Monthly Archives: June 2013

Source's employer: Reports of NSA leak 'shocking'

The employer of a 29-year-old man who says he is behind the leaks of sensitive National Security Agency programs is calling the disclosure “shocking” and is pledging to work with authorities. Consulting giant Booz Allen on Sunday confirmed Edward Snowden is an employee assigned to a team in Hawaii. The firm says Snowden has been working there less than three months. The Guardian identified Snowden as a source for its reports on intelligence programs after he asked the newspaper to do so. The Washington Post also identified Snowden as a source for its reporting. Continue Reading →

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5 things to note about NSA surveillance programs

Edward Snowden identified himself Sunday as a principal source behind revelations about the National Security Agency’s sweeping phone and Internet surveillance programs. Five things to know about the disclosures: — THE PROGRAMS: The NSA has been collecting the phone records of hundreds of millions of Americans each day, creating a database through which it can learn whether terror suspects have been in contact with people in the U.S. While the NSA program does not listen to actual conversations, the revelation of the program reopened the post-Sept. 11 debate about privacy concerns versus heightened measures to protect against terrorist attacks. Separately, an Internet scouring program, code-named PRISM, allows the NSA and FBI to tap directly into nine U.S. Internet companies to gather all Internet usage — audio, video, photographs, emails and searches. The effort is designed to detect suspicious behavior that begins overseas. — THE LEAKER: A 29-year-old high school dropout who worked for consulting giant Booz Allen Hamilton has claimed responsibility for disclosing the programs to The Guardian and The Washington Post. Continue Reading →

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NSA: The finder and keeper of countless US secrets

An email, a telephone call — even the murmur of a conversation captured by the vibration of a window. They’re all part of the data that can be swept up by the super-secret National Security Agency. The NSA’s job is to use the world’s most cutting edge supercomputers and arguably the largest database storage sites to crunch and sift through immense amounts of data. The information analyzed might be stolen from a foreign official’s laptop by a CIA officer overseas, intercepted by a Navy spy plane flying off the Chinese coast, or, as Americans found out this past week, gathered from personal phone records. NSA code-breakers use software to search for keywords in the emails or patterns in phone numbers that might link known terrorist targets with possible new suspects. Continue Reading →

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Need more time off from work? Just buy it

Want more time off work to hang out at the beach? Need a little cash and have vacation days to spare? Some companies allow their workers to buy and sell vacation time, a perk that gives workers more flexibility in managing their time off. The novel approach might help employees buy some extra days off to take the trip of a lifetime or spend more time with a newborn. Co-workers could sell off unused days to get some extra money. Continue Reading →

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George Zimmerman's attorney walks tight line in defense

George Zimmerman’s lead attorney will be walking a fine line as he tries to convince jurors that his client didn’t murder Trayvon Martin: He needs to show why Zimmerman felt threatened by the African-American teenager while avoiding the appearance that either he or his client is racist. Because there is no dispute that Zimmerman shot Martin, 17, during a fight on a rainy night in February 2012, Mark O’Mara must convince the jury that Zimmerman pulled his 9 mm handgun and fired a bullet into the Miami-area high school student’s chest because he feared for his life and that the fear was caused by Martin’s actions, not his race. Jury selection begins Monday in the second-degree murder trial, which is expected to last about six weeks. Martin’s killing drew worldwide attention as it sparked a national debate about race, equal justice under the law and gun control. If convicted, Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, could get a life sentence. Continue Reading →

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Japanese troops head to Calif. beach for training

Japanese troops will converge on California’s southern coast in the next two weeks as part of a military exercise with U.S. troops aimed at improving that country’s amphibious attack abilities. U.S. and Japanese military officials said the unprecedented training, led by U.S. Marines and sailors, will help Japan’s Self-Defense Force operate in stronger coordination with the United States, its main ally, and better respond to crises such as natural disasters. China may see it differently, however, given the tensions between Tokyo and Beijing over a long-running dispute concerning islands claimed by both in the East China Sea. “It’s another dot that the Chinese will connect to show this significant expanding military cooperation,” said Tai Ming Cheung, an analyst of Chinese and East Asian security affairs and director of the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation at the University of California, San Diego. China asked the United States and Japan to cancel the drill, scheduled to begin Tuesday, Japan’s Kyodo News service reported, citing unnamed Japanese government sources. Continue Reading →

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Japanese troops converge on California beach for military exercise with US Marines

Japanese troops will converge on California’s southern coast in the next two weeks as part of a military exercise with U.S. troops aimed at improving that country’s amphibious attack abilities. U.S. and Japanese military officials said the unprecedented training, led by U.S. Marines and sailors, will help Japan’s Self-Defense Force operate in stronger coordination with the United States, its main ally, and better respond to crises such as natural disasters. China may see it differently, however, given the tensions between Tokyo and Beijing over a long-running dispute concerning islands claimed by both in the East China Sea. “It’s another dot that the Chinese will connect to show this significant expanding military cooperation,” said Tai Ming Cheung, an analyst of Chinese and East Asian security affairs and director of the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation at the University of California, San Diego. China asked the United States and Japan to cancel the drill, scheduled to begin Tuesday, Japan’s Kyodo News service reported, citing unnamed Japanese government sources. Continue Reading →

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Missing Louisiana teacher's car found; body inside

Authorities have pulled a missing teacher’s car from a New Orleans bayou and police say there is a decomposed body inside. Terrilyn Monette, a Long Beach, Calif., native who moved Louisiana to teach, vanished three months ago. Authorities did not immediately say whether the body in the car was Monette. Monette’s black Honda Accord was pulled from New Orleans’ Bayou St. John on Saturday. Continue Reading →

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Intelligence chief defends Internet spying program

Eager to quell a domestic furor over U.S. spying, the nation’s top intelligence official stressed Saturday that a previously undisclosed program for tapping into Internet usage is authorized by Congress, falls under strict supervision of a secret court and cannot intentionally target a U.S. citizen. He decried the revelation of that and another intelligence-gathering program as reckless. For the second time in three days, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper took the rare step of declassifying some details of an intelligence program to respond to media reports about counterterrorism techniques employed by the government. “Disclosing information about the specific methods the government uses to collect communications can obviously give our enemies a ‘playbook’ of how to avoid detection,” he said in a statement. Clapper said the data collection under the program, first unveiled by the newspapers The Washington Post and The Guardian, was with the approval of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court and with the knowledge of Internet service providers. Continue Reading →

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US official: China, US aligned on North Korea

A top U.S. national security official says President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping found “quite a bit of alignment” on the subject of North Korea and agreed that North Korea has to be denuclearized. White House national security adviser Tom Donilon says that the leaders also agreed that neither country will accept North Korea as a nuclear-armed state. Donilon says the common ground between Obama and Xi on North Korea provides a key for enhanced U.S.-China cooperation. He spoke Saturday at the end of two days of meeting between Obama and Xi in an estate in the California desert. Via: Fox News Continue Reading →

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