NSA Spying Program Puts Secretive Court in the Spotlight
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NSA Spying Program Puts Secretive Court in the Spotlight

Massive intelligence leaks by Edward Snowden raised questions about the privacy rights guaranteed by the Constitution to all Americans. Now the secret court that provides oversight says it lacks the resources to do the job. Are reforms required? Also, the Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual leader is arrested in Egypt, and the Plutonium Mountain left behind after Cold War nuclear testing.

Banner image: General Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency (NSA), talks about NSA monitoring programs during the Black Hat USA 2013 hacker convention at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada July 31, 2013. Photo: Steve Marcus/Reuters

Making News

Muslim Brotherhood Spiritual Leader Arrested ()

As Egypt's deadly crackdown continues, the military has arrested the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Former Vice President Mohammed ElBaradei now faces charges for resigning in protest. David Kirkpatrick is Cairo Bureau Chief for the New York Times.


Main Topic

Personal Privacy and National Security: Is There a Trade-off? ()

When Edward Snowden revealed the extent of electronic spying, President Obama assured Americans their privacy was being carefully guarded. But the chief judge of the secret court responsible now says it can't do the job, admitting that only the government knows who's being spied on and why. Now the President has joined the political Left and Right-leaning libertarians who want a special advocate to argue the public's interest before the secret court. But others warn that could impede and delay the surveillance needed to safeguard the nation. We hear a debate.


Today's Talking Point

Hunting Down Nuclear Waste Leads to a 'Plutonium Mountain' ()

Sixty years ago, the former Soviet Union started conducting nuclear tests in a remote area of Eastern Kazakhstan. Much of the plutonium residue never disappeared. When the Soviets pulled out it was left behind and went unprotected for years. Only in recent years has there been an effort to secure it. Last October, scientists marked the completion of a 17-year operation. They had reduced one of the largest nuclear security threats since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Eben Harrell, Associate at the Project on Managing the Atom at Harvard's Kennedy School, has reported on what's now called "Plutonium Mountain."


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