Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that there's been a whole lot of news about the NSA spying on regular Americans. It's a long and winding story, and our team has been covering it end-to-end.
ZDNet's worldwide team provides global 24/7 technology news and analysis. In addition to my own coverage analysis here in the ZDNet Government column and on ZDNet's DIY-IT, every week I'll bring you a selection of the best government-related articles posted by our intrepid reporters and analysts. Here are some of the most interesting from the last week.
So grab yourself a cup of coffee, sit back, and click on through all of the articles below. It's quite a story, ripped straight out of the pages of a spy novel.
The big NSA story
The great paradox of our national security
Freedom vs. security. It's a challenge as old as the nation. It's a great paradox, perhaps the greatest paradox in the history of civilization. How do we retain our privacy and our freedom while still defending against horrific threats?
Privacy is dead: So what if you friended the NSA?
The National Security Agency is better than Santa Claus. It knows when you're sleeping. It knows when you're awake. It knows when you've been bad or good. Not that most Internet users will care.
NSA 'top secret' spying order affects millions of Americans: FAQ
The U.S. government is vacuuming up millions of Verizon customer records on a daily basis, according to a leaked "top secret" court order. Here's everything you need to know.
NSA: All up in your privacy junk since 1952
The National Security Agency has been violating your privacy for over 50 years. And you've just suddenly become aware of this now?
FBI, NSA said to be secretly mining data from nine U.S. tech giants
Turns out U.S. government agencies might be tapping into a lot more than just Verizon customer records.
How the NSA, and your boss, can intercept and break SSL
Most people believe that SSL is the gold-standard of Internet security. It is good, but SSL communications can be intercepted and broken. Here's how.
Boundless Informant: US gov't collects 100 billion surveillance records a month
Meet the U.S. National Security Agency's global intelligence tracking tool, "Boundless Informant," the latest secretive system leaked by a London newspaper.
The real story in the NSA scandal is the collapse of journalism
A bombshell story published in the Washington Post this week alleged that the NSA had enlisted nine tech giants, including Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Apple, in a massive program of online spying. Now the story is unraveling, and the Post has quietly changed key details. What went wrong?
PRISM: Here's how the NSA wiretapped the Internet
The National Security Agency's "PRISM" program is able to collect, in realtime, intelligence not limited to social networks and email accounts. But the seven tech companies accused of opening 'back doors' to the spy agency could well be proven innocent.
Mark Zuckerberg addresses 'outrageous press reports about PRISM'
Facebook's CEO chimes in about the NSA PRISM scandal, and he isn't mincing words.
Google CEO Page: U.S. gov't doesn't have direct access to our servers
Google isn't alone in trying to clear its name in whatever way possible following the firestorm that erupted on Thursday afternoon.
Obama's secret order draws up overseas target list for cyberattacks
U.S. President Obama signed a directive that orders senior intelligence and defense staff to determine which foreign targets should be attacked with cyberweapons should the country come under attack.
Anonymous leaks more NSA-related docs as Obama defends PRISM
Anonymous says that it leaked a bunch of government documents, but that might not exactly be the case.
Through a glass starkly: PRISM and BLARNEY are good things
A lot of people are so angry about the government's "spying" programs that they're not really seeing the bigger picture. The big picture is that government surveillance is good. Yes, good.
US gov't defends NSA surveillance, slams 'reprehensible' journalists
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has defended secret data mining and criticized media outlets for reporting it.
Obama's legacy: Domestic spying scandal that could prove greater than Watergate, WikiLeaks
U.S. President Barack Obama, just six months into his second term, has his legacy set out for him: the greatest domestic spying program the U.S. and perhaps the world has ever seen.
Other government coverage around ZDNet
White House intros ConnectED initiative for high-speed Internet in schools
The Obama administration unveils an ambitious plan to connect 99 percent of American students to high-speed broadband and wireless Internet within five years.
After a week of leaks of NSA citizen surveillance and Internet company denials, Violet Blue reports which mobile apps are best for privacy.
US to freeze assets of hackers, throw them out of the country
Involved in cybercrime? Don't count on a visa to protect you.
Australian government's website blocking power called into question
Questions remain over whether Australian ISPs should comply with requests from government agencies to block websites.
Queensland government to outsource IT
The Queensland government has announced that it will outsource IT services to cut costs across the government.
Basic errors must not threaten e-government
It seems that human error, rather than technology, is behind the bulk of IT problems.
Privacy advocates may have concerns over the use of big data, but it seems that the conversations on how it could be used to enhance privacy are not being had with security companies.
SA Budget a win for health, police, and emergency services
The South Australian government's 2013-14 Budget has a focus on overhauling a number of IT systems across the government, with a focus on health, police, and emergency services.
Report: Former HP chairman embroiled in $100M legal spat with IRS
Based on a new report, Ray Lane owes up to $100 million in taxes in a major disagreement (to say the least) with the IRS.
So, that's it for last week. Let's hope the upcoming week will be a little more sane.