National Security Agency
A secretive U.S. spy court has ruled again that the National Security Agency can keep collecting every American’s telephone records every day, in the midst of dueling decisions in two civilian federal courts about whether the surveillance program is constitutional.
Civil libertarians have begun an appeal of a decision by a federal judge in New York City that found the National Security Agency’s collection of Americans’ phone records is legal.
The White House said the president planned to stay at home and ring in the new year with friends and family.
Apple Inc. says it played no role in the National Security Agency’s alleged efforts to hack the iPhone, explaining that it was unaware of a recently revealed program apparently aimed at turning the best-selling smartphone into an improvised listening device.
Members of Congress say they’re not impressed with Edward Snowden’s recent publicity blitz calling for an end to mass surveillance and declaring that he’s already accomplished his mission.
In a debate over the future of U.S. government surveillance and the National Security Agency, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., called leaker Edward Snowden a “defector and a traitor,” and said that such metadata in 2001 could likely have prevented the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Senior Israeli officials on Sunday demanded an end to U.S. spying on Israel, following revelations that the National Security Agency intercepted emails from the offices of the country’s top former leaders.
The director of national intelligence on Saturday declassified more documents that outline how the National Security Agency was first authorized to start collecting bulk phone and Internet records in the hunt for al-Qaida terrorists and how a court eventually gained oversight of the program.
During his end-of-the-year press conference, President Barack Obama fielded several questions regarding the scandal surrounding the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of millions of Americans’ telephone records.
Russian President Vladimir Putin defended the US National Security Agency, and even said he envies President Obama in light of the NSA revelations “because he can get away with it.”