publishedmedium:the times

  • A Star Player Accused, and a Flawed Rape Investigation
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/04/16/sports/errors-in-inquiry-on-rape-allegations-against-fsu-jameis-winston.html

    The case has unfolded as colleges and universities across the country are facing rising criticism over how they deal with sexual assault, as well as questions about whether athletes sometimes receive preferential treatment. The Times’s examination — based on police and university records, as well as interviews with people close to the case, including lawyers and sexual assault experts — found that, in the Winston case, Florida State did little to determine what had happened.


  • Ousted Libyan PM says preparing return “very soon”
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/ousted-libyan-pm-says-preparing-return-very-soon

    Former Libyan prime minister #Ali_Zeidan on Tuesday warned that Islamist groups were sabotaging attempts to rebuild his country in order that it become a haven for extremists, in an interview with Britain’s newspaper The Times. Zeidan, who fled to Germany after losing a parliamentary confidence vote earlier this month, said that he was preparing to return “maybe very soon” to help restore order and repel the threat of extremism, two-and-a-half years after the killing of veteran ruler Muammar Gaddafi. read more

    #Libya #Top_News


  • “The Upshot” is the New York Times’ replacement for Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight - Quartz
    http://qz.com/185922/the-upshot-is-the-new-york-times-replacement-for-nate-silvers-fivethirtyeight

    “The Upshot.” That’s the name the #New_York_Times is giving to its new #data-driven venture, focused on politics, policy and economic analysis and designed to fill the void left by Nate Silver, the one-man traffic machine whose statistical approach to political reporting was a massive success.
    +

    David Leonhardt, the Times’ former Washington bureau chief, who is in charge of The Upshot, told Quartz that the new venture will have a dedicated staff of 15, including three full-time graphic journalists, and is on track for a launch this spring. “The idea behind the name is, we are trying to help readers get to the essence of issues and understand them in a contextual and conversational way,” Leonhardt says. “Obviously, we will be using data a lot to do that, not because data is some secret code, but because it’s a particularly effective way, when used in moderate doses, of explaining reality to people.”

    #sites_de_presse #data_journalism



  • ’A New York Times reporter in Israel is invariably called an anti-Semite or self-hating Jew’

    Haaretz
    http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/west-of-eden/.premium-1.568875

    Clyde Haberman recounts the time a member of Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations – “A president of something or other,” as he puts it – got up and said: “Every morning when I read you, I get sick to my stomach."

    “Your health is everything,” the veteran New York Times journalist responded. “You should stop reading."

    It is a rare moment of ire in Haberman’s otherwise bemused reflections, over lunch in Manhattan, on his 37 years at the Times and on the four years he spent in the early 1990’s as the paper’s correspondent in Jerusalem. “As if I’m not a human being,” he snarls. “As if I don’t have feelings, so you can call me a no-good, self-hating anti-Semite (several expletives deleted) straight to my face.”

    Haberman, 68, has just parted ways with the Times, much to the regret of legions of fans of the smart New York City columns that he’s written for the past 18 years. Before that he reported for the Times on several major and historic national and international news stories, from Japan to Jerusalem, from the fall of Saddam to the fall of communism, and was also the Times’ bureau chief in Tokyo and Rome.

    But his stint in Israel during the tumultuous days of the Oslo Accords was undoubtedly special for the Orthodox-born-and-raised Haberman, in more ways than one.

    “Throughout my career,” he says, “I’ve had my fair share of “you’re an idiot” letters, but many more letters of praise as well. Israel is the only assignment I ever had in which in four years I never once got a letter that said “nice job.” If I would have gotten one, I would have had it embossed and put it on a wall, like a business does with the first dollar bill it makes.”

    This, he says, is the lot of most New York Times’ reporters in Israel, as well as other prominent American journalists who have agreed to an Israel posting. I ask whether sending a Jewish reporter is hence a good or bad idea. “All other things being equal,” he replies, “it is probably better to send a non-Jew rather than a Jew – just as I would probably prefer to send a non-Indian to India. It’s better to avoid that extra component.”


