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The National Security Agency is not spying only on foreigners or just collecting “metadata.” Files made public by Edward Snowden show the NSA spied on 5 well-known, politically active Muslim Americans without their knowledge. They also reveal that 9 out of 10 people whose private communications were intercepted were not actually suspects—and many were US citizens. Is the NSA making the nation safer? Is it abusing its vast resources? What happened to reforms promised after Snowden’s first document dump?

Also, Citigroup agrees to pay $7 billion to settle allegations of selling toxic mortgage-backed securities to investors, and can the Centers for Disease Control manage its own labs?

Banner Image Credit: Stephanie Wildner

DOJ Secures Another Billion Dollar Bank Settlement 6 MIN, 29 SEC

Another bank has agreed to pay big money to settle allegations over the sale of toxic mortgage-backed securities to investors. JP Morgan Chase came up with $13 billion; today it’s Citigroup with $7 billion. Attorney General Eric Holder says the bank concealed “serious defects” from its own investors. Ben Protess covers Wall Street and white-collar crime for the New York Times.

Ben Protess, New York Times (@benprotess)

Will the Latest NSA Revelations Lead to Reform? 34 MIN, 47 SEC
For more than a year, reporters have been poring over the vast trove of National Security Agency files made public by Edward Snowden. Promised reform to protect the privacy of innocent citizens whose records were being swept up is now stalled in Congress. Meantime, revelations keep coming: the latest analysis of files he made public show the NSA spied on well-known public figures and looked at the private communications of American citizens, even though they were not official “targets.”

Marc Ambinder, The Week (@marcambinder)
Nihad Awad, Council on American-Islamic Relations (@NihadAwad)
Paul Rosenzweig, Red Branch Consulting (@RosenzweigP)
Amie Stepanovich, Access (@astepanovich)

Biosecurity Breaches at the CDC 8 MIN, 39 SEC

Federal health officials have disclosed breaches of safety at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s own laboratories. The latest safety breach involves avian flu which could be even more serious than the anthrax shipped from one lab to another, or the vials of smallpox found in an unused storage room. Even Director Dr. Thomas Frieden says it may be time to reduce the number of labs working with some of the planet’s most dangerous microbes. Sharon Begley is reporting the story for the Reuters News Service.

Sharon Begley, Reuters (@sxbegle)

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