File Is Said to Confirm N.S.A. Spied on Merkel

Communications between the German chancellor and her aides, purportedly intercepted by spies, were released Wednesday by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.


Joint Statement by the DOJ and the ODNI on the Declassification of the Resumption of Collection Under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act

Yesterday, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court issued an Opinion and Primary Order approving the government’s application to renew the Section 215 bulk telephony program.


WikiLeaks: NSA eavesdropped on the last 3 French presidents

PARIS (AP) – WikiLeaks published documents late Tuesday it says shows the U.S. National Security Agency eavesdropped on the last three French presidents.

There was no instant confirmation of the accuracy of the documents released in collaboration with French daily newspaper Liberation and investigative website Mediapart.

WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson …


Rand Paul wants the infamous ’28 pages’ of secret 9/11 files released

Rand Paul

For more than a decade, a chunk of a high-level Congressional report that allegedly shows ties between 9/11 terrorists and the Saudi Arabian government has been classified.

Now, a bipartisan group of lawmakers is pushing to make the redacted section public. 

On Tuesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) joined a group of bipartisan lawmakers promoting legislation that would release a 28 page report detailing foreign government connections to terrorists who carried out the September 11, 2001 attacks. 

“We cannot let page after page of blanked-out documents be obscured by a veil, leaving these family members to wonder if there is additional information surrounding these horrible acts,” Paul said in a press conference on Tuesday, according to the Washington Post.

The 28 pages are part of a larger Congressional report on 9/11 intelligence released in 2002 called the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.

As the New Yorker notes, the Bush administration decided to withhold parts, claiming the contents would reveal intelligence gathering methods and make it more difficult to find terrorists. 

The redacted section has been closely held possibly because the pages show how much the Saudi government knew about 9/11 hijackers. Whether the report shows a negligent government that ignored the attacks, or a more proactive government that is financially connected to the attackers is unclear.

The Saudi government was one of the Bush administration’s closest allies in the Middle East. Some lawmakers who have seen the pages, including Rep. Walter Jones (R-North Carolina), suggest the White House may have been hesitant to release the pages because the administration would look bad for its ties with the Saudis.

“There’s nothing in it about national security,” Jones told the New Yorker. “It’s about the Bush Administration and its relationship with the Saudis.” 

The Saudi government denies the connection.

Bush Bandar

It’s unclear what actions the intelligence community took after the report. As the Daily Beast notes, the information in the report was passed on to the FBI to investigate further in 2003, but it’s unclear what the results of the investigation were. 

Along with Democratic co-sponsors Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-New York) in the Senate, Paul’s current allies in the House are also pushing for release. Congressman Jones, who has been a vocal advocate for the documents’ release for years, is reaching out to House lawmakers about supporting a resolution calling for the Obama administration to release the information.

The White House is now considering whether it will release the pages on its own. President Obama has previously said he supports such a move. 

“The administration, in response to a specific congressional request, last year asked the intelligence community to conduct a classification review of that material,” White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said earlier this year.

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Edward Snowden hails curbing of U.S. spying powers as ‘historic’

Fugitive former U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden on Tuesday hailed as “historic” efforts to end the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records, while urging campaigners to go further. The United States Senate passed landmark legislation that limits the powers of the National Security Agency, where Snowden was a contractor before he began leaking details of […]

The post Edward Snowden hails curbing of U.S. spying powers as ‘historic’ appeared first on The Japan Times.


Debate Over NSA ‘Spying’ Program, Explained in Under 2 Minutes

Congress has less than a week to decide the fate of a government surveillance program that was created after 9/11 to prevent terrorist attacks. The program, enabled by a provision under the Patriot Act, gives the National Security Agency a number of tools to fight terror, such as the ability to collect phone records in bulk. With the U.S. Senate deeply divided on the issue, The Daily Signal breaks down the debate happening on Capitol Hill.

>>> Analysis: Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act and Metadata Collection: Responsible Options for the Way Forward

>>> Read More: Conservatives Accuse Mitch McConnell of Playing Politics With Debate Over NSA ‘Spying’ Program

The post Debate Over NSA ‘Spying’ Program, Explained in Under 2 Minutes appeared first on The Daily Signal.


More NSA keywords detected in German spy agency’s computers

More than 400,000 new keywords in German spy agency BND’s computers, a new report in the German media says. The findings would further undermine the organization, accused of helping the NSA in its snooping activities.


What Would Happen if Patriot Act Section 215 Expires

The Capitol Hill Patriot Act standoff continues, and absent a deal, the controversial spying program revealed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden will expire June 1.


Why Edward Snowden may be the last whistleblower

Big data’s ability to aggregate may stop potential leakers before they have a chance to dump information


A former CIA chief says other governments could launch crippling computer attacks on the U.S.

 worldA former Director of Counterintelligence for the CIA — Barry Royden — believes that cyber terrorism is the next big threat to America. 

Royden, who spent 40 years in the CIA — 35 years as an operative and 5 years as head of counterintelligence — knows what he’s talking about. Though he’s been retired for more than a decade, he isn’t blind to what he believes is a new type of threat that has emerged in an increasingly connected world:

The trouble is, it’s extremely difficult, in fact, it’s impossible — everyone is connected to everyone, and as long as you’re connected you’re vulnerable. And there are firewalls, but every firewall is potentially defeatable, so it’s a nightmare in my mind. You have to think that other governments have the capability to bring down the main computer systems in this country, power grids, hospitals, or banking systems — things that could cause great economic upheaval and paralyze the country.”

He adds:

“Now, if they were to do it to us and we were to do it to them, it would almost be like a nuclear standoff. They could do it but if they did it what would the cost be? Because they know we have the same capabilities and that we presumably attack their computer systems the same way and we could destroy their economy. So you hope that no one is going to do that but you’re vulnerable. These days, I think the cyber world is the big threat.”


READ OUR FULL INTERVIEW: A former CIA chief told us what makes a great spy and why they missed on 9/11

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