  • New York Times redesign points to future of online publishing - Jan. 8, 2014
    http://money.cnn.com/2014/01/08/technology/innovation/new-york-times-redesign/index.html

    redesign du site du NYT : les articles écrits par des boîtes de communication et de #publicité sont désormais dans les mêmes flux que les articles des journalistes : le mur est tombé

    Most notably, the redesign introduces fast-growing “native advertising” to NYTimes.com. The Times is calling these ads Paid Posts. They resemble articles written by reporters — thus they are “native” — but they are actually written by sponsors. Dell is the first purchaser of Paid Posts, and on Wednesday, there were several such posts on the Web site.

    (à noter que c’est aussi ce que fait Quartz)

    #presse #journalisme


  • ABC, NYT Repeatedly Lied About CIA Operative Robert #Levinson
    http://gawker.com/abc-nyt-repeatedly-lied-about-cia-operative-robert-lev-1482879951

    #ABC et le #New-York-Times ont menti sciemment sur le statut professionnel de Levinson.

    The Times’ report today discloses this timeline; ABC News’ report does not—but a source at the network confirmed to Gawker that ABC reporters discovered the CIA connection in 2007 as well. At the request of the government and Levinson’s family, however, both outlets repeatedly stated, without any caveats, that Levinson was on a “business trip” when he was captured. A review of their coverage indicates that ABC News did so at least 7 times, and the Times at least 3 times.


  • Edward Snowden sharpened his hacking skills in Delhi - The Times of India

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Edward-Snowden-sharpened-his-hacking-skills-in-Delhi/articleshow/26811526.cms

    BANGALORE: The hacker who shook the US intelligence machinery and had world leaders railing against Washington for spying on them picked up crucial skills in India. Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency contractor-turned-whistleblower, spent a week in New Delhi training in core Java programming and advanced ethical hacking. It’s this training that got him certified as an EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA).

    #snowden #prism



  • After Changes, How Green Is The Times ? - NYTimes.com
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/24/public-editor/after-changes-how-green-is-the-times.html?smid=tw-share

    Beyond quantity, the amount of deep, enterprising coverage of climate change in The Times appears to have dropped, too. In that six-month period this year, there were only three front-page stories in which climate change was the main focus, compared with nine the year before. All three were written by the excellent science reporter Justin Gillis, and two of three were pegged to a specific global warming milestone (the other had to do with President Obama’s policy on the environment). With fewer reporters and no coordinating editor, what was missing was the number and variety of fresh angles from the previous year — such as a September article on what is being revealed beneath that Arctic ice melting at a record pace.



  • A Five-Decade Defense of Food Aid - Timeline - NYTimes.com
    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/11/02/opinion/20131101-foodstamps-editorial.html

    Since the beginning of the modern food stamp program in 1964, The Times editorial board has weighed in on major changes and debates and has highlighted its effectiveness in times of need.

    #Etats-Unis #guerre_contre_les_pauvres #bons_alimentaires


  • New York Times Planning [withholding] #NSA Papers
    http://cryptome.org/2013/10/nyt-nsa-papers.htm

    Snowden reportedly avoided the Times due to its suppressing the ATT-NSA interception program.
    (...)

    Ellsberg has said even now all of the Pentagon Papers was not released (...). What he does not say is what he was threatened with for full disclosure, what arrangements were negotiated with the USG by him and the Times for their protection against prosecution, and what has become of the full collection of the truncated, branded and lucratively marketed Pentagon Papers.

    Moreover, it has become commonplace for reporting on national security affairs to articulate withholding of material, a cant now recognizable indicator of arrangements to benefit outlets at the cost of full public access. From the Church Committee hearings and All the President’s Men through four decades of the rise of prestigous national security journalism, there has been increasing claims by reporters to play the withholding game, as if responsibility to keepers of government secrecy justifies irresponsibility to public democracy.

