FOIA requests may illustrate foreign despots’ access to U.S. surveillance devices

From Courthouse News Service:  A federal judge may shine a light on foreign dictatorships that have imported illegal surveillance and jamming technology from the United States.

Events from the so-called Arab Spring show that Middle Eastern dictators have used Western technology to quash uprisings, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a nonprofit digital watchdog group, has said.

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Obama speech impacts California drone lawsuit

From Twin Cities Daily Planet:  Since its earliest days, the Obama administration has been circumspect about officially confirming the existence of its drone-centric counter-terrorism operations. Despite extensive press coverage of the subject (as well as apparently sanctioned leaks and carefully crafted public statements) the administration avoided officially acknowledging its drone program for over four years.

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Government likely to open criminal probe into NSA leaks: officials

From Reuters:  WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama's administration is likely to open a criminal investigation into the leaking of highly classified documents that revealed the secret surveillance of Americans' telephone and email traffic, U.S. officials said on Friday.

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NSA taps in to user data of Google, Skype and others, secret files reveal

From The Guardian:  The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.

The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.

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Open government groups demand answers on domestic spying program

In the following statement issued today, NFOIC and its allies in the OpenTheGovernment.org coalition expressed outrage and demanded more answers regarding the FISA-court authorized data mining of Verizon customers' phone records.

Please see the full statement and additional links below.

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Group sues for Obama vacation records

From Watchdog.org:  HONOLULU — Aloha, U.S. Secret Service? You’ve been served. About those vacations to Hawaii, we want to know how much they’re costing taxpayers.

Judicial Watch Inc., a nonpartisan Washington, D.C.-based organization that focuses on transparency and accountability in government, filed the lawsuit May 6 to obtain from the U.S. Secret Service financial records related to the first family’s Hawaiian vacations.

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