Here's a question with no easy answer: How do you hold the nation's spy agencies accountable — when they control the secrets?

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden apparently thought the answer was to blow the lid off some of the NSA's highly classified programs. He took documents and shared them with journalists.

But what about Congress? It's supposed to oversee the NSA — and other spy agencies. For the committees charged with that task, it hasn't been easy keeping tabs on the secretive world of federal surveillance.

The extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is tightening control of Iraq's Sunni Muslim heartland, attacking the strategic city of Baqouba, less than 40 miles from Baghdad. The U.S. is sending up to 275 military personnel to bolster its embassy in the capital; President Obama is also reportedly weighing airstrikes.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal is calling on the Coast Guard to restrict the number of times it allows a railroad swing bridge over the Norwalk River to rotate open. In a letter to the Coast Guard, Blumenthal says the bridge failed 16 times in 271 openings during 2013. Governor Malloy held a “Crisis Summit” earlier today to discuss the problem.

Health Exchange Worker Comes Forward After Data Breach

Members of the state’s congressional delegation want to see the full details of audits conducted at Veterans Administration medical facilities, including clinics in Danbury, New London, Stamford, Waterbury, Willimantic and Winsted. U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Congressman John Larson appeared today with veterans at a VFW Post in East Hartford to discuss a letter they are sending to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.


Connecticut's attorney general is working with other states to try and prevent data breaches like the ones that happened to eBay, Target, and Neiman Marcus.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson delivered the keynote address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy's 133rd Commencement Exercises today in New London. The Coast Guard Academy is the smallest of the five federal service academies, and has about 875 cadets in its four-year program.

Former Governor Pushing for Indictment Dismissal


U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson delivered the keynote address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy's 133rd Commencement Exercises on Wednesday. 

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Earlier this week, the General Assembly passed a bonding package allocating $22 million to strengthen school security across the state.

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April was all about cybersecurity: fixes for the so-called "Heartbleed" bug, alerts about exploits in Internet Explorer, and a now, a security initiative spearheaded by UConn.

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Governor Dannel Malloy has released a plan to protect Connecticut's utilities against cyber attacks. Connecticut's electric, natural gas, major water companies and the regional distribution systems have already been penetrated in the past.

When asked just how many cyber attacks have happened, Arthur House, chairman of the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, said he can't go into much detail.

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UConn will partner with cable giant Comcast on a new center to study cyber security.

Senior U.S. officials were warned of imminent Russian military action in Crimea about a week before the troop movements that have sparked a major international crisis over Ukraine, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency tells NPR.

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State lawmakers heard public testimony Monday afternoon on a bill concerning drones. Next year, the FAA is expected to widely deregulate drone usage, which is leaving many states scrambling to control the technology.

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Each year, 1.4 million of the nation’s eleven- to 17-year-olds enter the juvenile justice system. Of these boys and girls, some 71,000 are sent to incarceration facilities, where they may remain for several months in seclusion from the outside world. 

Office of Governor Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy announced on Thursday that his budget will include more money to improve school security across the state. Last year, over 600 schools got state funding. 

The credit and debit card data breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus compromised more than 70 million American consumers, and analysts say even more of us are at risk. That's because the technology we use to swipe for our purchases — magnetic stripes on the backs of cards — isn't hard for a skilled fraudster to hack.

Governor Dannel Malloy's Sandy Hook Commission has been told there is no data connecting people with autism to increased violent criminal behavior. A Stony Brook University psychology professor addressed the panel on Friday saying there is nothing that links autism to the type of planned massacre that occurred in in Newtown in 2012. Recently released documents show gunman Adam Lanza had been diagnosed in 2006 with a profound autism disorder.

If there was a consensus emanating from Congress Friday after President Obama's NSA reform speech, it was — not surprisingly — that Congress itself has a major role to play in the ultimate fix.

Whether from strong NSA supporters or agency critics, the reactions sounded similar: Congress intends to do much of the steering in the drive to overhaul the NSA's gathering of certain non-public information, especially consumer phone records, in the nation's counterterrorism efforts.

Even so, if you listened closely, you could hear the sound of politics in some of the reaction.