    #secret #presse #leaks #whistleblower #contrôle


  • The Times Is Working on Ways to Make Numbers-Based Stories Clearer for Readers
    http://publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/18/the-times-is-working-on-ways-to-make-numbers-based-stori

    Concernant les chiffres, le New York Times décide de ne plus en parler isolément sans les mettre en perspective,

    Toward that end, I just finished speaking with David Leonhardt, someone who is well positioned to do something about this. Not only is he the Washington bureau chief, but he also is a Pulitzer Prize-winning economics writer. (...)

    He agrees that there is a problem, and told me that The Times is already working on a solution. A small group of editors is “thinking through a whole set of issues about how we present numbers,” he told me. The results, he said, will probably be determined within a couple of months. They might take the form of new entries to the stylebook, announcements within newsroom departments or e-mails laying out new guidelines to the whole news staff.

    Ceci après une série de critiques,

    And while he noted that the recent pressure for change is “coming from the left,” specifically the economist-writer Dean Baker and MoveOn.org – which now has more than 18,000 signatures on a petition — this is not a partisan issue.

    Réaction de Dean Baker,

    Numbers in Context : Big Congrats to the New York Times and Margaret Sullivan
    http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/beat-the-press/numbers-in-context-big-congrats-to-the-new-york-times-and-margaret-sullivan

    Anyhow, we will see exactly how the NYT ends up dealing with the issue, but they deserve a great deal of credit for recognizing the problem and trying to address it. Margaret Sullivan, the paper’s public editor, deserves special credit for taking this one on and pressing it with the paper’s edtors. Also Bob Naiman, at Just Foreign Policy, played an important role in initiating a petition at Move-On on this issue, which eventually got almost 19,000 signatures. That’s pretty impressive for the ultimate wonk petition.


  • When the New York Times went to bat for the one-state solution -

    Haaretz, By Sara Hirschhorn | Oct. 15, 2013

    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.552574

    Loath or lust after his ideas, University of Pennsylvania political scientist Ian Lustick created a tempest in a teapot — pardon the idiom, I’m new to Britain — with a recent polemical New York Times op-ed entitled “The Two State Illusion.” In it he heaped opprobrium and a last mound on dirt on the grave of the two-state paradigm and called for consideration of, if not resignation to, the reality of the one-state solution.

    Subsequently, academicians and practitioners across the political spectrum have debated the piece. (The responses include provocative essays by leftist cultural icon Yitzhak Laor in Haaretz, right-leaning Middle East Studies scholar Martin Kramer in Commentary, Arab-American advocate Hussein Ibish and academic Saliba Sarsar of the American Task Force on Palestine in The Daily Beast, left-leaning Jewish intellectual Bernard Avishai in the New Yorker as well as letters to the editor of the Times by Kenneth Jacobson of the Anti-Defamation League and Alan Elsner of JStreet, among others.)

    Seemingly the only “Washington consensus” they can concur with is how wrong Lustick is. Yet while the merits of his argument certainly require further examination, the larger questions about the agenda of the publishers and the audience for this discussion have been largely overlooked — why has Western journalism seemingly been so intent on a campaign to “mainstream” the one-state discourse, and who is really listening?

    Reading Lustick’s editorial myself, I was deeply impressed by his description of the current state of affairs in Israel/Palestine: grim realities, blissful ignorances, misguided optimisms, ingrained inequalities, dangerous fantasies and violent cataclysms. (Full disclosure: I am indebted to his scholarship and assistance in my own research on the Israeli settler movement.) Few have written with such piercing yet empathetic clarity of the dilemmas and delusions of both nations under siege and how (as he wrote in a rebuttal in The Daily Beast) “the illusion” of ultimately achieving two states for two peoples has helped to justify and normalize an interim state of “systematic coercion” and “permanent oppression.”

    Lustick’s is a searing cry to mobilize action that will wrest the “peace process industry” from its collective apathy and acquiescence with the two-state solution. (It should be noted that his vigorous attacks on this “industry” come more from the standpoint of an insider, bearing in mind his role in Middle East policy planning in the State Department and consulting to subsequent administrations, than the putative outsider position he takes.) He seems to be seeking “redemption” for the (retrospective) wisdom ignored by himself and others in the 1980s.

