Administration defends NSA communications dragnet

The defense is "off the record" but since the program is top secret, this is likely the definitive word from the White House on the matter. The Hill: An administration official defended the collection of data as a "critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats to the United States." "It allows counter terrorism personnel to discover whether known or suspected terrorists have been in contact with other persons who may be engaged in terrorist activities, particularly people located inside the United States," the official added. The news that the administration has been conducting secret surveillance on millions of ordinary citizens comes amid intensifying scrutiny over the DOJ's spying on Associated Press and Fox News reporters, delivering another blow to President Obama's already bruised reputation on civil liberties. The news was first reported by the Guardian newspaper, which on Wednesday published the court order which required Verizon to provide the...(Read Full Post)