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First POST: Busy Day

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, July 31 2013

As a busy day begins

  • New Snowden leak: "Revealed: NSA program collects 'nearly everything a user does on the internet'" — just as astonishing as how seemingly casual the process can be for an NSA analyst to check what an Internet user searches for on the internet is that, in the same story that discloses this ability for the first time, the NSA acknowledges its existence in a statement.

  • TechPresident is watching today's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on NSA surveillance, which began earlier this morning. In the hearing, Senate Judiciary officials are pushing strongly for oversight and reduced classification — and intelligence officials and Deputy Attorney General James Cole are not pushing back very hard, perhaps a signal that the door is open for changes to online surveillance procedures that would better protect civil liberties.

  • Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said Tuesday that NSA employees violated court orders on surveillance of Americans, and has done so more severely than top intelligence officials have implied. "I’ll tell your viewers that those violations are significantly more troubling than the government has stated," he told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell.

  • MIT's internal review of its handling of the late activist Aaron Swartz's federal criminal trial concludes that the university did not push for Swartz's prosecution.

    Swartz's partner, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, called the report a "whitewash".

  • Manning sentencing to begin todayArmy Pfc. Bradley Manning has been convicted of most of the charges against him in his trial for leaking hundreds of thousands of sensitive documents to Wikileaks, with the exception of the most serious one — a charge of "aiding the enemy."

Around the web

  • The House of Representatives has released an XML version of the U.S. Code, making federal law easier for developer-assisted browsing.

  • Daniel Schuman has left the Sunlight Foundation for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, and there writes that the move by House leadership is a "transparency win."

  • Good stuff today in Rise and Shine, a morning link post at Nancy Scola's new blog, Shared City.

  • Comedian, author and political blogger Baratunde Thurston is hosting an event at the White House as part of its "Champions of Change" series.

  • John S. and James L. Knight Foundation President Alberto Ibargüen is the recipient of a very friendly profile by Fast Company as the Foundation announces its new Knight News Challenge, focused on how technology, data, and better information delivery might improve community health.