WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder announced a major shift Monday in federal sentencing policies, targeting long mandatory terms that he said have flooded the nation’s prisons with low-level drug offenders and diverted crime-fighting dollars that could be far better spent.
If Holder’s policies are implemented aggressively, they could mark one of the most significant changes in the way the federal criminal justice system handles drug cases since the government declared a war on drugs in the 1980s
As a first step, Holder has instructed federal prosecutors to stop charging many nonviolent drug defendants with offenses that carry mandatory minimum sentences. His next step will be working with a bipartisan group in Congress to give judges greater discretion in sentencing.
“We will start by fundamentally rethinking the notion of mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related crimes,” Holder told the American Bar Association in San Francisco.
There are currently more than 219,000…
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(CNN) – Bosses of major technology firms met with President Barack Obama Thursday alongside civil liberties advocates to discuss privacy, part of an ongoing series of talks the White House is holding after the disclosure of government surveillance programs that monitor Americans’ phone and internet activity.
Web pioneer Vint Cerf, currently an executive at Google, attended the White House event, a person familiar with the meeting said, as did Apple CEO Tim Cook, according to Politico, which first reported the gathering of tech chiefs. Also present was Gigi Sohn, the president of digital rights advocacy group Public Knowledge.
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By Barbara Starr
A message from al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to his second in command in Yemen told him to “do something,” causing U.S. and Yemeni officials to fear imminent terrorist action, CNN has learned.
For weeks, U.S. and Yemeni officials watched a rising stream of intelligence about the possibility of a major terrorist attack in Yemen but grew increasingly alarmed after intercepting a message within the past several days said to be from al-Zawahiri, who is believed to be in Pakistan. The message was sent to Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the terror group’s Yemeni affiliate. U.S. intelligence believes al-Wuhayshi has recently been appointed the overall terror organization’s No. 2 leader.
U.S. officials cautioned that there may be multiple sources of intelligence including intercepts of electronic information from phone calls, web postings, but also interrogation of couriers or other operatives.
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SPIEGEL ONLINE International
New NSA Leaks Describe Total Surveillance System XKeyscore
‘Real Time’: New Leaks Show Near Total NSA Surveillance
By Konrad Lischka and Christian Stöcker
Documents describe XKeyscore as the NSA’s “widest reaching” system capable of mining intelligence from the Internet. Zoom
Documents describe XKeyscore as the NSA’s “widest reaching” system capable of mining intelligence from the Internet.
New reporting by the Guardian reveals an NSA program called XKeyscore gives the agency near limitless access to e-mails, Web browser history, social media activity and more. The program contains few checks to ensure the surveillance complies with US law.
Put the director of the National Security Agency on stage in front of a large group of hackers and the results are easily predictable. “You lied to Congress, why should we believe you?” heckles one audience member. “Read the Constitution!” shouts another. “I have read it,” Keith Alexander replies, adding with…
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