NSA head says plots stopped by surveillance programs: In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee Tuesday, National Security Agency director Gen. Keith Alexander said that surveillance programs have stopped at least 50 potential “terrorist events” since the Sept. 11, 2011 attacks, The Washington Post reported.
He said he would provide details of those 50 examples to lawmakers in a classified setting, the report said. Thus far, the NSA has publicly disclosed four cases in which the surveillance programs prevented plots.
Reports from The Washington Post and The Guardian newspaper have outlined the large-scale Internet and telephone surveillance programs undertaken by the NSA in the past several years.
FCC nominee to face Senate committee: Tom Wheeler, President Obama’s pick to lead the Federal Communications Commission, will appear before the Senate Commerce Committee for his nominations hearing Tuesday.
According to testimony obtained by The Washington Post ahead of the hearing, Wheeler — a former tech and telecom lobbyist — will focus on his industry experience to illustrate how well he understands the tech industry.
The hearing begins at 2:30 p.m. and will be live-streamed.
Sprint sues Dish over Clearwire bid: Sprint on Monday filed suit against Dish Network, saying that the satellite firm’s bid for Clearwire is illegal.
Sprint currently owns a majority stake in Clearwire, and claims that the Dish offer “violates the rights of Sprint and other Clearwire stockholders” under stockholder agreements and Delaware law.
Dish is also making a bid for Sprint itself, which counters an offer from the Japanese mobile carrier Softbank.
E.U. digital privacy: In a letter to William Kennard, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, European Digital Rights executive director Joe McNamee wrote the group is disappointed with “regard to recent revelations” about the PRISM program and the United States’s “behavior” during discussions about new proposed policies regarding data protection in the European Union. Kennard met with the group Tuesday.
McNammee said the “widespread untargeted surveillance” that is reportedly a part of the PRISM program can have chilling effects on free speech and communication, and that the group has come to “expect better” from the United States.
McNammee also asks that the United States stop what he called “intervention” into discussion over data protection laws in Europe.
“We stress that the United States has the right to make its views known in this process — but it has to stand behind its statements,” McNammee wrote.
FTC head Jon Leibowitz to law firm: Davis Polk & Wardwell announced Monday that former Federal Trade Commission chairman Jon Leibowitz will join the firm as a partner in the Washington, D.C. office.
Leibowitz, who stepped down from his FTC leadership role earlier this year, will join the firm’s antitrust team and “provide counsel in the developing area of privacy law,” the firm said in a statement on its Web site.