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Liberty NewsWire Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy. - James Bamford, for Wired.com  See full article immediately below.

Individual Liberty

Patriot Act/NDAA:

Wired - The NSA Is Building the Country's Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)

TechDirt - Senators Tell The Obama Administration To Reveal Its Secret Interpretation Of The Patriot Act

TSA & Travel Freedom:

Reason - We Know You Have a Choice of Gropers, and We Appreciate Your Business

War on Drugs:

Huffington Post – U.N. Misses Opportunity to Address Failed Drug War

Gun Control:

Daily Republic – SD House Upholds Veto on Concealed Gun Bill

Foreign Policy

War Powers Act:

The Washington Times - Burton: Congress must say go: Air war on Syria requires congressional authorization

NATO:

Associated Press - Pakistani parliament says no to US drones

Afghanistan:

Reuters - U.S. mulls concessions on flashpoint Afghan night raids

Fox News - Top commander: US must stick to its strategy in Afghanistan

Iran:

New York Times - U.S. War Game Sees Perils of Israeli Strike Against Iran

Washington Post - How bad would Iran be with the bomb?

The Atlantic - Iran Drumbeat Watch: 'March of Folly' Redux?      

Economic Issues

Federal Reserve:

Politico – Ben Bernanke’s Frugal PR Push

Bloomberg – Bernanke Returns to Academic Roots to Justify Fed’s Existence         

Debt Ceiling:

Reason - President Obama's Debt Plan?  More Debt.

IRS and Taxes:

CNN - IRS policies help fuel tax return fraud, officials say

Bloomberg Businessweek - IRS Flags Almost 2 Million Returns for Fraudulent Tax Refunds

CONSTITUTION

Obamacare:

Reason - How ObamaCare Is Exposing Conservative vs. Libertarian Divisions on the Supreme Court

Politico - Two years of 'Obamacare' not helping patients

Politico – Health-Care Reform: What to Watch For

Forbes – Holtz-Eakin and Smith: Obamacare’s Flawed Economic Foundations

Daily Caller – Obamacare Opponents Planning to Rally as Supreme Court Takes Up Case

Political News

The Hill – Republicans Shift from McCain on War

Corruption:

CBS News - Study: NJ doing best on anti-corruption measures


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