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Tag: phone monitoring

NSA to Reveal Number of Terrorism Plots Foiled by Massive Surveillance Program

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hoping to quell criticism of the National Security Agency’s widespread telephone data surveillance programs, federal officials plan to announce Monday the number of terror plot foiled by monitoring, Reuters reports.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, announced the agency’s plans after NSA Chief General Keith Alexander said dozens of terrorism plots were thwarted.

“There’s more than you think,” Feinstein told reporters of the foiled plots.

Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden and Mark Udall expressed skepticism.

“We have not yet seen any evidence showing that the NSA’s dragnet collection of Americans’ phone records has produced any uniquely valuable intelligence,” the two said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Justice Department Secretly Monitored Phone Calls at Associated Press in “Unprecedented Intrusion”

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Calling it a “massive and unprecedented intrusion,” the Justice Department covertly collected two months of telephone records from reporters and editors at the Associated Press, CNN reports.

The records came from the work and person phone numbers reporters and other at the AP.

It’s uncertain what officials are looking for, but one theory is that investigators are interested in an AP story about a foiled terror plot, the AP wrote.

“There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters. These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know,” Pruitt said.

Even members of Congress were dumbfounded.

“The First Amendment is first for a reason,” said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner. “If the Obama administration is going after reporters’ phone records, they better have a damned good explanation.”