By Evan Perez
Some U.S. technology giants are asking the Obama administration and Congress to rein in government surveillance.
Facebook, Apple, Twitter, Google and Microsoft are among the companies signing an open letter arguing that surveillance has gone too far. The companies say they're improving encryption and fighting to limit surveillance requests, but they're also asking for new legal changes to limit surveillance.
This comes after recent revelations from documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. His leaks have lifted the veil on the agency's vast surveillance databases, many of which are part of programs with intelligence agencies in other countries. The aim, the NSA and other agencies say, is to prevent terrorism and protect security.
By Bill Mears
The U.S. Supreme Court will allow the National Security Agency's surveillance of domestic telephone communication records to continue for now.
The justices without comment Monday rejected an appeal from a privacy rights group, which claimed a secret federal court improperly authorized the government to collect the electronic records.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center filed its petition directly with the high court, bypassing the usual step of going to the lower federal courts first. Such a move made it much harder for the justices to intervene at this stage, but EPIC officials argued "exceptional ramifications" demanded immediate final judicial review. There was no immediate reaction to the court's order from the public interest group, or from the Justice Department.
Published reports earlier this year indicated the NSA received secret court approval to collect vast amounts of so-called metadata from telecom giant Verizon and leading Internet companies, including Microsoft, Apple, Google, Yahoo and Facebook. The information includes the numbers and location of nearly every phone call to and from the United States in the past five years, but not actual monitoring of the conversations themselves. To do so would require a separate, specifically targeted search warrant.
By Chelsea J. Carter and Susanna Capelouto, CNN
Leaked classified documents show the U.S. National Security Agency and its British counterpart are among the "worst offenders" of mass surveillance without oversight, according to an open letter purportedly written by Edward Snowden and published Sunday by the German magazine Der Spiegel.
The publication of the letter, titled "A Manifesto for the Truth," comes as leaks by the former NSA contract analyst have roiled U.S.-European relations amid allegations that the NSA and the UK's Government Communications Headquarters monitored the communication data of some world leaders.
"The world has learned a lot in a short amount of time about irresponsibly operated security agencies and, at times, criminal surveillance programs. Sometimes the agencies try to avoid controls," Snowden wrote, according to the news magazine.
"While the NSA and GCHQ (the British national security agency) appear to be the worst offenders - at least according to the documents that are currently public - we cannot forget that mass surveillance is a global problem and needs a global solution."FULL STORY
By CNN's Joe Sterling and Jason Seher
"The coordination with the local police is key because, remember, TSA officers are not armed," the Texas Republican told CNN's Candy Crowley on "State of the Union."
In the wake of the shooting at LAX's Terminal 3 – where a gunman, identified by police as 23-year-old Paul Ciancia, killed a TSA officer and wounded three other people – McCaul said he had already referred his suggestions to TSA Administrator John Pistole.
By CNN’s Greg Clary
National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has now been in Moscow for more than five months while Russia considers whether to grant his request for permanent asylum. But his day-to-day activities remain largely a mystery.
One person who knows more than most about Snowden’s situation is Jesselyn Radack, who met with him recently in Moscow.
Radack is a member of the whistleblower-support organization, Government Accountability Project, and a former ethics adviser to the Justice Department. She became a whistleblower herself after raising concerns about the interrogation of “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh.
Radack says security is still paramount for Snowden—she and the other visitors weren’t told the location of their meeting because of security concerns.
“It appeared to be a hotel, somewhere, but I don't know Moscow, so I didn't recognize where we were really,” Radack said.
Secretary of State John Kerry defended U.S. surveillance programs as he took part in a London conference by video Thursday, but acknowledged, "yes, in some cases, it has reached too far inappropriately".
Kerry, who was in Washington, addressed the Open Government Partnership annual summit meeting.
During a discussion of the surveillance programs, Kerry talked about the spying accusations that have roiled world leaders.
In the wake of revelations the U.S. spied on some of its closest partners, the head of the National Security Agency said Thursday he thinks some relationships with allies are more important in the fight against terrorism than the gathering of intelligence.
A week after reports the United States was spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and potentially 30 or more other heads of state, Gen. Keith Alexander said there may be more effective ways of gathering the intelligence Washington needs without jeopardizing crucial relationships with allies.
The global uproar over the National Security Agency's surveillance programs is prompting Congress to begin making some legal changes.
Most of the changes under way are focused on data collected on Americans, and little is expected to change in foreign intelligence collection.
The Senate Intelligence Committee approved a bill Thursday to make some limited changes to the law that governs the NSA's surveillance activities, focusing mostly on the program that gathers so-called metadata on nearly every call made by American telephone company customers. The data include the number called, and the time and length of the call, and are gathered under Section 215 of the Patriot Act.
By CNN Staff
The House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday afternoon is questioning U.S. spy chiefs about accusations that the National Security Agency has tapped not only the phone calls of millions of Americans, but those of top U.S. allies.
Tuesday's hearing, billed as a discussion of potential changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, comes amid claims, reported last week by German magazine Der Spiegel, that the NSA monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone.
It's the latest in a series of spying allegations that stem from disclosures given to news organizations by Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who describes himself as a whistle-blower. Comments by President Barack Obama's administration claiming that he did not know of the practice until recently have drawn criticism from both the right and the left.FULL STORY
By CNN Staff
The House Intelligence Committee is set to question U.S. spy chiefs about accusations that the National Security Agency has tapped not only the phone calls of millions of Americans, but those of top U.S. allies.
Among those on the hot seat will be Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
Germany's interior minister said Monday that his country's confidence in the United States is shaken, amid claims the NSA monitored Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone.
"If the Americans intercepted cell phones in Germany, they broke German law on German soil," Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, adding that he wants "complete information on all accusations."
"The confidence in our ally, U.S.A., is shaken," Friedrich said, according to Bild am Sonntag.FULL STORY