CIA Director Denies Snooping on Senate Intelligence Committee — Surveillance News Roundup

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said earlier today the the CIA had been removing documents from computers.


The latest on surveillance: CIA Director John Brennan has denied that the agency spied on Senate Intelligence Committee computers being used in an investigation into the CIA's interrogation program.  

Previous news on surveillance:

A federal judge has halted the destruction of phone records collected by the NSA over five years ago. 

Sen. Dianne Feinstein(D-Calif.) has accused the CIA of secretly removing documents from computers used by the Senate Intelligence Committee in an investigation into the agency's interrogation program. 

NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden told a the SXSW conference via video link that mass government surveillance across the world is "setting fire to the future of the Internet." 

The NSA's privacy and civil liberties officer said, without a hint of irony or sarcasm, that civil liberties are among the intelligence agency's top concerns.

The Senate Intelligence Committee, which oversees the CIA, is now investigatingthe agency for spying on the committee and its members.

NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander has hinted at "media-leak legislation" while speaking at Georgetown University. 

 Whistleblower Edward Snowden will speak via teleconference at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas. The subject of discussion will be the tech industry's need to protect itself from mass surveillance.

The United Kingdom's intelligence service, GCHQ, has been revealed in late February to have been archiving the webcam images of millions of Yahoo users not suspected or accused of any wrongdoing.  The surveillance operation mirrors the kind of collection of internet data the NSA was revealed to be engaged in by Edward Snowden's disclosures. The latest revelation shouldn't come as a surprise. Snowden's disclosures have pointed to a close relationship between the GCHQ and the NSA. The GCHQ, additionally, was reported to have been using "Anonymous-style tactics" against online activists like Anonymous.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper seems to think the problem with all this Edward Snowden disclosure is that the NSA won't be able to stop something like it from happening again.

Outgoing NSA Director Keith Alexander suggested in a Senate committee hearing On February 27 that the agency may accept a proposed rule that could restrict bulk phone metadata collection to those suspected of terrorist activities.

Reason on NSA surveillance

Take a stroll through memory lane to follow the evolution of the NSA disclosures since the first ones last summer:

It started with the revelation the NSA was collecting information on millions of Verizon telephone customers, something the feds were known to have done during the Bush administration as well. Then there was Prism, the NSA's ambitious program to use popular internet companies to hoover up user data. In fact, the NSA has access to monitor a significant amount of internet traffic going through the U.S. with or without the cooperation of American internet companies. Last winter, it was revealed the NSA gathered location info on billions, with a b, of cellphone users around the world. It's a vast conspiracy against our privacy, wrote Andrew Napolitano. And while in the U.S., a White House panel tried at least to recommend some reforms, while in the United Kingdom the government has been trying to harass the journalists responsible for reporting on the NSA and GCHQ's surveillance operations under powers available in anti-terrorism laws. The spying is massive, largely on innocent people not even accused of a crime. But, as Scott Shackford wrote, just because you have nothing to hide doesn't mean you have nothing to fear.