The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Washington (AFP) – The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that would restrict the electronic surveillance powers of the National Security Agency (NSA).

The margin was wide, 293 to 123, for the bill attached to the defense budget for 2015, which begins October 1.

For now, however, the bill will have no effect on the NSA as it has not been debated by the Senate.

But the message from the lower house is clear.

It wants to embrace a court ruling and bar the National Security Agency from using personal electronic information from US citizens without a prior court order.

As it currently stands, under the so-called Prism program, the NSA focuses on foreign targets on the Internet via Facebook, Gmail and other services.

But the NSA has acknowledged it used information taken from the servers of such companies, without approval from a judge.

The Constitution and U.S. laws require that the government obtain a court order before searching among data of U.S. citizens.

Thursday’s amendment would bar the NSA from carrying out any search without a court order, including information from Americans, even if their communications were picked up inadvertently.

The bill would bar the NSA and the CIA from including secret “back doors” allowing the NSA to skirt coded gateways and gain access to users’ personal data. The NSA is accused of having done this for several years.

A year after the revelations made by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, Congress is still debating how to reform U.S. surveillance programs.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Mehmet Oz

Where ultra-wealthy TV quack doctor Mehmet Oz actually lives is a mystery. He doesn't seem to reside in Pennsylvania, where he is currently the Republican U.S. Senate candidate. He owns a mansion in New Jersey -- and what he calls "properties" in at least nine other places, although he claims to only "legitimately" two homes (whatever that means).

Not surprisingly, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, his Democratic opponent and a trolling master, has taken acerbic note of this curious situation in a certain television host's style -- and then dropped an amusing video via Twitter.

Keep reading... Show less

(Reuters) -Walmart Inc, the largest private employer in the United States, is expanding abortion and travel coverage for employees, about two months after the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized the procedure nationwide.

In a Friday memo to its 1.6 million U.S. employees that was seen by Reuters, the retailer said its self-insured healthcare plans will now cover abortion "when there is a health risk to the mother, rape or incest, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or lack of fetal viability."

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}