    Yet, while illustrating the vastly different conclusions that political scientists and historians reach, often working with the same raw material of conflict, I consider his conclusions somewhat too “parsimonious” (as the disciplinary lingo would have it); I see the correlation but not the causation in his case study. While undoubtedly the passage of time has failed the two-state solution, this is as much a problem of praxis by politicians as with the theory of nationalist ideology.

    I have yet to see a better solution — complicated by the thin descriptions of workable alternatives in a climate where the only salient scenarios are usually “one nation pushes the other nation into the sea.” Lustick himself is too facile in his willingness to be “untethered” from “Statist Zionism” and “narrow Israeli nationalism,” even if the means to do so will necessarily unleash violence.

    The looming (if not current) expiry for the viability of the “land for peace” rubric and the attractions of power-sharing arrangements notwithstanding, as a Zionist, I’m still not quite ready to be an early adopter in abandoning the state system. Yet, I unabashedly admit that I am what Lustick disparagingly calls the two-state “true believer.” If, as he later suggested, the disciples of the two-state rubric are a group of messianic, faith-based, deus-ex-machina-dependent, self-deluding zealots, in contrast with those converts to the timely, rational, human-agency-enlightened evangelists of the one-state solution, than I suppose I am one of the last doomed members of that fundamentalist cult.

    Yet, the fierce debate over Lustick’s high profile and pull-no-punches argument aside (which are unlikely to be resolved), the larger questions surrounding its agenda and audience remain. Lustick’s piece joins several others in The Times and other major Western media outlets from various perspectives that have sought to mainstream the one-state discourse in journalistic practice. Whether this has backfired or not in reinforcing two-state advocacy remains to be seen, yet there is no doubt that it has achieved a heightened profile and polemic surrounding this paradigm.

    It is not clear, however, whether this agenda is a veritable chicken-and-egg between publishers and politicians to promote one-state alternatives of late, as evidenced by Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon’s own contribution to The Times a few weeks ago. Further, it remains to be seen whether journalists can (and should?) control the message in the months and years to come, in a hyper-competitive media landscape where the op-ed has become the new global public square.

    Yet, the most important aspect of this agenda is the audience it may — or may not — be reaching. If recent items are representative of broader trends, the debate over Lustick’s piece has largely been confined to the English-language media for the politically aware (on both left and right, including the peace industry that he attacks), leaving out the apolitical indifferent and, most significantly, those actually in the region itself.

    From a brief review of the Hebrew press it seems Lustick’s op-ed barely raised an eyebrow, with a rare column in the center-right daily Maariv dismissing the professor as “no lover of Israel,” one “who doesn’t get the way things are here” (a familiar brush-off that many Americans interested in Israel are subject to), and concluding that “practical Zionism, both in its classic and pragmatic [forms] is still what most Israelis are clinging to,” even if the “broad and tired” problem of the two-state solution requires “hard questions.”

    Haaretz also translated Lustick’s piece into Hebrew, although it appears that some of the most inflammatory passages (the frolicking coalition of Orthodox Jews and Jihadis, Tel Aviv entrepreneurs and fellahin, Mizrahi Jews and their Arab brothers) was redacted for its apparently unprepared Israeli audience. There was scant coverage in the Arabic-language press as well, whether or not because the standard editorial line attacking Israel precluded more substantive discussion.

    For all of the fuss from afar on the one-state idea, from the point of view of the relevant parties they aren’t ready for it (yet). As Lisa Goldman wrote so poignantly of the misguided turn of the discussion about the very issues Lustick so acutely illuminated: “While the debate itself was interesting and sometimes provocative, it seemed to circumvent the real elephant in the room – which was the urgency of the situation on the ground.” Perhaps there is more in heaven and earth than dreamt of in Lustick’s philosophy.

    While I remain a true believer in the two-state solution and hope for its fulfillment, the time has come to at least explore other options for an open, constructive and visionary discussion of the one-state solution. An exploration of both policies, especially given current realities, is not and cannot be mutually exclusive. We must heed Lustick’s call, yet I hope for a conversation that more earnestly honors both Zionist and Palestinian national aspirations and is led by parties to the conflict — and its solution — themselves.

