Morning Security Brief: NSA Privacy Violations, Clashes in Egypt, and Nuclear Vulnerabilities

By Laura Spadanuta

The National Security Agency violated privacy rules protecting Americans thousands of times in one year, though many of the incidents appear inadvertent, according to a leaked internal audit on the agency's domestic surveillance program. NSA leaker Edward Snowden provided the audit and other documents to The Washington Post, which broke the story and published the supporting documents. The New York TImes also has a story on the issue. Most of the violations were the result of "inadequate or insufficient research" in determining subjects of wiretaps. Among the privacy violations were something called "roamers," which is when a foreign citizen was being tapped and the person entered the United States, where a warrant would have been needed to continued tapping the phone. The report says such incidents are largely unpreventable, as it is hard to be sure of where the individual is traveling. There were 2,776 violations of "the rules or court orders for surveillance of Americans or foreign targets in the United States" in a one-year time period.

Violence in Egypt continues as a Muslim Brotherhood protest leader names Friday a "Day of Anger," according to CNN, and The Washington Post reports that the Egyptian government has officially authorized the use of live ammunition against pro-Morsi protestors. The Army has blocked entrance to Tahrir Square in Cairo, as well as other squares where people might gather. Checkpoints into Cairo have also been increased to deter arms smuggling into the city. At least 20 police officers were killed Friday when individuals opened fire. That adds to the week's toll of hundreds dead and thousands injured.

A new report states that U.S. nuclear plants are vulnerable to terrorists. The report comes from the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project at the LBJ School of the University of Texas. CNN reports that the group has found that none of the country's 107 nuclear facilities are adequately protected against a "high-force" terror attack, and some are also vulnerable to thefts of nuclear fuel and sabotage. ♦ Techweek looks at how cyberattacks are being used against Tibetans and their supporters in the latest article among a series that looks at how cyberattacks are used as a tool in repression.


View Recent News (by day)


Beyond Print

SM Online

See all the latest links and resources that supplement the current issue of Security Management magazine.