90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Debating The NSA’s Reach

More claims all over on NSA snooping. We look at the scope of American surveillance and what we need, or don’t.

Laura Murphy, Director of the Washington Legislative Office of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), speaks during a rally outside of the U.S. Capitol to demand that Congress investigate the NSA's mass surveillance programs on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, in Washington.  (AP)

Laura Murphy, Director of the Washington Legislative Office of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), speaks during a rally outside of the U.S. Capitol to demand that Congress investigate the NSA’s mass surveillance programs on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, in Washington. (AP)

In 1929, Secretary of State Henry Stimson banned American snooping on other countries’ diplomatic cables because, as he famously said, “Gentlemen do not read each other’s mail.”  Oh, how far we have come.  For years now, the National Security Agency, the NSA, has been reading and listening and tapping and surveilling all over the place – up to and including German chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone.  Now the world’s in an uproar.  Defenders say everybody does it.  Critics say the NSA’s gone rogue.  Up next On Point:  drawing lines, boundaries, in the age of mega-surveillance.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Adam Entous, national security correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. (@AdamEntous)

Jesselyn Radack, attorney and National Security and Rights Human Rights Director for the Government Accountability Project. Author of “Traitor: The Whistleblower and the ‘American Taliban.’” Former ethics adviser for the U.S. Department of Justice. (@Jesselyn Raddack)

Michael Allen, founder and Managing Director of Beacon Global Strategies, LLC. Former Majority Staff Director of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Author of: Blinking Red: Crisis and Compromise in American Intelligence After 9/11.” (@BeaconGlobal)

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal: Obama Unaware as U.S. Spied on World Leaders — “Officials said the internal review turned up NSA monitoring of some 35 world leaders, in the U.S. government’s first public acknowledgment that it tapped the phones of world leaders. European leaders have joined international outrage over revelations of U.S. surveillance of Ms. Merkel’s phone and of NSA’s monitoring of telephone call data in France.The White House cut off some monitoring programs after learning of them, including the one tracking Ms. Merkel and some other world leaders, a senior U.S. official said. Other programs have been slated for termination but haven’t been phased out completely yet, officials said.”

Reuters: Spain summons U.S. ambassador over spying — “El Mundo reproduced a graphic on Monday which it said was an NSA document showing the agency had spied on 60.5 million phone calls in Spain between December 10, 2012 and January 8 this year. The newspaper said it had reached a deal with Glenn Greenwald, the Brazil-based journalist who has worked with other media on information provided to him by Snowden, to get access to documents affecting Spain.”

National Journal: NSA Surveillance Back in Crosshairs on Hill — “By tightening or codifying current practices and adding transparency and accountability measures, the legislation from Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., is a response to critics who have questioned the NSA’s rationale for secretly collecting phone and Internet records of millions of Americans. The bill they plan to move through the committee protects the NSA’s power to conduct sweeping surveillance approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and is unlikely to go anywhere near appeasing reform advocates.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 19, 2014
Alan Gross, waves as he and his wife Judy leave following his statement at his lawyer's office in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Gross was released from Cuba after 5 years in a Cuban prison. (AP)

Cuba reset. Russia’s rubble troubles. School massacre in Pakistan. Jeb explores 2016. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Dec 19, 2014
Soledad, and from left, Nina Pastori, and Lila Downs perform on stage at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Tribute honoring Joan Manuel Serrat at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP)

From crossover hits to hip-hop to soul, we look at a big year in the wide world of Latin music.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

 
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

More »
Comment
 
Quinn Sullivan, LIVE In Our Studio
Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014

Fifteen-year old Quinn Sullivan is a humble, “ordinary” high school sophomore. But he’s also a blues guitar phenom. He brought his talents to the On Point studio today.

More »
Comment