The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed this week that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed “simply based on an analyst deciding that.”
If the NSA wants “to listen to the phone,” an analyst’s decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. “I was rather startled,” said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee.
via NSA admits listening to U.S. phone calls without warrants | Politics and Law – CNET News.
Two defendants in military sexual assault cases cannot be punitively discharged, if found guilty, because of “unlawful command influence” derived from comments made by President Barack Obama, a judge ruled in a Hawaii military court this week.
Navy Judge Cmdr. Marcus Fulton ruled during pretrial hearings in two sexual assault cases — U.S. vs. Johnson and U.S. vs. Fuentes — that comments made by Obama as commander in chief would unduly influence any potential sentencing, according to a court documents obtained by Stars and Stripes.
via Judge: Obama sex assault comments ‘unlawful command influence’ – Stripes – Independent U.S. military news from Iraq, Afghanistan and bases worldwide.
States are starting to roll out details about the exchanges, providing a look at just how affordable coverage under the Affordable Care Act will be. Some potential participants may be surprised at the figures: $2,000 deductibles, $45 primary care visit co-pays, and $250 emergency room tabs.
Those are just some of the charges enrollees will incur in a silver-level plan in California, which recently unveiled an overview of the benefits and charges associated with its exchange. That’s on top of the $321 average monthly premium.
via Obamacare: Is a $2,000 deductible ‘affordable?’ – Jun. 13, 2013.
President Barack Obama’s health care law is called the Affordable Care Act, but a glitch could make it unaffordable for many low-wage workers, including employees at big chain restaurants, retail stores and hotels.
via News from The Associated Press.
Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee are looking into allegations that the Internal Revenue Service seized 60 million medical records from a California health care provider.
“(T)he Committee on Energy and Commerce is investigating allegations that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), in the course of executing a search warrant at a California health care provider’s corporate headquarters in March 2011, improperly seized the personal medical records of millions of American citizens in possible violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution,” members of the committee wrote in a letter Tuesday to Acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel.
via House committee looks into the IRS seizure of 60 million medical records | The Daily Caller.
Strobridge Elementary Principal Charles Hill has a brilliant idea: he’s holding a toy gun exchange next Saturday in which students of the Hayward, CA school can turn in a toy gun to receive a book and a raffle ticket to win one of four bicycles.
via Elementary School Beginning Toy Gun Turn-In Program.
“The President has put in place an
organization with the kind of database that no one has ever seen before
in life,” Representative Maxine Waters told Roland Martin on Monday.
“That’s going to be very, very powerful,” Waters said. “That database
will have information about everything on every individual on ways that
it’s never been done before and whoever runs for President on the
Democratic ticket has to deal with that. They’re going to go down with
that database and the concerns of those people because they can’t get
around it. And he’s [President Obama] been very smart. It’s very
powerful what he’s leaving in place.”
via LiveLeak.com – Maxine Waters: ‘Obama Has Put In Place’ Secret Database With ‘Everything On Everyone’.
The National Security Agency has at times mistakenly intercepted the private email messages and phone calls of Americans who had no link to terrorism, requiring Justice Department officials to report the errors to a secret national security court and destroy the data, according to two former U.S. intelligence officials.
At least some of the phone calls and emails were pulled from among the hundreds of millions stored by telecommunications companies as part of an NSA surveillance program. James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, Thursday night publicly acknowledged what he called “a sensitive intelligence collection program” after its existence was disclosed by the Guardian newspaper.
via Officials: NSA mistakenly intercepted emails, phone calls of innocent Americans – Open Channel.