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Mar 27, 2014

White House unveils plan to end NSA’s bulk collection of phone data

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Thursday announced details of its plan to end the government’s vast bulk collection of data about phone calls made in the United States, including new procedures to get judicial approval before asking companies for such records.

Under the plan, phone companies would have to provide data from their records quickly and in a usable format when requested by the government, a senior administration official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

Mar 26, 2014

Western governments see continuing Russian buildup on Ukraine border

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. and European security agencies estimate Russia has deployed military and militia units totaling more than 30,000 people along its border with eastern Ukraine, according to U.S. and European sources familiar with official reporting.

The current estimates represent what officials on both sides of the Atlantic describe as a continuing influx of Russian forces along the Ukraine frontier, the sources said.

Mar 25, 2014

NSA ‘metadata’ reform plans seek to defuse potential opposition

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Proposals by the White House and a congressional committee to reform the National Security Agency’s collection of Americans’ telephone “metadata” are being crafted with an eye toward defusing potential opposition from telephone companies and privacy advocates, sources familiar with the plans said.

Lawmakers are considering giving government compensation to phone companies for expenses incurred when the intelligence agency asks for searches of phone records, as well as offering the firms greater protection against lawsuits challenging their compliance with those requests.

Mar 22, 2014

CIA chief vows fast review of declassifying interrogation report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the CIA on Friday promised a quick review of whether a Senate report on the agency’s use of “enhanced interrogation” methods on foreign terrorism suspects can be released on an unclassified basis, apparently moving to reduce tensions with the CIA’s congressional overseers.

CIA Director John Brennan’s statement, contained in a message distributed to CIA employees, comes amid a fierce dispute over whether members of the spy agency secretly monitored a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation of the detention and interrogation policies used under former Republican President George W. Bush.

Mar 19, 2014

Ukraine crisis casts cloud over Moscow anti-money laundering meeting

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Russia’s takeover of Crimea and the ensuing East-West crisis have cast a cloud over a meeting of top international anti-money laundering officials scheduled to take place in Moscow in June.

The meeting of the Financial Action Task Force, bringing together chiefs of government “financial intelligence units” set up to spot and crack down on illicit financial transactions, is slated to be held in Moscow from June 16 to 20.

Mar 18, 2014

FBI evaluating complaints about hacking by CIA, Senate panel: sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The FBI is evaluating separate criminal referrals sent to the Justice Department by the CIA in its dispute with Senate investigators over access to documents about the agency’s “enhanced interrogation” practices, officials familiar with the matter said.

The CIA and one of its two main congressional overseers, the Senate Intelligence Committee, have traded accusations that each inappropriately intruded into computer systems containing highly classified data about the Bush-era practices, which human rights activists have described as torture.

Mar 15, 2014

Satellite data shows missing Malaysia plane may have flown thousands of miles-source

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Analysis of electronic pulses picked up from a missing Malaysian airliner shows it could have run out of fuel and crashed into the Indian Ocean after it flew hundreds of miles off course, a source familiar with official U.S. assessments said on Friday.

The source, who is familiar with data the U.S. government is receiving from the investigation into the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines plane, said the other, less likely possibility was that it flew on toward India.

Mar 15, 2014

Lost Malaysian airliner may have run out of fuel over Indian Ocean: source

KUALA LUMPUR/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Faint electronic signals sent to satellites from a missing Malaysian jetliner show it may have been flown thousands of miles off course before running out of fuel over the Indian Ocean, a source familiar with official U.S. assessments said.

Analysis in Malaysia and the United States of military radar tracking and pulses detected by satellites are starting to piece together an extraordinary picture of what may have happened to the plane after it lost contact with civilian air traffic.

Mar 15, 2014

Missing Malaysia plane may have run out of fuel over Indian Ocean: source

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Analysis of electronic pulses picked up from a missing Malaysian airliner shows it could have run out of fuel and crashed into the Indian Ocean after it flew hundreds of miles off course, a source familiar with official U.S. assessments said on Friday.

The source, who is familiar with data the U.S. government is receiving from the investigation into the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines plane, said the other, less likely possibility was that it flew on toward India.

Mar 14, 2014

Search for Malaysian plane may extend to Indian Ocean: U.S.

KUALA LUMPUR/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A new search area for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 may be opened in the Indian Ocean, the White House said, significantly broadening the potential location of the plane, which disappeared nearly a week ago with 239 people on board.

Expanding the search area to the Indian Ocean would be consistent with the theory that the Boeing 777 may have detoured to the west about an hour after take-off from the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing.