President Obama

Obama hosts real West Wing “Big Block of Cheese Day” across social

Obama hosts real West Wing “Big Block of Cheese Day” across social

Fans of the West Wing - and of getting greater insight into how the US government ticks - will be excited to hear that today is Big Block of Cheese Day, with the Obama Administration throwing open the virtual doors and answering public questions across social networks. Named after the fictitious day when West Wing's President Bartlet and staff took questions from special interest groups, however wacky, according to The White House the real thing will be playing out today across Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, and Instagram.

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DOJ statement: public interest outweighs security concerns

DOJ statement: public interest outweighs security concerns

In accordance with orders sent out earlier this month by the President of the United States on intelligence reforms, the US Department of Justice has begun "acting to allow" more transparency in a number of areas. The number of "national security orders and requests" sent to communications providers as well as the number of customer accounts that that are targeted will be part of this set of "more detailed disclosures."

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Obama talks NSA: EFF, Julian Assange, White House respond

Obama talks NSA: EFF, Julian Assange, White House respond

Just this morning, United States President Barack Obama spoke up at a bit of NSA news, letting it be known what his real NSA reform plan would be. As is often the case, some of the responses to the talk have appeared more telling than the talk itself. We're having a peek at what the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Julian Assange (of WikiLeaks), and the White House have done to follow up this set of announcements.

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Obama NSA reform plan revealed

Obama NSA reform plan revealed

President Obama has defended the NSA's spying actions, arguing that the continuing pace of technological advancement means surveillance is essential, though revealing a "series of concrete and substantial reforms" he believes will address public concerns. The proposals, already being picked apart by privacy advocates, include changing the controversial section 215 metadata program, and what Obama described as the "unprecedented" extending of rights around monitoring to non-US citizens outside of America.

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Obama hears panel: Stop NSA bulk phone data collection

Obama hears panel: Stop NSA bulk phone data collection

The White House has released a lengthy report written by a five-member panel recommending sweeping reforms of the NSA. Included among the 46 recommendations by the "Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies" is one to delete all bulk telephone metadata on Americans from the NSA's servers. The panel also suggested that the data should be allowed to be stored by the private telecoms for a capped length of time -- five years in most cases -- accessible by the NSA only through court order or other official third-party permission.

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Tech industry presents unified privacy front to White House

Tech industry presents unified privacy front to White House

A veritable pantheon of top-ranking emissaries from some of the largest and most powerful tech companies in the United States descended on the White House today to press the Obama administration to move aggressively on reforming the NSA's nearly universal surveillance of US citizens and the world. Their message was clear: Stop the spy agency from forcibly or stealthily seizing and storing bulk data about their customers. The message comes during an ongoing firestorm of public opposition to the agency's bulk data collection programs, ignited and continually stoked by the revelation of Edward Snowden's cache of an estimated 1.7 million stolen NSA documents detailing its ongoing quest for data omniscience.

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Twitter hosts political rappartee between White House and opponents

Twitter hosts political rappartee between White House and opponents

The Obama administration has been increasingly using Twitter as a way to shape news stories and public debate, often going so far as to eschew traditional channels like press releases and news conferences in favor of the social microblogging network, Reuters reports. Characterizing the White House's Twitter activity as an "army" waging "wars" with conservatives and other Obama opponents, the report points to the administration's embrace of Twitter as a public debate sphere.

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Syrian Electronic Army hacks President Obama’s websites, social media

Syrian Electronic Army hacks President Obama’s websites, social media

The Syrian Electronic Army hacked US President Barack Obama's nonprofit website Organizing for Action last night, sending reverberations throughout the President's social media presence. The SEA proceeded to hack into the President's campaign website as well as OFA's custom URL shortener. It then began posting pro-SEA URL redirects to the President's Twitter and Facebook accounts, among other politically motivated mischief. As of this afternoon, most of the fallout has been cleaned up.

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Samsung denied Obama veto as Apple’s import ban upheld

Samsung denied Obama veto as Apple’s import ban upheld

Samsung's hopes that the US government would overturn an ITC ban on certain smartphones and tablets, just as President Obama's White House did for a similar ban on Apple devices, have been dashed, with the fast-approaching sales block upheld. The South Korean company had approached the US trade representative in August, arguing that a ban on several of its Android devices were counter to the public interest and requesting a stay on the sales block, just as Apple had been granted over an injunction it had been granted. However, Bloomberg reports, Obama's trade chief refuses to play ball.

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