Senator Chris Murphy just got back from Europe, talking to allies about U.S. spying abroad and counter-terrorism efforts. He’s also been outspoken about the role of the media in covering the Obamacare rollout. In fact, he’s got so much to talk about, we’re bringing him into our weekly news roundtable, The Wheelhouse. Join us for a free-wheeling conversation and ask your questions of Senator Murphy.
State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky's summary report on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting said that the investigation is now closed, and there will be no criminal prosecution in the case. None of the evidence points to collaboration in the crime, and the shooter is considered solely responsible.
Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 7:49 pm
Investigators say they haven't determined why Adam Lanza killed 26 students and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last December. But they know he acted alone in that attack and his mother's murder, according to a summary report released weeks before the one-year anniversary of the shooting rampage.
A report on the Newtown, Conn., school shooting released Monday says we may never know what motivated Adam Lanza to kill twenty children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School nearly a year ago. The long-awaited summary report from the Connecticut State's Attorney mentions that Lanza was a troubled young man who didn't seem to connect with people. He did not share his plans with anyone before the rampage. The report rules out criminal prosecution and closes the case. It was shared with Newtown family members before being released to the public.
After a hearing on Monday, New Britain Superior Court Judge Eliot Prescott said he will listen to the 911 recordings from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last year, and consider whether they can be released to the public. Prescott's decision will come soon after he hears the calls, but it will not be Monday.
The recordings were ordered by the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission to be provided to The Associated Press in September. State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky III requested a stay while he appeals the order.
The Wheelhouse Digest today is being very careful to avoid tweeting under any fake names, and in the meantime we're keen to learn the details of last night's mayoral debate in New Haven. Details about the Sandy Hook school shooting are slowly leaking out, but never officially. Read about that and more below.
The state's task force examining victim privacy and public information met Wednesday for a marathon session to consider issues at stake in restricting Connecticut's Freedom of Information Act. "Privacy now is so fleeting and so easily violated," testified Morgan Rueckert, the attorney for 22 Newtown families. One brief exchange captured on video put its finger on the pulse of the debate. That and more below in The Wheelhouse Digest.
Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 5:42 pm
James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told Congress this week that the partial federal government shutdown has forced the furlough of some 70 percent of employees throughout the intelligence community.
"I've never seen anything like this," said Clapper, a 50-year veteran of intelligence work.
So what impact is all this having on the spy world?
Efforts by the National Security Agency to track potential suspects and find connections between them have led the agency to collate its reams of data with information drawn from sources that include GPS locators and Facebook profiles, according to The New York Times. The newspaper cites documents provided by Edward Snowden, the former NSA contract worker, as well as interview with officials.
Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 7:16 am
Is the National Security Agency collecting cellphone tracking information on millions of Americans?
After a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, we still can't be sure. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has been trying to get intelligence officials to confirm or deny the existence or nonexistence of such a program.
Remember, records of where your cellphone is located give a pretty good idea of where the owners are. Wyden asked NSA Director Keith Alexander about that at Thursday's hearing, and Alexander said, no — not under "the current program."
The National Security Agency won't say exactly when it will fully rev up its newest and biggest data farm in the Salt Lake City suburb of Bluffdale, Utah. There will be no "grand opening" or celebratory barbecue outside the sprawling facility, which is five times the size of the Ikea down the road.
But, according to NSA spokeswoman Vanee' Vines, "We turn each machine on as it is installed, and the facility is ready for that installation to begin."
Officials' estimates say that in the next twenty years there could be as many as 30,000 drones flying in US airspace. Depending on your point of view, that's either a great technological leap forward, or a very scary prospect. Businesses are similarly divided about our drone future.
A big question since the massacre at Sandy Hook is how much, if any, information from the crime scene should be released to the public. That debate continues. The question at hand isn't should the state have passed a bipartisan, sweeping new law to exempt crime scene evidence from public disclosure. The question is should it have done so in secret, at the end of the legislative session, without public hearing.
A state task force trying to figure out how to balance victim privacy with the public's right to know is stacked in favor of privacy. That's according to a former newspaper editor and the head of a Connecticut open government group. The group is in the early stages of defining its mission.
Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 10:50 am
"The National Security Agency is searching the contents of vast amounts of Americans' e-mail and text communications into and out of the country, hunting for people who mention information about foreigners under surveillance, according to intelligence officials," The New York Times reported Thursday.
The tragedy in Newtown prompted a series of legislative responses. One of them was to create a task force that will look at the balance between the public's right to know and victim privacy.
That task force held its first meeting to consider how much information about a crime should be released to the public, and how much the public has a right to know. Those are questions before a 17-member panel tasked with reporting back to state lawmakers by January 1.
Edward Snowden has been granted temporary asylum by Russia and has left the transit zone at Moscow's airport where he has been holed up for more than a month. Morning Edition host Renee Montagne talks to NPR's Corey Flintoff in Moscow and Pentagon correspondent Larry Abramson.
The National Security Agency declassified more documents that shed light on formerly secret programs that collect a vast amount of metadata on the phone calls made in the United States, as well as the electronic communication of foreigners.
In a statement, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said the release was "in the public interest."
Are you surprised that this week we’re talking about Joe Lieberman and Dick Cheney? Are you surprised the former thinks the NSA’s data gathering is a good idea? And that President Obama doesn’t want to be compared to the latter?
Are you surprised that our state has 406 deficient bridges? That’s slightly better than New Jersey...take that Chris Christie.
Does graffiti still have the power to turn our heads? We might check out a new design or a bold stroke of color--but not because we're shocked.
Since early artists first sprayed their frustrations across the subway cars and city walls of 1960's Philadelphia and New York, graffiti has gone from the street to the elite, from the public to the private, from vandalism to fine art, as likely to be in a gallery as on the side of a garage...but it hasn't always been that way.
Today, it’s another edition of “The Wheelhouse” - our weekly Wednesday wade into the news and politics. What’s on tap?
Well, your phone for one...Bill Curry and Glenn Sulmasy debate the NSA surveillance program and privacy vs. security.
We’ll clean up a few of the messes left behind after the state legislative session, including the spending cap that’s more of a spending “suggestion” - and the Office of Early Childhood that has funding, but doesn’t yet exist.