12-12-2017  12:00 pm      •     
MLK Breakfast
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NEWS BRIEFS

Joint Office of Homeless Services Announces Severe Weather Strategy

Those seeking shelter should call 211 or visit 211.org. Neighbors needed to volunteer, donate cold-weather apparel ...

Q&A with Facebook's Global Director of Diversity Maxine Williams

A conversation on diversity and the tech industry ...

City Announces Laura John as Tribal Liason

Laura John brings an extensive background in tribal advocacy and community engagement to the city of Portland ...

Humboldt Sewer Repair Project Update: Dec. 4

Environmental Services continues to repair more than 3 miles of public sewer pipes ...

'Santaland' on Display at Oregon Historical Society

New exhibit features Santa’s throne, Rudolph, and elves from original Meier and Frank’s Santaland ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Payday Lenders Continue Attack on Consumer Protections

Charlene Crowell of the Center for Responsible Lending writes that two bills that favor predatory lenders has received bipartisan...

Hundreds Rallied for Meek Mill, but What About the Rest?

Lynette Monroe, a guest columnist for the NNPA Newswire, talks about Meek Mill, the shady judge that locked him up and mass...

Top 10 Holiday Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet

Dr. Jasmine Streeter explains why pampering pets with holiday treats can be dangerous (and pricey) ...

Why We Need More Black Men in Early Childhood Education

Royston Maxwell Lyttle discusses the importance of Black male teachers in early childhood education for the NNPA ESSA Media Campaign ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Tom Cohen CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- FBI Director Robert Mueller said Thursday that secret government surveillance programs disclosed by leaks of classified information have been conducted in adherence with the U.S. Constitution and federal laws.

"The legality has been ensured" by the Department of Justice, and special federal courts set up to handle surveillance issues "ruled and monitored these programs and again, ensured the legality," he told the House Judiciary Committee.

Mueller's remark about the programs that collect telephone and computer information were the latest government defense of them as vital for national security, despite concerns that they go beyond the scope of the Patriot Act passed after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Rep. John Conyers of Michigan complained Thursday about what he depicted as overreach by law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the name of national security.

"We are a nation of laws, not men," Conyers, the ranking Democrat on the panel, said in his opening statement at the hearing.

He told Mueller that in his opinion, the FBI's role in the surveillance programs disclosed by the leaks "are inconsistent with the requirements of the Patriot Act" and violate the privacy rights of citizens.

"It's my fear that we are on the verge of becoming a surveillance state, collecting billions of electronic records on law-abiding Americans every single day," Conyers said.

In particular, he said, Section 215 of the Patriot Act "is being used to engage in a nationwide dragnet of telecommunications records."

Conyers also complained about the secrecy of the activities, saying the government relied too much on covering up what it was doing through classified programs.

He said he was co-sponsoring legislation that would address "the overbreadth and impenetrability of the surveillance programs."

Mueller said that members of Congress were briefed about the covert programs and that legislators had the authority to change the law if desired.

"If a change were to be made ... so be it, and we would follow the letter of the law," he said. At the same time, he said, the classified leaks that revealed the programs hurt national security.

™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

 

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