CIA

CIA Headquarters

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former FBI agent who confronted officials at NSA and CIA headquarters has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation after her bizarre encounter with federal officials, the Associated Press reports.

Tunisia Davis, of Alexandria, is being held for a psychiatric evaluation after she was accused of trying to grab an officer’s gun and loudly declaring that the CIA should be bombed.

Authorities said Davis told CIA officials she was curious what would happen if she just showed up at headquarters.

Davis was a special agent from 2004 to 2010.

Officials said she has refused to eat or drink since being arrested.

Former FBI Agent Jailed After Bizarre Behavior While Visiting NSA, CIA

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former FBI agent who was angry about police brutality and said she was running for president, is expected in court today after a bizarre rampage that took her to the headquarters of the NSA and CIA.

Tunisia Davis was arrested late Thursday and placed in the custody of U.S. Marshals after authorities said she drove to the main gate of the CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., and managed to get past one officer before another stopped her.

Davis also arrived at the door of the NSA and told NSA police she “wanted to know what they would do if she showed up,” NBC reported.

It’s unclear whether Davis made clear she was a former FBI agent.

Details are still emerging about her past with the FBI.

FBI, NSA Officials Urge Congress to Retain Spy Powers Under Patriot Act

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and National Security Administration are on the verge of losing surveillance powers that were gained after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Authorities for both agencies are urging lawmakers to preserve the spy powers before the expire June 1, The Guardian reports. 

Some members of Congress want more surveillance reforms to protect the privacy of innocent Americans.

Losing the authority gained in Section 215 of the Patriot Act will make it difficult to conduct some federal investigations, authorities warned.

Whether Congress renews the powers may depend on the newest members of Congress.

“A lot of it is going to hinge on the freshmen. Right now, as far as I can tell, the select intelligence committee is making a real strong play to persuade the freshmen that all of these public concerns are overblown,” Rep. Thomas Massie, a Kentucky Republican, said.