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July 16, 2013
Edward Snowden files asylum request in Russia
It wasn't much of a surprise when Edward Snowden filed paperwork with the Russian government to request asylum away from the U.S. government. As the biggest "frenemy" to the U.S., it only further outraged the West.
According to his lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, Snowden "faces persecution by the U.S. government and he fears for his life and safety and that he could be subjected to torture and capital punishment." But in order to save face with the Western states, Russian president Vladimir Putin warned Snowden not to further damage the country's already tepid relationship with the U.S..
- Read more: Edward Snowden files asylum request in Russia (CBS News)
Image via CBS News
July 18, 2013
Silicon Valley tech giants urge for greater U.S. government transparency
Close to two-dozen technology giants signed a letter to the U.S. government calling for the ability to disclose secretive data request figures. While Google and others already publish "transparency reports" that disclose unclassified data requests, these companies are not allowed to disclose the full amount of National Security Letter "gagging orders" handed down by federal authorities. Instead, they are only permitted to report the number range.
The group also calls for Congress to pass laws that force the U.S. government to report these figures accurately without having to first seek permission from the FISC.
- Read more: Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, others urge for greater U.S. government transparency (ZDNet)
Image via Center for Democracy & Technology
July 19, 2013
Verizon's secret data order timed to expire, but NSA spying to carry on
The very first tidbit from the ever-expanding cache of Snowden files, the Verizon court order was due to expire. But the U.S. government, despite the leaks, pushed for its renewal.
"The Government filed an application with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking renewal of the authority to collect telephony metadata in bulk, and that the Court renewed that authority," the statement from the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper read. This order continues the collection of all call details -- or "metadata" -- of calls created by Verizon between the U.S. and abroad, or within the U.S., including local calls.
- Read more: Verizon's secret data order timed to expire, but NSA spying to carry on (ZDNet)
Image: Office of the Director of National Intelligence