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Jun 19, 2013

NSA head, lawmakers defend surveillance programs

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the National Security Agency said U.S. surveillance programs had helped disrupt more than 50 possible attacks since September 11, 2001, as sympathetic members of Congress also defended the use of the top-secret spying operations.

In the first public hearing dedicated to the programs since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden exposed them this month, members of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee showed little will on Tuesday to pursue significant reforms.

Jun 18, 2013

NSA head, lawmakers jointly defend U.S. surveillance programs

WASHINGTON, June 18 (Reuters) – The head of the National
Security Agency on Tuesday said U.S. surveillance programs had
helped disrupt more than 50 possible attacks since Sept. 11,
2001, as sympathetic members of Congress also defended the use
of the top-secret spying operations.

In the first hearing dedicated to the surveillance programs
since former NSA contactor Edward Snowden revealed them earlier
this month, members of the House of Representatives Intelligence
Committee showed little will for significant reforms.

Jun 18, 2013

NSA head says U.S. surveillance thwarted more than 50 attacks

WASHINGTON, June 18 (Reuters) – The head of the U.S.
National Security Agency on Tuesday defended the broad
surveillance of Americans’ phone and Internet data as a vital
security tool and said it had helped disrupt possible attacks
more than 50 times since Sept. 11, 2001.

Justifying the surveillance programs that were disclosed by
an NSA leaker earlier this month, General Keith Alexander said
he would give lawmakers classified details of all of the
thwarted incidents within 24 hours.

Jun 14, 2013

House votes to block Obama plan to close Guantanamo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives passed a massive defense bill on Friday that includes measures to block President Barack Obama’s plans to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, underscoring the tough fight ahead for the White House as it seeks to shutter the controversial detention camp.

The Republican-controlled House voted, 315-108, for the $638 billion National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes money for weapons, troops and the war in Afghanistan. But it also addresses a range of policy matters, including this year’s efforts to combat sexual assault in the military and provisions intended to prevent the closure of the prison camp at the base in Cuba.

Jun 13, 2013

FBI says U.S. will hold Snowden responsible for NSA leaks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – FBI Director Robert Mueller said on Thursday that authorities would move aggressively to track down Edward Snowden and hold him accountable for leaking the details of extensive and top-secret U.S. surveillance efforts.

Mueller confirmed that a criminal investigation had been launched into the leaks and said public reports about the National Security Agency’s efforts to monitor Internet and phone data had hurt U.S. national security.

Jun 13, 2013

Lawmakers tire of playing ’20 questions’ in surveillance briefings

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Some members of the Congress say that getting straight answers from intelligence agencies about top-secret surveillance is like playing the game “20 Questions,” where answers come only if a questioner knows exactly what to ask.

They say quality of closed briefings depends largely on who conducts the sessions and whether members go in with a working knowledge of programs and pointed questions.

Jun 13, 2013

U.S. lawmakers tire of playing ’20 questions’ in surveillance briefings

WASHINGTON, June 13 (Reuters) – Some members of the U.S.
Congress say that getting straight answers from intelligence
agencies about top-secret surveillance is like playing the game
“20 Questions,” where answers come only if a questioner knows
exactly what to ask.

They say quality of closed briefings depends largely on who
conducts the sessions and whether members go in with a working
knowledge of programs and pointed questions.

Jun 7, 2013

Lawmakers mostly support surveillance programs

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The strongest criticism of President Barack Obama normally comes from the U.S. Congress, but reports the government engaged in sweeping surveillance of Americans’ phone and Internet activity left even many of his critics uncharacteristically supportive.

A few lawmakers called for probes or closed-door hearings after the reports surfaced this week and a small group introduced a bill seeking to “stop the National Security Agency from spying on citizens of the United States.”

Jun 6, 2013

Lawmakers act to limit military authority in sex assault cases

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers, reacting to a spate of sexual violence seen as a “cancer” in the armed forces, backed a measure on Wednesday that would strip military commanders of their ability to overturn convictions for rape and other sexual assaults.

The House of Representatives Armed Services Committee voted to include the plan in the National Defense Authorization Act, a $638 billion bill that sets defense policy and authorizes spending levels for the Pentagon.

Jun 5, 2013

U.S. lawmakers act to limit military authority in sex assault cases

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers, reacting to a spate of sexual violence seen as a “cancer” in the armed forces, backed a measure on Wednesday that would strip military commanders of their ability to overturn convictions for rape and other sexual assaults.

The House of Representatives Armed Services Committee voted to include the plan in the National Defense Authorization Act, a $638 billion bill that sets defense policy and authorizes spending levels for the Pentagon.

    • About Patricia

      "Patricia Zengerle covers foreign policy and national security on Capitol Hill for Reuters. She recently covered the 2012 campaign and the White House and had been an editor in Washington, D.C., an editor in London, and a correspondent in Miami, Pittsburgh and New York. You can follow her on Twitter @ReutersZengerle"
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