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Unapologetic Obama determined to continue spying on Americans

The spying administration of President Barack Obama is determined to keep snooping into the lives of any and all Americans while it considers charges against the government contractor who leaked the story to a British newspaper reporter. Obama is not apologizing for the program that snoops 24/7 into the lives of U.S. citizens and is not backing down in his apparent determination to ignore privacy and other rights that used to be guaranteed by the Constitution. “The President is venturing into dangerous territory but he doesn’t seem to care,” privacy expert Brian Callings told Capitol Hill Blue Monday.  “He is
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British reporter hates invasions of privacy

The man who claimed to leak state secrets on U.S. government eavesdropping sought to break the story through a columnist for a UK-based publication who has made no secret of his distaste for intrusions on privacy. Edward Snowden brought his information first to Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian, illustrating the passion an opinion-driven journalist can bring to a breaking news story at the same time it raises questions about fairness. Greenwald, author of three books in which he argues the government has trampled on personal rights in the name of protecting national security, wrote the original stories exposing the extent
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Contractor revealed as leak of NSA spying controversy

The man who gave classified documents to reporters, making public two sweeping U.S. surveillance programs and touching off a national debate on privacy versus security, has revealed his own identity. He risked decades in jail for the disclosures — if the U.S. can extradite him from Hong Kong where he has taken refuge. Edward Snowden, 29, who says he worked as a contractor at the National Security Agency and the CIA, allowed The Guardian and The Washington Post newspapers to reveal his identity Sunday. Both papers have published a series of top-secret documents outlining two NSA surveillance programs. One gathers
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How NSA spying collects data on all Americans

Edward Snowden identified himself Sunday as a principal source behind revelations about the National Security Agency’s sweeping phone and Internet surveillance programs. Five things to know about the disclosures: — THE PROGRAMS: The NSA has been collecting the phone records of hundreds of millions of Americans each day, creating a database through which it can learn whether terror suspects have been in contact with people in the U.S. While the NSA program does not listen to actual conversations, the revelation of the program reopened the post-Sept. 11 debate about privacy concerns versus heightened measures to protect against terrorist attacks. Separately,
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Democrat claims Republican, not White House, started IRS targeting of right-wing groups

A self-described conservative Republican who is a manager in the Internal Revenue Service office that targeted tea party groups told investigators that he, not the White House, set the review in motion, the top Democrat on the House watchdog committee said Sunday. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., released a partial transcript of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform interview with the unnamed manager in the IRS’ Cincinnati office. In it, the employee said the extra scrutiny for tea party groups’ tax exempt status was an effort to be consistent in reviewing applications and not driven by politics. “He is
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Where is gun control movement six months after Sandy Hook?

Six months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, some of the victims’ families are heading to Capitol Hill to remind lawmakers they are painfully waiting for action, while some of the president’s allies are asking him to do more without any new prospects of legislation to toughen gun laws. The lobbying visit Tuesday and Wednesday is one of several observances gun control proponents are planning for the half-year anniversary of the Dec. 14 massacre of 20 first graders and six staff in Newtown, Conn. The Sandy Hook families and other activists are keeping pressure on lawmakers to expand background
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American spy boss defends spying on U.S. citizens

Eager to quell a domestic furor over U.S. spying, the nation’s top intelligence official stressed Saturday that a previously undisclosed program for tapping into Internet usage is authorized by Congress, falls under strict supervision of a secret court and cannot intentionally target a U.S. citizen. He decried the revelation of that and another intelligence-gathering program as reckless. For the second time in three days, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper took the rare step of declassifying some details of an intelligence program to respond to media reports about counterterrorism techniques employed by the government. “Disclosing information about the specific methods
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Obama says Americans must learn to live with government spying on them

President Barack Obama is urging Americans to “make some choices” in balancing privacy and security as he defends once-secret surveillance programs that sweep up an estimated 3 billion phone calls a day and amass Internet data from U.S. providers in an attempt to thwart terror attacks. Obama says it will be harder to detect threats against the U.S. now that the two top-secret tools to target terrorists have been so thoroughly publicized. At turns defensive and defiant while speaking to reporters on Friday, Obama stood by the spy programs revealed this week. The National Security Agency has been collecting the
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Big brother monitors just about everything we do

With every phone call they make and every Web excursion they take, people are leaving a digital trail of revealing data that can be tracked by profit-seeking companies and terrorist-hunting government officials. The revelations that the National Security Agency is perusing millions of U.S. customer phone records at Verizon Communications and snooping on the digital communications stored by nine major Internet services illustrate how aggressively personal data is being collected and analyzed. Verizon is handing over so-called metadata, excerpts from millions of U.S. customer records, to the NSA under an order issued by the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, according
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White House in damage control mode over spying on Americans

Moving to tamp down a public uproar spurred by the disclosure of two secret surveillance programs, the nation’s top intelligence official is declassifying key details about one of the programs while insisting the efforts were legal, limited in scope and necessary to detect terrorist threats. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, in an unusual late-night statement Thursday, denounced the leaks of highly classified documents that revealed the programs and warned that America’s security will suffer. He called the disclosure of a program that targets foreigners’ Internet use “reprehensible,” and said the leak of another program that lets the government collect
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