Morning Security Brief: Ruling in NSA Spying, Report on Infrastructure Attacks, and Sensitive Documents

By Teresa Anderson

► U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled on Monday that the surveillance program overseen by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is likely unconstitutional. The Washington Post reports that a lawsuit claiming the program violates the Fourth Amendment right to privacy has “demonstrated a high likelihood of success.” The judge granted an injunction blocking the NSA from collecting any information on the plaintiff, Larry Klayman. However, the judge stayed the action on the rest of the ruling until after a government appeal because of the “significant national security interests at stake.”

► A report on infrastructure attacks around the globe draws on data from the Energy Infrastructure Attack Database to conclude that there were approximately 400 armed attacks on critical infrastructure each year for the past 10 years. That is nearly double the annual number of attacks prior to 1999. According to the report: “This data reveals a global picture whereby violent nonstate actors target energy infrastructures to air grievances, communicate to governments, impact state economic interests, or capture revenue in the form of hijacking, kidnapping ransoms, [and] theft.”

► Top-ranking Democrats from seven House committees sent a letter yesterday urging House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to hold a classified briefing with top cybersecurity experts in the Obama Administration about the risks posed in disclosing sensitive documents related to The documents, known as Security Control Assessments (SCAs) had been provided to the House Oversight Committee in redacted form. However, Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) received the unredacted documents on Friday in response to a subpoena. The representatives wrote in the letter: “It is reckless in the extreme for Chairman Issa or any member to possess these documents without a full understanding of the extremely sensitive information they contain and the widespread damage that could be caused if they got into the wrong hands.”


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