    Dr. Sara Yael Hirschhorn is the new University Research Lecturer and Sidney Brichto Fellow in Israel Studies at Oxford University. Her research, teaching and public engagement activities focus on the Israeli settler movement, the Arab-Israeli conflict and the relationship between the U.S./American Jewry and Israel. She is writing a forthcoming book about American Jews and the Israeli settler movement since 1967.


  • Le billet d’As‘ad Abukhalil de la semaine est presque a-politique : il témoigne de son passage à la lecture des versions électroniques des journaux, et conclut sur les livres électroniques :
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/blogs/angry-corner/switching-digital-reading

    After months of this experience, I can report to you the result. I find that there are changes that occur from digital reading. I find myself reading The Times differently. Given the not-so-good edition of The Times’ application, I still go to the website and read it section by section. That has its advantages and disadvantages: It lets me finish the “International” section without delay and without having to scroll through sections, but it has left me less informed in the Arts and Entertainment section. My reading of The Times has become strategic and not accidental. I used to flip through the pages and would often read an article in a section that is not usually on my radar. But that happens less and less: as I go to the International and then National section, the ability to locate interesting and useful articles in other sections has diminished.


  • Israel and Palestine : Thinking Outside the Two-State Box - Yousef Munayyer
    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2013/09/israel-palestine-two-state-solution-counterargument.html

    Ian Lustick had no problem putting the two-state solution in its final resting place this past week, in a lengthy Op-Ed in the Times. If this can open the door to new thinking on a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian question, the timing could not be better. Identifying the flaws and faults of a two-state solution has been done many times before. What we need now is new thinking on a policy level that grapples both with the failures of the two-state approach and the realities on the ground.

    What is the solution? Standing alone without context, that question is impossible to definitively answer. We must first understand the problem we are trying to solve. And when it comes to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian issue, the two-state solution, which has dominated mainstream discourse on policy toward this issue, is primarily a solution to a problem: Israel’s problem.

    Israel’s problem is one of identity and territory. It claims it is both Jewish and Democratic, and yet, under the control of the Israeli state today, between the river and the sea, there are an equal number of Jews and non-Jews. Those non-Jews, the Palestinians, are either treated as second-class citizens or have no citizenship rights at all.

    The reason for this problem is the implementation of Zionism. The ideology sought to establish a Jewish state, which envisioned and required a Jewish majority. It did so, problematically, in a geographic space where the majority of the native inhabitants were Palestinians Arabs. Every attempt to resolve this conflict between Zionist ideology and demographic reality for the past hundred years has included some form of gerrymandering—drawing oddly shaped, impractical, winding borders around often sparse Jewish populations to encompass them in a single geographic entity. The most recent version of the two-state solution is yet another iteration of these attempts, but with lines drawn a little differently to account for even more illegal Israeli colonists in the West Bank year after year.

    While the two-state solution might provide an answer to Israel’s identity crisis, it does little in terms of solving both the humanitarian and human-rights crisis facing Palestinians. In the best-case scenario, a Palestinian state would be demilitarized and have not a semblance of the sovereignty afforded to every other state in the international system. It would, more or less, be under glorified occupation. Palestinian refugees would not be permitted to return to their homes. The status of Jerusalem, having become so marred by Israeli settlement-building, would likely be indivisible and largely off limits to the Palestinian statelet.

    Cet éditorial extrêmement hétérodoxe arrive après l’op-ed étonnant (qu’il cite) du New York Times que j’avais signalé ici :
    http://seenthis.net/messages/175781


  • Guardian Story on Israel and N.S.A. Is Not ’Surprising’ Enough to Cover
    http://publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/16/guardian-story-on-israel-and-n-s-a-is-not-surprising-enough-to-cover/?smid=tw-share&_r=0

    Many Times readers have been writing to me for several days about a story The Guardian broke last week, describing how the United States routinely shares with Israel intelligence information that the National Security Agency gathers on American citizens.

