Obama Defends: Washington Post: "President Obama strongly defended the government’s secret surveillance of people’s phone records and Internet activities Friday, saying there are 'a whole bunch of safeguards involved' and that Congress has repeatedly authorized the programs. Commenting on the surveillance for the first time since news organizations revealed the sweeping National Security Agency programs this week, Obama highlighted limits to the programs to protect the privacy of U.S. citizens and said the surveillance has helped the government thwart terrorist attacks. ... Obama spoke at length about the need to find a proper balance between national security prerogatives and civil liberties. 'You can’t have 100 percent security and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience,' Obama said. 'We’re going to have to make some choices as a society.'"
Latest Leak: The Guardian: "Barack Obama has ordered his senior national security and intelligence officials to draw up a list of potential overseas targets for US cyber-attacks, a top secret presidential directive obtained by the Guardian reveals. The 18-page Presidential Policy Directive 20, issued in October last year but never published, states that what it calls Offensive Cyber Effects Operations (OCEO) 'can offer unique and unconventional capabilities to advance US national objectives around the world with little or no warning to the adversary or target and with potential effects ranging from subtle to severely damaging.' It says the government will 'identify potential targets of national importance where OCEO can offer a favorable balance of effectiveness and risk as compared with other instruments of national power.'"
The Slatest: The Economist's "Brokeback" Obama-Xi Cover
Obama-Xi Sitdown: Reuters: "President Barack Obama will complain to Chinese President Xi Jinping at a summit on Friday about alleged Chinese hacking of U.S. secrets, even as the White House faces growing questions at home over American government surveillance. Meeting at the luxurious Sunnylands estate near Palm Springs in California, Obama will seek Xi's assurance that he takes seriously accusations of growing Chinese cyberspying, including snooping on advanced U.S. weapons designs. ... Dispute over cybersecurity could test the two leader's ability to get along when they meet in the Californian desert in talks that are billed as an informal get-to-know-you encounter. Obama intends to tell Xi that Washington considers Beijing responsible for any cyberattacks originating from its territory and that it must take action, U.S. officials said."
More from on Slate about the NSA’s secret snooping programs:
- Jurisprudence: We shouldn’t have to wait for an abuse of power to know that the NSA’s snooping has gone too far.
- Technology: The government’s cybersurveillance program targets foreigners, not Americans. But can it tell the difference?
- Low Concept: Those PRISM Slides Are Butt-Ugly. Here, NSA. We Redesigned Them For You.
- Crime: Teach Your Kids About the NSA With the Help of CryptoCat and DecipherDog
- Brow Beat: David Simon Says We Shouldn’t Be Upset About NSA Wiretapping
- Tecnology: NSA agents are trained to target friends of friends. How many friends of friends do you have?
- Weigel: This Is What Section 215 of the Patriot Act Does
- History: Somewhere, J. Edgar Hoover Is Smiling
- Crime: Can Disposable “Burner” Cellphones Protect You From Government Surveillance?
- Moneybox: PRISM Secrecy Helps American Tech Companies
- Moneybox: Is PRISM Going To Harm U.S. High-Tech Exports?
- The Slatest: The New York Times' Small But Significant Change to Its Blistering Obama Criticism
Ricin Arrest: Associated Press: "A pregnant Texas actress who told FBI agents her husband had sent ricin-tainted letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was charged Friday with threatening the president. Shannon Guess Richardson made an initial appearance in a Texarkana courtroom after being charged with mailing a threatening communication to the president. She could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted, U.S. attorney's office spokeswoman Davilyn Walston said. Richardson, 35, was arrested earlier in the day for allegedly mailing the ricin-laced letters last month."
Shooting at LA Community College: NBC News: "At least four people were injured Friday, two of them critically, in multiple shootings in Santa Monica, Calif., near Los Angeles, authorities said. The gunman was among those wounded and was in custody. The shootings took place in an area near where President Barack Obama was scheduled to attend a fundraising event, but the Secret Service said they were believed to be unrelated to the president's visit. Two people were in critical condition and one was in serious condition at UCLA Medical Center, a spokesman told NBC News. A woman with a minor secondary wound was also treated. Dozens of campus and Santa Monica officers and Los Angeles sheriff's deputies were on the scene of what they said was an ongoing situation."
Andrea Update: CBS News: "After bringing rains, heavy winds and even tornadoes to parts of Florida, Tropical Storm Andrea moved quickly across south Georgia and was leaving the Carolinas waterlogged on Friday while sparing the area any serious damage. The first named storm of the Atlantic season lost some intensity after making landfall Thursday in Florida and its winds were down to 45 mph Friday. ... The storm is forecast to move out of North Carolina this evening and north up along the Delmarva peninsula and into New England. A tropical storm warning for the Atlantic Coast has moved north with the storm, updated at 2 p.m. to extend from Little River inlet in South Carolina to the lower Chesapeake Bay in Virginia."
Jobs Report: Wall Street Journal: "U.S. employers added 175,000 jobs in May, maintaining the slow but steady gains of recent months and easing worries about a summer slowdown in the U.S. economy. The unemployment rate rose slightly to 7.6% in May from 7.5% in April, as more people entered the workforce, the Labor Department said Friday in its monthly employment report. ... The latest figures showed the labor market is maintaining momentum despite headwinds coming from Washington policies since the start of the year."
Jesse Jackson Jr. Jail Time: USA Today: "Federal prosecutors Friday recommended a four-year prison term for former Illinois congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., who has admitted using $750,000 in campaign funds to pay his living expenses and to splurge on luxury items like furs and jewelry. The government also wants Jackson to repay his campaign $750,000. Jackson used campaign money to pay everything from groceries and dry-cleaning expenses to big ticket items, including a $43,350 gold-plated men's Rolex watch and celebrity memorabilia belonging to Michael Jackson and Martin Luther King Jr. according to court documents. He and his wife, Sandi, are scheduled to be sentenced in July."
A Few More Quick Hits From Slate's Blogs—
- Brow Beat: Is There Plagiarism in Jonah Lehrer’s New Book Proposal?
- XX Factor: Slut-Shaming Isn't Just a "Girl-On-Girl Crime"
- Moneybox: How To Calm The Urban Parking Wars
- XX Factor: The Masked Face of Anonymous Steubenville Outs Himself, Is Kind of a Bro
- Future Tense: Studying Hurricanes With Swarms of Smart Drones
See you back here Monday. Until then, tell your friends to subscribe, or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.