Tag Archive for Surveillance State

Snowden’s Leaks Doom NSA’s Snooping

President Barack Obama talks about the National Security Agency's surveillance policies at a press conference on Dec. 20, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

After long claiming to welcome a robust debate on NSA surveillance, President Obama found the debate more robust – and more substantive – than he expected, especially after the leaks by Edward Snowden, as Danny Schechter explains.

Judge Leon’s Dirty Climb to the Bench

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon

Exclusive: Civil libertarians are cheering federal judge Richard Leon for his ruling against the NSA’s massive surveillance program – and that’s all to the good – but Leon’s route to the bench followed a twisted course of partisan investigations and one historic cover-up, Robert Parry reports.

The Bigger Risk: Private v. Public Spying

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The fear of NSA’s metadata collection is as much in the potential for Big Brother government as in the present – or as Edward Snowden says a “turnkey tyranny” all ready to go – but private-sector abuses are another worry, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar writes.

Obama Urged to Fire DNI Clapper

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper talks with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office. (Photo credit: Office of Director of National Intelligence)

Last March – before Edward Snowden revealed the NSA’s sweeping collection of phone and other data – Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said no such operation existed. Now, a group of ex-national security officials urge President Obama to fire Clapper.

Real Journalism v. Big Brother

U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron trade bottles of beer to settle a bet they made on the U.S. vs. England World Cup Soccer game (which ended in a tie), during a bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit in Toronto, Canada, June 26, 2010. (White House photo by Pete Souza)

In theory, pretty much everyone claims to like investigative journalism, even government officials. But the reaction is different when reporters expose troubling facts, especially if they make a favored country or politician look bad. Yet, that is what’s needed, says Norman Solomon.

US Shutting Down a Key News Source

James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence.

Exclusive: The U.S. intelligence community vacuums up vast amounts of data, but it has one agency, World News Connection, that gives back information to the public – except that the service is getting shut down at year’s end, notes ex-intelligence analyst Elizabeth Murray.

NSA Spying’s Economic Fallout

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden speaking in Moscow on Oct. 9, 2013. (From a video posted by WikiLeaks)

Many Americans were shocked at Edward Snowden’s leaks about the extent of the U.S. government’s electronic surveillance but another downside is that people around the world are now bailing out on U.S.-based Internet companies, as best they can, writes Sander Venema.

Will NSA Reforms Protect Citizens?

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Exclusive: Common citizens around the world may be alarmed at the NSA’s electronic dragnet prying into their personal lives, but reforms may focus mostly on the privacy of government leaders and corporate executives, writes Andrés Cala.

Clarifying Snowden’s ‘Freedom’

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden speaking in Moscow on Oct. 9, 2013. (From a video posted by WikiLeaks)

A common angle from the mainstream U.S. media is that NSA leaker Edward Snowden will regret his asylum in Russia (rather than life in prison in the U.S.). A quote from ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern was used in support of that theme, but he has asked the New York Times to clarify it.

The Two Types of Spy ‘Scandals’

A common complaint from spy agencies is that they get blamed for “intelligence failures” when they miss something and they get attacked for “intelligence abuses” when they go too far with their espionage. The public veers from one type of “scandal” to the next, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar describes.