    […]

    After a weekend in which no mention was made in The Times of the article, I asked the managing editor, Dean Baquet, about it on Monday morning.

    He told me that The Times had chosen not to follow the story because its level of significance did not demand it.


  • Hollande ‘village idiot’ photo sparks censorship row after image is withdrawn | The Times
    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/europe/article3860487.ece

    President Hollande found himself at the centre of an embarrassing debate yesterday after Agence France-Presse (AFP), the French press agency, withdrew a photograph that left him looking like a village idiot.

    Critics accused the agency, which depends largely on the French state for its financial equilibrium, of self-censorship in an attempt to avoid ruffling Mr Hollande’s feathers.


  • Libya forced to import oil as bright new dawn fades | The Times
    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/middleeast/article3858821.ece

    Libya, which has the world’s fifth largest petroleum reserves, is importing oil to stave off power cuts after renegade guards crippled pipelines in the worst conflict since the 2011 civil war.

    A coalition of rebel fighters who toppled Muammar Gaddafi, and oil workers with tribal loyalties who are opposed to the Government in Tripoli, have shut down wells and ports across the country.

    #paywall


  • NYTimes Channel on IFTTT - NYTimes.com
    http://open.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/12/nytimes-channel-on-ifttt/?_r=0

    Earlier today, an NYTimes channel was released on IFTTT, the service that makes it possible to “automate your online life.” It’s great to be able to offer NYTimes on IFTTT, but for the technology team at The Times, the most exciting part is that it was all done with our publicly available APIs.

    #Medialab #New_York_Times #IFTTT #réseaux


  • Why The New York Times doesn’t have to sell | TIME.com
    http://swampland.time.com/2013/08/09/last-ones-standing

    The Times, on the other hand, while building a hugely popular website, has not relied on web advertising to pay the bills. The company has gone directly to its readers, for whom the paper is a sign of identity and status—a luxury good they are willing to pay for. Jacking up prices (the Sunday newspaper retails for $5 now in New York and $6 a copy elsewhere), and targeting their demographic more and more precisely, the Times has been able to dampen its dependence on advertising while making paid circulation its principal source of revenue.

    #presse #paywall


  • The #New_York_Times “debates” #South_Africa’s future
    http://africasacountry.com/the-new-york-times-debates-south-africas-future

    I have no idea why I was thrilled to see a debate on the chief maladies of post-apartheid South Africa on the New York Times’ website. I honestly should’ve known better, but I just get excited whenever the Times covers South Africa, even if they only ever write about Mandela, xenophobia, and capital flight. The “debate” turned out [...]

    #MEDIA #OPINION #POLITICS #Eusebius_McKaiser #Gavin_Keeton #Haroon_Bhorat #Julius_Agbor #Marikana #Rachel_Jewkes


  • Mass Surveillance in America: A Timeline of Loosening Laws and Practices
    http://projects.propublica.org/graphics/surveillance-timeline

    1978 Surveillance court created
    After a post-Watergate Senate investigation documented abuses of government surveillance, Congress passes the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, to regulate how the government can monitor suspected spies or terrorists in the U.S. The law establishes a secret court that issues warrants for electronic surveillance or physical searches of a “foreign power” or “agents of a foreign power” (broadly defined in the law). The government doesn’t have to demonstrate probable cause of a crime, just that the “purpose of the surveillance is to obtain foreign intelligence information.”

    The court’s sessions and opinions are classified. The only information we have is a yearly report to the Senate documenting the number of “applications” made by the government. Since 1978, the court has approved thousands of applications – and rejected just 11.

    Oct. 2001 Patriot Act passed
    In the wake of 9/11, Congress passes the sweeping USA Patriot Act. One provision, section 215, allows the FBI to ask the FISA court to compel the sharing of books, business documents, tax records, library check-out lists – actually, “any tangible thing” – as part of a foreign intelligence or international terrorism investigation. The required material can include purely domestic records.

