NSA

President Obama is preparing to announce a plan to scrap the government's systematic collection of bulk phone records as part of a far-reaching overhaul of the National Security Agency's controversial electronic surveillance activities.

The New York Times, quoting senior administration officials, reports:

"The National Security Agency is searching the contents of vast amounts of Americans' e-mail and text communications into and out of the country, hunting for people who mention information about foreigners under surveillance, according to intelligence officials," The New York Times reported Thursday.

Voice of America / Wikimedia Commons

Internet users worried about their personal information being intercepted by U.S. intelligence agencies should stop using websites that send data to the United States, Germany's top security official said Wednesday.

German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich also said German officials are in touch with their U.S. counterparts "on all levels" and a delegation is scheduled to fly to Washington next week to discuss the claims that ordinary citizens — and even European diplomats — were being spied upon by the NSA.

Suzette Grillot, the Dean of the University of Oklahoma's College of International Studies, says what Snowden has revealed goes beyond normal intelligence gathering and turned into a major international incident.

Joshua Landis offers an update about the situation in Syria, and how chemical weapons affect the public’s view of the civil war. The panel also talks about the Edward Snowden case and the complexities of asylum and extradition.

Stigler, Oklahoma native Pamela Olson moved to Palestine  after she graduated in 2002. She settled in Ramallah, where she worked as the head writer and editor for the Palestine MonitorShe just wrote a book about her experiences called Fast Times in Palestine.

Voice of America / Wikimedia Commons

The Obama administration appears to be trying to demote Edward Snowden's status to that of a common fugitive unworthy of extraordinary pursuit.

During a visit to Africa, Obama said Thursday that Snowden's case was "not exceptional from a legal perspective."

The University of Oklahoma's Center for Middle East Studies Director Joshua Landis says what he finds most perplexing is the public’s attitude toward Snowden.

Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to rebuff the United States when he said NSA leaker Edward Snowden was in Moscow but is a "free person" who is "entitled to buy a ticket and fly to wherever he wants."

Snowden, Putin said, is in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport and has neither crossed the Russian border nor "committed any crime" on Russian soil.