The holiday season data breach at Target that hit more than 70 million consumers was part of a wide and highly skilled international hacking campaign that's "almost certainly" based in Russia. That's according to a report prepared for federal and private investigators by Dallas-based cybersecurity firm iSight Partners.

And the fraudsters are so skilled that sources say at least a handful of other retailers have been compromised.

"The intrusion operators displayed innovation and a high degree of skill," the iSight report says.

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Saying that "critics are right to point out that without proper safeguards, this type of program could be used to yield more information about our private lives," President Obama said Friday that he wants the National Security Agency to stop holding on to massive amounts of "metadata" about the phone calls and electronic communications of millions of people around the world.

President Obama is expected to announce Friday morning that he is "ordering a transition that will significantly change the handling of what is known as the telephone 'metadata' " that the National Security Agency collects, officials are telling Reuters and NPR.

The wire service, which broke the story, writes that:

A committee tasked by the White House with reviewing U.S. electronic surveillance has come up with 46 proposed changes to National Security Agency spying practices. Here are arguments for and against five recommendations that President Obama may take up in a speech announcing policy changes Friday:

Limit Access To Bulk Telephone Data

With less than a month to go before the Winter Games, Russian officials are putting the finishing touches on what they say will be the tightest Olympic security in history.

After a spate of deadly terrorist attacks in the region, the authorities are deploying high-tech surveillance equipment and tens of thousands of troops in Sochi, the host city on the Black Sea.

Sochi is unique among the cities hosting the Winter Games because it has the mild climate of a seaside resort, but it's less than an hour away from the snow-capped mountains of the North Caucasus.

Target is trying to get back in its customers' good graces after a massive data breach affecting some 40 million credit and debit account holders. The giant retail chain offered its customers a 10 percent discount over the weekend as an act of atonement, but business was said to be down anyway.

The breach affected customers who used their credit and debit cards at one of Target's 1,750 stores during a three-week period after Thanksgiving.

Target Corp. acknowledged early Thursday that there was a massive security breach of its customers' credit and debit card accounts starting the day before Thanksgiving and extending at least to Dec. 15 — the heart of the holiday shopping season.

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More than 14,000 Connecticut residents may have had their personal information compromised in a data breach from JP Morgan Chase. 

Reporters on the national security beat are sifting through about 1,000 pages of newly declassified documents that the National Security Agency released late Monday.

The heavily redacted records, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a statement, "demonstrate the care with which NSA's foreign intelligence collection ... is run, managed, and overseen."

New Britain Police Department

A 21-year-old student at Central Connecticut State University is apologizing for actions that led to a three-hour lockdown on campus Monday. David Kyem, the son of a CCSU geography professor, told The Hartford Courant that he’s sorry for the fear and confusion. Kyem was arrested and charged with breach of peace, and then released on $1,000 bail.

Olivia Maffucci

Central Connecticut State University in New Britain states that a suspect is in custody, and the school has given an "all clear" to people on campus following a three-hour lockdown Monday afternoon. The school's official campus website earlier told students and personnel to “get inside buildings and stay in place.”

While at Central, WNPR's Patrick Skahill said students were told that the focus of the police investigation was James Hall, a dormitory on campus. The school confirmed that in a tweet just after 1:30 pm on Monday.

Eyewitnesses said that campus security told students to stay in place at the student center at around noon. In a tweet just after 2:00 pm on Monday, CCSU said "police are looking for a man who reportedly was carrying a gun."

Skahill spoke with WNPR's Ray Hardman just after 2:00 pm on Monday. "The police presence is very strong here right now," Skahill said, with police support coming from nearby towns such as Newington and West Hartford. Listen below.

This Post Was Last Updated At 12:06 p.m. ET.

Two Kenyans running similarly tactical races came from behind to win the New York City Marathon on Sunday, marking the third time Kenyans have won both the men's and women's 26.2-mile road race.

Geoffrey Mutai, of Kenya, stayed pretty quiet for the first 20 miles. He nestled in the pack, shielding himself from the wind, then, as the toughest part of the race began, he accelerated past the pack and never looked back, winning the race in 2:08:24.