    Oct. 2003 ‘Vacuum-cleaner surveillance’ of the Internet
    AT&T technician Mark Klein discovers what he believes to be newly installed NSA data-mining equipment in a “secret room” at a company facility in San Francisco. Klein, who several years later goes public with his story to support a lawsuit against the company, believes the equipment enables “vacuum-cleaner surveillance of all the data crossing the Internet – whether that be peoples’ e-mail, web surfing or any other data.”

    March 2004 Ashcroft hospital showdown
    In what would become one of the most famous moments of the Bush Administration, presidential aides Andrew Card and Alberto Gonzales show up at the hospital bed of John Ashcroft. Their purpose? To convince the seriously ill attorney general to sign off on the extension of a secret domestic spying program. Ashcroft refuses, believing the warrantless program to be illegal.

    The hospital showdown was first reported by the New York Times, but two years later Newsweek provided more detail, describing a program that sounds similar to the one the Guardian revealed this week. The NSA, Newsweek reported citing anonymous sources, collected without court approval vast quantities of phone and email metadata “with cooperation from some of the country’s largest telecommunications companies” from “tens of millions of average Americans.” The magazine says the program itself began in September 2001 and was shut down in March 2004 after the hospital incident. But Newsweek also raises the possibility that Bush may have found new justification to continue some of the activity.

    Dec. 2005 Warrantless wiretapping revealed
    The Times, over the objections of the Bush Administration, reveals that since 2002 the government “monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants.” The program involves actually listening in on phone calls and reading emails without seeking permission from the FISA Court.

    Jan. 2006 Bush defends wiretapping
    President Bush defends what he calls the “terrorist surveillance program” in a speech in Kansas. He says the program only looks at calls in which one end of the communication is overseas.

    March 2006 Patriot Act renewed
    The Senate and House pass legislation to renew the USA Patriot Act with broad bipartisan support and President Bush signs it into law. It includes a few new protections for records required to be produced under the controversial section 215.

    May 2006 Mass collection of call data revealed
    USA Today reports that the NSA has been collecting data since 2001 on phone records of “tens of millions of Americans” through three major phone companies, Verizon, AT&T, and BellSouth (though the companies level of involvement is later disputed.) The data collected does not include content of calls but rather data like phone numbers for analyzing communication patterns.

    As with the wiretapping program revealed by the Times, the NSA data collection occurs without warrants, according to USA Today. Unlike the wiretapping program, the NSA data collection was not limited to international communications.

    2006 Court authorizes collection of call data
    The mass data collection reported by the Guardian this week apparently was first authorized by the FISA court in 2006, though exactly when is not clear. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee, said Thursday, “As far as I know, this is the exact three-month renewal of what has been in place for the past seven years.” Similarly, the Washington Post quoted an anonymous “expert in this aspect of the law” who said the document published by the Guardian appears to be a “routine renewal” of an order first issued in 2006.

    It’s not clear whether these orders represent court approval of the previously warrantless data collection that USA Today described.

    Jan. 2007 Bush admin says surveillance now operating with court approval
    Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announces that the FISA court has allowed the government to target international communications that start or end in the U.S., as long as one person is “a member or agent of al Qaeda or an associated terrorist organization.” Gonzalez says the government is ending the “terrorist surveillance program,” and bringing such cases under FISA approval.

    Aug. 2007 Congress expands surveillance powers
    The FISA court reportedly changes its stance and puts more limits on the Bush administration’s surveillance (the details of the court’s move are still not known.) In response, Congress quickly passes, and President Bush signs, a stopgap law, the Protect America Act.

    In many cases, the government can now get blanket surveillance warrants without naming specific individuals as targets. To do that, the government needs to show that they’re not intentionally targeting people in the U.S., even if domestic communications are swept up in the process.

    Sept. 2007 Prism begins

    The FBI and the NSA get access to user data from Microsoft under a top-secret program known as Prism, according to an NSA PowerPoint briefing published by the Washington Post and the Guardian this week. In subsequent years, the government reportedly gets data from eight other companies including Apple and Google. “The extent and nature of the data collected from each company varies,” according to the Guardian.

