national security

Joshua Landis provides an update on two stories he's following in the Middle East: the different reactions to the nuclear deal with Iran, and news that Syrian soldiers trained and equipped by the U.S. in Turkey were captured and killed as they crossed the border into Syria.

Then Suzette talks with Joe Masco, an anthropologist at the University of Chicago who studies the evolution of the national security state. His latest book traces surveillance and privacy issues from the start of the Cold War to what he now calls the “post-privacy era.”

Surveillance in New York City's financial district.
Jonathan McIntosh / Flickr

It’s been just over two years since former national security contractor Edward Snowden leaked hundreds of thousands of intelligence files and radically transformed the debate about digital surveillance.

Rebecca and Suzette Grillot talk about protests in Hong Kong on the anniversary of the handover back to China, and remember Nicholas Winton, a British humanitarian who rescued more than 600 children during the Holocaust. He died Wednesday at the age of 106.

Rebecca Cruise talks with journalist and activist Rebecca MacKinnon about information freedom in the digital age. The Internet allows people to organize politically and instantly share information across the globe. But an open web isn’t always guaranteed.

dark keyboard and mouse
Michael Schreifels / Flickr

When President Obama signed the USA Freedom Act last month, he said the measure would “strengthen civil liberty safeguards” in government surveillance programs. The Freedom Act includes reformed provisions from the PATRIOT Act and was meant reign in government surveillance activities.

President Obama at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office
Pete Souza / The White House

President Obama touts diplomacy as a characterizing trait of his administration, but his actions reveal a mix of diplomatic persuasion and the coercive use of force.

New York Times national security correspondent David Sanger says President Obama prioritizes minimizing global conflict, but the president’s increased-yet-subtle application of force contrasts the previous administration’s foreign policy decisions.

Already reeling from reports about alleged drug use by some officers in its nuclear missile corps and the alleged "drunken and inappropriate behavior" of that command's top general, the Air Force now has another scandal on its hands.

News keeps breaking about the alleged electronic surveillance done by U.S. spy agencies. Thursday's exclusive comes from The New York Times:

Some of the electronic surveillance programs of the National Security Agency have been on "automatic pilot" in recent years and have inappropriately "reached too far," Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday.

Kerry's comments are causing something of a stir.

This morning's provocative stories about the spying that the National Security Agency has been doing in recent years include this attention-grabber from the Los Angeles Times:

With all the talk of spying by the National Security Agency, it's easy to forget the government engages in off-line surveillance, too. In the last few years, the feds have expanded efforts to collect tips about people's behavior in the real world; they're called suspicious activity reports.

Hal Bergman, a freelance photographer in Los Angeles, has a fondness for industrial scenes, bridges, ports and refineries.