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Dec 20, 2013

Video raises worries of Britons fighting with Syria militants

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An Internet video surfaced this week depicting a masked man in Syria with a working-class British accent, urging British Muslims to travel there and join one of the most radical Islamist rebel militias fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

In the three-minute video, the man, wearing a black hood with eyeholes, loads what he says is a Glock 19 pistol with bullets he says come from the Free Syrian Army, a more moderate rebel group supported by the West.

Dec 20, 2013

Target probe looks overseas, stolen cards offered online

WASHINGTON, Dec 20 (Reuters) – Investigators believe that
overseas hackers were responsible for the cyber attack on U.S.
retailer Target Corp that compromised up to 40 million
payment cards during the first three weeks of the holiday
shopping season, a person familiar with the matter said on
Friday.

The person, who was not authorized to talk publicly about
the matter, said that government investigators do not believe
that the hackers had inside help.

Dec 20, 2013

Investigators look overseas for hackers in Target case: source

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Investigators believe that overseas hackers were responsible for the cyber attack on U.S. retailer Target Corp that compromised up to 40 million payment cards during the first three weeks of the holiday shopping season, a person familiar with the matter said.

The person, who was not authorized to talk publicly about the matter, said that government investigators do not believe that the hackers had inside help.

Dec 20, 2013

With cash, Ukraine’s political foes bring fight to Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Rival political factions facing each other on the streets of Ukraine have also enlisted heavyweight lobbyists in Washington, some with connections at the highest levels of U.S. government, to promote their causes to American policymakers, media and members of Congress.

Among the high-profile lobbyists registered to represent organizations backing Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich’s government are prominent Democratic lobbyist Anthony Podesta and former Republican congressional leaders Vin Weber and Billy Tauzin.

Dec 18, 2013

White House review panel proposes curbs on some NSA programs

WASHINGTON, Dec 18 (Reuters) – A White House-appointed panel
on Wednesday proposed curbs on some key National Security Agency
surveillance operations, recommending limits on a program to
collect records of billions of telephone calls and new tests
before Washington spies on foreign leaders.

Among the panel’s proposals, made in the wake of revelations
by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the most contentious
may be its recommendation that the eavesdropping agency halt
collection of the phone call records, known as “metadata.”

Dec 17, 2013

U.S. judge says phone surveillance program likely unlawful

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government’s gathering of Americans’ phone records is likely unlawful, a judge ruled on Monday, raising “serious doubts” about the value of the National Security Agency’s so-called metadata counter terrorism program.

“I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen,” U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, appointed by Republican President George W. Bush in 2002, wrote in a 68-page ruling.

Dec 17, 2013

Now, it’s Snowden: the book and, maybe, the film

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A tale that could rival any spy novel is about to be told by three writers who are working on potentially rival books on the revelations and travails of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Glenn Greenwald, a former columnist for Britain’s The Guardian, has a book likely to come out in March. Greenwald received classified spy documents from Snowden in clandestine meetings in Hong Kong after he fled the United States last spring.

Dec 16, 2013

U.S. judge rules phone surveillance program is likely unlawful

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government’s gathering of Americans’ phone records is likely unlawful, a judge ruled on Monday, raising “serious doubts” about the value of the National Security Agency’s so-called metadata counterterrorism program.

“I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen,” Leon, appointed by Republican President George W. Bush in 2002, wrote in a 68-page ruling.

Dec 14, 2013

American missing in Iran was probing possible money laundering: lawyer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An American with links to the Central Intelligence Agency was investigating suspicions that Iranian government officials were diverting petroleum funds and laundering them through Canada when he went missing in Iran in 2007, a lawyer for his family said on Friday.

Robert Levinson, a private detective and former FBI agent, was investigating allegations of corruption by well-connected people in Iran, lawyer David McGee told Reuters.

Dec 12, 2013

U.S. Congress, CIA still feuding over interrogations and secret prisons

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Senate Intelligence Committee and Central Intelligence Agency still have major disagreements over a huge report the committee is trying to complete that is highly critical of harsh counter-terrorism practices such as “waterboarding,” which the agency used under President George W. Bush.

Both congressional and intelligence officials confirmed that the CIA continues to dispute significant aspects of a draft of the report which the Senate committee approved a year ago. It runs to thousands of pages and remains highly classified.