With all the talk of spying by the National Security Agency, it's easy to forget the government engages in off-line surveillance, too. In the last few years, the feds have expanded efforts to collect tips about people's behavior in the real world; they're called suspicious activity reports.
"The president of course has the authority to act" even if Congress does not support his plan for a military strike on Syria, White House deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken told Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep earlier today.
The National Security Agency has the keys to most Internet encryption methods and it has gotten them by using supercomputers to break them and by enlisting the help of private IT companies, The New York Times and The Guardian are reporting.
The detention for nine hours Sunday of journalist Glenn Greenwald's partner by authorities at London's Heathrow Airport was an attack "on the news-gathering process and journalism," Greenwald writes on The Guardian's website.
The morning's major scoop comes from The Washington Post:
"The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents."
In the shadow of classified leaks exposing some of the government's most secret surveillance programs, President Obama said he will work with Congress to reform laws.
President Obama on Tuesday defended the U.S. government's surveillance programs, telling NBC's Jay Leno that: "There is no spying on Americans."
Warning that "the security threat level in Yemen is extremely high," the State Department is urging any Americans in that country to "depart immediately."
The U.S. State Department has issued a worldwide travel alert because of an al-Qaida threat that is particularly significant in the Middle East and North Africa.
The United States will close all of its embassies on Sunday because of security concerns, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Thursday.