Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/7/2013 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Agency was capable of sweeping surveillance of the nation's cell phones

One more indignity for the American public: the National Security Agency has since admitted it once tested whether it could track Americans' cellphone locations, in addition to its practice of sweeping broad information about calls made. NSA Chief Gen. Keith Alexander admitted this last week.

Alexander, along with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, pictured, testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Alexander, along with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, pictured, testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/7/2013 (9 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: NSA, cell phones, surveillance, Chief Gen. Keith Alexander, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Alexander, along with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. The occasion was the proposed reforms to the NSA's surveillance of phone and internet usage around the world. Neither Alexander or Clapper spent much time discussing proposed reforms. The focus of the hearing quickly shifted to questions about new potential abuses that have come to light since then.

Alexander denied a New York Times report that claimed that NSA searched social networks of Americans for foreign terror connections. The newspaper article, published last weekend, also revealed 12 cases of abuse by NSA employees who used the network for unsanctioned missions - such as spying on a wife, husband or significant other. Alexander said all employees were caught and that most were disciplined.

Alexander and Clapper also said that the government shutdown that began last week over a budget impasse is seriously damaging the intelligence community's ability to guard against threats.

The men said they're keeping counter-terrorism staff at work as well as those providing intelligence to troops in Afghanistan, but that some 70 percent of the civilian workforce has been furloughed.

Congress is considering changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that some believe allows the NSA too much freedom in gathering U.S. data as part of spying on targets overseas.

Alexander also admitted that the agency once tested, in 2010 and 2011, whether it could track Americans' cellphone locations, but he says the NSA does not use that capability, leaving that to the FBI to build a criminal or foreign intelligence case against a suspect and track him.

"This may be something that is a future requirement for the country but it is not right now because when we identify a number, we give it to the FBI," Alexander said. "When they get their probable cause, they can get the locational data."

Alexander refused to answer questions last week from Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), about whether his agency had ever collected or planned to collect such "cell-site" data, as it is called, saying it was classified. The general did say that the NSA released the information in letters to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees ahead of the Judiciary Committee meeting Wednesday.

Wyden wasn't satisfied with Alexander's reply. "After years of stonewalling on whether the government has ever tracked or planned to track the location of law abiding Americans through their cellphones, once again, the intelligence leadership has decided to leave most of the real story secret - even when the truth would not compromise national security," he said.

Click here to learn about our Saint Michael the Archangel conference this Nov 1-3!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More U.S.

Louisiana Supreme Court orders priest to violate seal of Confession Watch

Image of The seal of the sacrament of confession cannot be violated.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Louisiana Supreme Court is seeking to compel a Catholic priest to violate the confessional privilege under the state's mandated reporting laws. Under Canon Law, priests are prohibited from disclosing what is discussed in the confessional. BATON ROUGE, LA (Catholic ... continue reading


Is This Love? Surrogates, Gay Couples, and Motherless Babies

Image of

By Jennifer Hartline

Our culture is so obsessed with making the case for same-sex "marriage" that now, astonishingly, sane people have to actually make the case for mothers and fathers.  We've elevated sexual preferences and wants high above the needs of our children. Whatever ... continue reading


Praying the Bible: Lectio Divina Helps us Fall in Love with the Living Word Watch

Image of Learning to pray the words of the Scriptures opens us to a deep encounter with the Living Word, Jesus, who speaks to us in and through them.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The early Christians received the scripture as a gift. Do we? They knew that the sacred words were meant to lead them into a deeper communion of love with their source, the Living Word of God. Do we believe that can still happen to us? Early theologians were mystics. ... continue reading


Learning to Be Happy on Earth: Pope Francis Offers Gospel Joy to All Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Christian joy is not rooted in the circumstances and struggles of our daily lives. It also need not be robbed from us by them. Sometimes the travails we experience are the bad fruit of the disorder and brokenness caused by sin, our wrong choices. However, even ... continue reading


What Do You Have? Learning to Live the Miracle of the Multiplication of the Loaves Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

During this account of the miracle in Mark's Gospel we are told that the disciples had encouraged Jesus to dismiss the crowd because - from their limited perspective - they did not see how they  could feed these hungry people, even with two hundred days ... continue reading


Lord, Send Out Laborers into the Harvest! We Are the Laborers Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Kingdom is still present in the Person of Jesus Christ. He continues to spread that Kingdom through His Body, the Church, of which we are members. The mission of that Church is our mission, to spread the Good News of the Gospel in this hour. We are sent into ... continue reading


Hobby Lobby case will affect six other battles over religious freedom Watch

Image of The Hobby Lobby case has seen the Supreme Court lay down guidelines for several other cases revolving around the Affordable Care Act.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A furious week of activity in the U.S. Supreme Court is raising the question as to how far the 5-4 decision of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby goes. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The decision in the Hobby Lobby case recognized that the owners of closely held ... continue reading


Why President Obama lied about immigrant incentives Watch

Image of Incentives provided by President Obama's administration has seen a flood of immigrant hit the U.S. border in the last few years.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A newly leaked internal report from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from the Immigrate and Customs Enforcement (ICE) indicates that recent testimony made by officials from President Barack Obama's administration in regards to deportations and the ... continue reading


U.N. demands that illegal immigrants have asylum in U.S. Watch

Image of A U.N. official wants the U.S. to recognize Central American immigrants as refugees.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The United Nations are pushing for many of the immigrants fleeing from Central America to the United States to be treated as refugees who have been displaced by armed conflict. A designation designed to increase pressure on the U.S. to except the tens of ... continue reading


BLOODY WEEKEND: 82 people shot, 14 killed in Chicago over holiday weekend Watch

Image of  In one instance, a suspected 16-year-old gunman took Chicago Police officers on a foot chase before hiding under a parked car, where he was killed.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Fourth of July weekend can at times, bring out the worst in Americans. Alcohol flows freely, temperatures are high and tempers flare. This was the case in Chicago, where 82 people were shot and 14 others were killed. Five of those killed were by policemen ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hosea 11:1, 3-4, 8-9
1 When Israel was a child I loved him, and I called ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 80:2, 3, 15-16
2 over Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh; rouse your ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 10:7-15
7 And as you go, proclaim that the kingdom of Heaven ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 10th, 2014 Image

Bl. Emmanuel Ruiz
July 10: Martyr with eleven companions in Lebanon. A Spanish Franciscan, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter