national security

Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old former CIA technical assistant who has stepped forward to say he's the source of explosive leaks about government surveillance programs was among "thousands upon thousands" of such analysts hired to manage and sift through "huge amounts of data," NPR's Tom Gjelten

President Obama says he's not Big Brother. The author who created the concept might disagree.

Addressing the controversy over widespread government surveillance of telephone records and Internet traffic Friday, Obama said, "In the abstract, you can complain about Big Brother and how this is a potential program run amok, but when you actually look at the details, then I think we've struck the right balance."

Security professionals in both the U.S. government and in private industry have long feared the prospect of a cyberwar with China or Russia, two states capable of launching destructive attacks on the computer networks that control critical assets such as the power grid or the financial system.

Now they face a new cyberthreat: Iran.

"[The Iranians] have all the resources and the capabilities necessary to be a major player in terms of cyberwarfare," says Jeffrey Carr, an expert on cyberconflict who has consulted for the U.S. Department of Defense.

President Obama has authorized several risky military missions in the past year and can claim major successes: the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan; the airstrike that killed terrorism suspect Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen; and the ongoing drone strikes in Pakistan.

The latest operation, a hostage rescue in Somalia carried out by Navy SEALs, is part of a pattern established by a commander in chief who has shown a clear preference for limited, small-scale military action.

Secrets: the currency of spies around the world.

The rise of social media, hash-tags, forums, blogs and online news sites has revealed a new kind of secret — those hiding in plain sight. The CIA calls all this information "open source" material, and it's changing the way America's top spy agency does business.

PNNL / Flickr

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington state gets about 4 million cyber attacks a day. But workers there are just now getting back online after a sophisticated attack shut down most Internet services last Friday.

Dec. 24, 1998 file photo / Associated Press

A small team of Americans killed Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks, in a firefight Sunday at a compound in Pakistan, President Obama said in a dramatic late-night statement at the White House.

A jubilant crowd gathered outside the White House as word spread. of bin Laden's death after a global manhunt that lasted nearly a decade.

"Justice has been done," Obama said.

Governor Chris Gregoire says she supports citizenship checks for driver's licenses. Washington is one of the last states in the nation that still issues driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. Gregoire says ending that practice is a matter of national security:

"The job of being governor has changed dramatically since I came into office in 2005 and security has become one of the top priorities for every governor in this country."

There are several proposals in the legislature to require the Department of Licensing to confirm an applicant's "legal presence" in the country. Gregoire says if the legislature sends her a bill, she’ll sign it.

The governor's statement comes after a public radio report earlier this week on the issue. 

Multnomah County Sheriff

The Oregon teenager charged with attempting to explode a bomb in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square is due to appear in federal court in Portland today.