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News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

Friday Flashback: NSA, Snowden, Murdoch split and more

by Take Two®

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Demonstrators hold signs supporting Edward Snowden in New York's Union Square Park, on Monday. Snowden, who says he worked as a contractor at the National Security Agency and the CIA, gave classified documents to reporters, making public two sweeping U.S. surveillance programs and touching off a national debate on privacy versus security. Richard Drew/AP

The dark side of technology, a big gamble on Syria, and the dissolution of a media mogul's marriage. Some of the big stories of the week we'll look at this morning on this week's edition of the Friday Flashback with David Gura of Marketplace and James Rainey of the LA Times. 

The news was dominated this week by stories about snooping at the NSA and questions about the role of the country's intelligence services. Officials have been testifying before Congress and are trying to explain why they were collecting information about Americans, when laws regulating intelligence agencies seem to forbid that. Here's FBI director Robert Mueller on Capitol Hill earlier this week.

According to California Senator Dianne Feinstein, who's chair of the Senate intelligence committee, the NSA will provide evidence that surveillance on Americans has prevented terrorist attacks. That could come as early as next week.  

Edward Snowden is holed up in Hong Kong. According to reports, he has details of American efforts to hack into Chinese computer systems. There's some speculation he might offer the Chinese this information in return for protection, or asylum.

Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate have been critical of the NSA, and others have supported the gathering of data on Americans. Is this a non-partisan, or even maybe a post-partisan issue? What's the appropriate response here? Does Congress need to revamp intelligence laws, and maybe take another look at the Patriot Act?

Following what they say is confirmation that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against rebels there, the White House now says they'll supply insurgents there with weapons. But by most accounts, the Syrian government now has the upper hand in the struggle.  

Hillary Clinton made a speech in Chicago yesterday in her first big appearance since she stepped down as Secretary of State. She sounded a lot like someone planning a Presidential run. It's a long way out, but she has to be the front runner among Democrats at this point. Who among the prospective Republicans might be the most formidable opponent?

Let's take a bit of time for some dish. Rupert and Wendy Murdock. Splitsville. 

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