In 1979, then-Maryland Attorney General Stephen Sachs argued the case Smith v. Maryland before the U.S. Supreme Court. The case revolved around the warrantless collection of phone call information. Sachs defended the practice at the time, and he won. But the case now has a new life: the government cites the case as the legal basis for the National Security Agency's bulk collection of metadata from millions of Americans' phone calls. Now, Sachs says that practice goes far beyond what he argued in 1979, and constitutes a "massive intrusion" on Americans' privacy.
It was another tough week for the National Security Agency. First, a federal judge said some of the NSA's surveillance activities were "likely unconstitutional." Then, a White House panel recommended that NSA activities in the U.S. and abroad should be significantly reined in. Host Arun Rath speaks with Wall Street Journal reporter Siobhan Gorman about the week's news and the future of the NSA.
Four U.S. military personnel have been wounded in South Sudan after their aircraft were fired on during an evacuation mission. NPR's Gregory Warner tells host Arun Rath how the political conflict there is on the edge of full-fledged civil war.
About 2 million debit accounts will be affected. The bank took the step after Target revealed the security of millions of cards used at its stores may have been compromised. Apologizing for the breach, Target offered a 10 percent discount this weekend.
The Obama administration released documents that shed some light on the programs' inception. It also reveals that both the Obama and Bush administrations believe the surveillance programs are important and should be kept secret.
Clara Gantt, 94, held out hope for a happy ending for six decades. On Friday, her hope faded, but she received closure, when the remains of her husband were flown back home.
NASA reports that things went well in Saturday's 5-1/2-hour spacewalk, with two American astronauts removing a pump from the International Space Station Saturday in an effort to repair a faulty piece of cooling equipment.
Three U.S. aircraft were fired upon during an evacuation flight. South Sudan has been in turmoil since the president accused the vice president of attempting a coup.
A federal judge struck down a ban on gay marriage on Friday and hundreds descended on county clerk's offices around the state to request marriage licenses.
This year, crews have collected 4.6 million pounds of oily material from the Gulf Coast shoreline. Coastal residents are asking how long they'll be living with the effects of BP's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Russia's most famous prisoner, former oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was freed Saturday and flown to Germany. Russians are wondering why the former oil magnate asked for a pardon after years of denying guilt.
Leaders in Dublin have declared that unemployment in Ireland is finally dropping, especially among youth. The reason there are fewer young people looking for jobs, however, is because many have simply left the country.
Congress enacted fewer laws this term than any in recent history. That can mean feast or famine for lobbyists; it just depends what they're lobbying for.
Massachusetts authorities pulled over a suspicious vehicle only to find 1,250 of the packets, some of them that were also stamped "Kurt Cobain."
It's the season of peace and goodwill, but President Obama may have tested the limits of both with comments at his end-of-year news conference. He suggested Republicans would be "crazy" to wage a new debt ceiling fight and seemed to question even his allies' motives on Iran sanctions.
John Hinckley Jr., who shot President Ronald Reagan and three others in 1981, has been granted more time to visit his mother's home in Virginia.
NASA astronauts will be heading out to conduct critical repairs on the International Space Station early Saturday morning. The 6 1/2-hour spacewalk, the first in a series, will replace a faulty piece of cooling equipment.
U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby ruled that the state's 2004 ban on same-sex marriage violates the 14th Amendment's due process clause.
Increasingly, privately owned sports teams aren't just asking for newer, fancier digs. They're also asking the public to pay half — or more — of the bill.
Robots from around the world are competing in a Pentagon-sponsored robot "Olympics" this weekend. The challenge is to build a robot that can do human tasks and even go into disaster zones.