The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has been under fire since one of its classified orders was leaked by a former National Security Agency analyst. Detractors have focused on the fact that nearly all the warrant applications brought before its judges have been approved.
NSA Director Keith Alexander told a Senate panel that his agency's program did indeed protect American's privacy while gathering data on terrorist activity. Alexander told lawmakers he wants to declassify more details to reassure everyone the programs are legal and effective.
The ongoing national debate over surveillance prompts us to take a closer look at the way Americans think about their privacy. Several scientific studies show that what Americans say they want in terms of privacy does not match the way they behave.
Tech companies that field National Security Agency data requests are currently barred from sharing those requests publicly. But Google, Microsoft and Facebook all have a financial interest in showing their users that the NSA does not enjoy unfettered access to their data.
President Obama has promised again to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. But since he delivered a major speech two weeks ago, there's been little follow-up and few signs that any detainees are closer to being released.
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