President Obama called French president Francois Hollande to tell him he's not listening to his calls.
"President Obama spoke this morning with President Francois Hollande of France. The President affirmed our unwavering commitment to the bilateral relationship, including our ongoing close cooperation in the intelligence and security fields," the White House readout of the call states.
"The President reiterated that we have abided by the commitment we made to our French counterparts in late 2013 that we are not targeting and will not target the communications of the French President.
"As the President noted during President Hollande’s State Visit to Washington, D.C., in February 2014, we are committed to our productive and indispensable intelligence relationship with France, which allows us to make progress against shared threats, including international terrorism and proliferation, among others."
While the country slept Friday night and into Saturday morning, the U.S. Senate debated and voted on whether to alter substantially the NSA’s bulk telephone meta-data collection program, extend it for a short period, or simply let it die on June 1 when the “sunset” provision governing the relevant section (Sec. 215) of the Patriot Act kicks in.
Oklahoma City Two likely Republican presidential candidates defended the PATRIOT Act and its terrorist surveillance provisions at a gathering of Republicans Friday morning. Both New Jersey governor Chris Christie and former Florida governor Jeb Bush were emphatic in their support for the National Security Agency’s metadata collection program.
Republican senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas said President Obama is "not providing the resources" to defeat the Islamic State in and that United States ought to send "a few thousand more" troops into Iraq to combat the terrorist group in that country.
On Wednesday afternoon Kentucky senator Rand Paul, a Republican presidential candidate, began what he's calling a filibuster of the Senate's renewal of the PATRIOT Act. Here's a tweet from Paul announcing the speech:
I've just taken the senate floor to begin a filibuster of the Patriot Act renewal. It's time to end the NSA spying!
Last week, Edward Snowden came out (or was let out) of his home in liberty-loving Russia to grant an interview to John Oliver, erstwhile Comedy Central Daily Show correspondent and current host of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. A few seconds in, the ever-so-earnest Snowden began to realize that Oliver, much like his mentors Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, was actually less interested in conducting a traditional interview than in needling him.
President Barack Obama said last night at a Democratic fundraiser in Rhode Island that the terrorism from ISIS "doesn’t immediately threaten the homeland." The reason? The security measures taken by President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to Obama.
The threat to the U.S. government and U.S. businesses from foreign hackers, especially from China, has been increasingly in the news in recent months. In a little noticed WTOP interview last week, recently installed National Counterintelligence Executive William Evanina expressed the threat in terms that almost seem hyperbolic:
The topic of surveillance by the National Security Agency has arisen in, of all places, a House Republican primary in Kansas. Incumbent Mike Pompeo faced criticism from his challenger, former congressman Todd Tiahrt, over Pompeo's support for NSA surveillance programs. In a recent debate, Tiahrt accused Pompeo of "taking money from lobbyists and supporting the violation of the Fourth Amendment," while Pompeo replied that Tiahrt was misleading people about a program that keeps Americans safe.
Yesterday, the Washington Post’s top story was another leak from NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Unlike many of the Post’s other Snowden stories, where sensationalism has greatly outweighed the reported facts about this or that NSA program, this one had more substance and less breathless analysis.
President Obama has released a statement "on the Section 215 Bulk Metadata Program," saying that "Having carefully considered the available options, I have decided that the best path forward is that the government should not collect or hold this data in bulk." The statement is released by the White House wile President Obama is in Rome.
Edward Snowden’s revelations about the foreign and domestic surveillance practices of the National Security Agency have inspired a great deal of anger around the world, but nowhere has the fury been stronger than in Germany. “Goodbye, Friends!” read the front page of Die Zeit last November, when it was disclosed that the NSA had monitored one of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phones. Der Spiegel, which breathlessly published a report last fall alleging the U.S.