Mark's Feed
Nov 14, 2013

NSA chief says Snowden leaked up to 200,000 secret documents

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked as many as 200,000 classified U.S. documents to the media, according to little-noticed public remarks by the eavesdropping agency’s chief late last month.

In a question-and-answer session following a speech to a foreign affairs group in Baltimore on October 31, NSA Director General Keith Alexander was asked by a member of the audience what steps U.S. authorities were taking to stop Snowden from leaking additional information to journalists.

Nov 13, 2013

U.S. to name Nigeria’s Boko Haram as terrorist group: sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The State Department will formally designate the Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram as a “foreign terrorist organization” on Wednesday, congressional sources and others briefed on the matter said.

The designation is significant because it directs U.S. law enforcement and regulatory agencies to block business and financial transactions with Boko Haram, which wants to impose Islamic law in northern Nigeria and has ties to al Qaeda.

Nov 8, 2013

Senate panel approves beefed-up oversight of drone attacks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate Intelligence Committee has quietly approved a plan to step up both public and internal government oversight of the use of armed drones to kill suspected militants overseas, including American citizens.

The committee voted in closed session earlier this week to approve legislative language that would require U.S. spy agencies to make public statistics on how many people were killed or injured in missile strikes launched from U.S.-operated drones.

Nov 8, 2013

U.S., Germany discuss intelligence cooperation after Merkel affair

WASHINGTON, Nov 8 (Reuters) – After disclosures that the
U.S. National Security Agency tapped German Chancellor Angela
Merkel’s cellphone, Washington and Berlin are discussing new
rules to govern dealings between their spy agencies, U.S. and
European officials said.

Senior German officials, including the chiefs of Germany’s
foreign intelligence service, the BND, and its domestic security
agency, the BfV, met with Obama administration and U.S.
intelligence officials last weekend to discuss how to reshape
intelligence cooperation.

Nov 8, 2013

Exclusive: Snowden persuaded other NSA workers to give up passwords – sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden used login credentials and passwords provided unwittingly by colleagues at a spy base in Hawaii to access some of the classified material he leaked to the media, sources said.

A handful of agency employees who gave their login details to Snowden were identified, questioned and removed from their assignments, said a source close to several U.S. government investigations into the damage caused by the leaks.

Nov 5, 2013

‘No-spy’ pact with Germany unlikely despite Snowden’s revelations

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is working to improve intelligence cooperation with Germany but a sweeping “no-spy” agreement between the two countries is unlikely, a senior Obama administration official said on Tuesday.

German and U.S. intelligence officials are meeting this week following reports that the National Security Agency had monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.

Nov 1, 2013

UK: Snowden reporter’s partner involved in ‘espionage’ and ‘terrorism’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – British authorities claimed the domestic partner of reporter Glenn Greenwald was involved in “terrorism” when he tried to carry documents from former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden through a London airport in August, according to police and intelligence documents.

Greenwald’s partner, David Miranda, was detained and questioned for nine hours by British authorities at Heathrow on August 18, when he landed there from Berlin to change planes for a flight to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

Oct 31, 2013

Obama halted NSA spying on IMF and World Bank headquarters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has ordered the National Security Agency to stop eavesdropping on the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank as part of a review of intelligence gathering activities, according to a U.S. official familiar with the matter.

The order is the latest move by the White House to demonstrate that it is willing to curb at least some surveillance in the wake of leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden of programs that collect huge quantities of data on U.S. allies and adversaries, and American citizens.

Oct 30, 2013

U.S. spy agency’s defense: Europeans did it too

WASHINGTON, Oct 30 (Reuters) – The political uproar over
alleged U.S. eavesdropping on close European allies has produced
an unusual defense from the National Security Agency: NSA says
it was the Europeans themselves who did the spying, and then
handed data to the Americans.

It is rare for intelligence officials to speak in any public
detail about liaison arrangements with foreign spy agencies
because such relationships are so sensitive. Even more unusual
is for the United States to point fingers at partners.

Oct 29, 2013

Exclusive: Obama orders curbs on NSA spying on U.N. headquarters

By Mark Hosenball

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama recently ordered the National Security Agency to curtail eavesdropping on the United Nations headquarters in New York as part of a review of U.S. electronic surveillance, according to a U.S. official familiar with the decision.

Obama’s order is the latest known move by the White House to limit the NSA’s vast intelligence collection, in the wake of protests by allies, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, over U.S. spying on foreign heads of state.