    July 2008 Congress renews broader surveillance powers
    Congress follows up the Protect America Act with another law, the FISA Amendments Act, extending the government’s expanded spying powers for another four years. The law now approaches the kind of warrantless wiretapping that occurred earlier in Bush administration. Senator Obama votes for the act.

    The act also gives immunity to telecom companies for their participation in warrantless wiretapping.

    April 2009 NSA ‘overcollects’
    The New York Times reports that for several months, the NSA had gotten ahold of domestic communications it wasn’t supposed to. The Times says it was likely the result of “technical problems in the NSA’s ability” to distinguish between domestic and overseas communications. The Justice Department says the problems have been resolved.

    Feb. 2010 Controversial Patriot Act provision extended
    President Obama signs a temporary one-year extension of elements of the Patriot Act that were set to expire — including Section 215, which grants the government broad powers to seize records.

    May 2011 Patriot Act renewed, again
    The House and Senate pass legislation to extend the overall Patriot Act. President Obama, who is in Europe as the law is set to expire, directs the bill to be signed with an “autopen” machine in his stead. It’s the first time in history a U.S. president has done so.

    March 2012 Senators warn cryptically of overreach
    In a letter to the attorney general, Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Mark Udall, D-Colo., write, “We believe most Americans would be stunned to learn the details” of how the government has interpreted Section 215 of the Patriot Act. Because the program is classified, the senators offer no further details.

    July 2012 Court finds unconstitutional surveillance
    According to a declassified statement by Wyden, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held on at least one occasion that information collection carried out by the government was unconstitutional. But the details of that episode, including when it happened, have never been revealed.

    Dec. 2012 Broad powers again extended
    Congress extends the FISA Amendments Act another five years, and Obama signs it into law. Sens. Wyden and Jeff Merkley, both Oregon Democrats, offer amendments requiring more disclosure about the law’s impact. The proposals fail.

    April 2013 Verizon order issued
    As the Guardian revealed this week, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Judge Roger Vinson issues a secret court order directing Verizon Business Network Services to turn over “metadata” — including the time, duration and location of phone calls, though not what was said on the calls — to the NSA for all calls over the next three months. Verizon is ordered to deliver the records “on an ongoing daily basis.” The Wall Street Journal reports this week that AT&T and Sprint have similar arrangements.

    The Verizon order cites Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allows the FBI to request a court order that requires a business to turn over “any tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items)” relevant to an international spying or terrorism investigation. In 2012, the government asked for 212 such orders, and the court approved them all.

    June 2013 Congress and White House respond
    Following the publication of the Guardian’s story about the Verizon order, Sens. Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., the chair and vice of the Senate intelligence committee, hold a news conference to dismiss criticism of the order. “This is nothing particularly new,” Chambliss says. “This has been going on for seven years under the auspices of the FISA authority, and every member of the United States Senate has been advised of this.”

    Director of National Intelligence James Clapper acknowledges the collection of phone metadata but says the information acquired is “subject to strict restrictions on handling” and that “only a very small fraction of the records are ever reviewed.” Clapper alsoissues a statement saying that the collection under the Prism program was justified under the FISA Amendments of 2008, and that it is not “intentionally targeting” any American or person in the U.S.

    Statements from the tech companies reportedly taking part in the Prism program variously disavow knowledge of the program and merely state in broad terms they


  • Comme au Liban en 1976, Israël s’engage en Syrie

    Israel maintaining intense intelligence activity in Syria and working with local villagers, report says -

    Haaretz

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-maintaining-intense-intelligence-activity-in-syria-and-working-with-

    “Several Israelis who follow Syria closely said Israeli security forces had already been quietly working with villagers who support neither the government nor the rebels, supplying moderate humanitarian aid and maintaining intense intelligence activity,” The Times reported.

    Israel has said it does not want to intervene in its northern neighbors’ civil war, but has maintained that it has the right to defend itself if attacked.

    The New York Times report on Thursday indicated that Israeli officials have discounted the idea of a buffer zone in Syria, both because it would be seen as a major incursion into the country’s territory and spark immediate friction with Assad’s forces. The Times said that one idea being considered by Israel now was the creation of a “proxy force” inside Syria by arming villagers near the border.