surveillance

President Obama is preparing to announce a plan to scrap the government's systematic collection of bulk phone records as part of a far-reaching overhaul of the National Security Agency's controversial electronic surveillance activities.

The New York Times, quoting senior administration officials, reports:

Ross Reynolds talks with US Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., about a bill called the USA Freedom Act that would reign in government surveillance capabilities.

Lead in text: 
Somewhere, out there, is a profile of you. A file containing information about who you hang out with, what music you listen to and what you like to buy. APM's Stacey Vanek Smith went diving to find out what marketing companies knew about her. The two words that bothered her the most: "markedly single."
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AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

"When the American people find out how their government has secretly interpreted the Patriot Act, they are going to be stunned, and they are going to be angry," said Oregon Senator Ron Wyden on the Senate floor in May, 2011. He was referencing the National Security Agency’s secret surveillance program.

How J. Edgar Hoover Set The Stage For NSA Surveillance

Aug 8, 2013
Courtesy of FBI

Edward Snowden's revelations about the scope of US government surveillance programs took many people by surprise. But the federal government has been tracking people's personal information for a long time.

Surveillance really took off in 1919. That's when a young Department of Defense lawyer named J. Edgar Hoover was tapped to head a brand new division of the department: the Radical Division. Hoover was only 24 years old at the time.

Historian Beverly Gage is writing a biography of Hoover. Today on KUOW Presents Brian Balogh asks her: Why Hoover? What qualified this young upstart to take over the government surveillance of radicals?

Full list of stories on KUOW Presents, August 8:

NSA: America’s Most Secret Agency

Jul 31, 2013
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

For 31 years journalist James Bamford has been writing about the National Security Agency and the threats he sees it posing to our privacy. Even after all the recent revelations about NSA spying on citizens, the agency knows much more than you think. The NSA listens in while Ross Reynolds and Bamford discuss the role of government surveillance.