In 1979, then-Maryland Attorney General Stephen Sachs argued the case Smith v. Maryland before the U.S. Supreme Court. The case revolved around the warrantless collection of phone call information. Sachs defended the practice at the time, and he won. But the case now has a new life: the government cites the case as the legal basis for the National Security Agency's bulk collection of metadata from millions of Americans' phone calls. Now, Sachs says that practice goes far beyond what he argued in 1979, and constitutes a "massive intrusion" on Americans' privacy.
It was another tough week for the National Security Agency. First, a federal judge said some of the NSA's surveillance activities were "likely unconstitutional." Then, a White House panel recommended that NSA activities in the U.S. and abroad should be significantly reined in. Host Arun Rath speaks with Wall Street Journal reporter Siobhan Gorman about the week's news and the future of the NSA.
Four U.S. military personnel have been wounded in South Sudan after their aircraft were fired on during an evacuation mission. NPR's Gregory Warner tells host Arun Rath how the political conflict there is on the edge of full-fledged civil war.
The fate of insurance coverage for millions rests on a form called the 834, the government code for electronic files. It's a number that would never have become a big deal had HealthCare.gov rolled out smoothly in the fall.
Leaders in Dublin have declared that unemployment in Ireland is finally dropping, especially among youth. The reason there are fewer young people looking for jobs, however, is because many have simply left the country.
This year, crews have collected 4.6 million pounds of oily material from the Gulf Coast shoreline. Coastal residents are asking how long they'll be living with the effects of BP's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Russia's most famous prisoner, former oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was freed Saturday and flown to Germany. Russians are wondering why the former oil magnate asked for a pardon after years of denying guilt.
Congress enacted fewer laws this term than any in recent history. That can mean feast or famine for lobbyists; it just depends what they're lobbying for.
It's an era of music that has faded from memory, but some say it's an integral part of American history: Latin-Jewish music in the mid-20th century. Steve Berlin of Chicano band Los Lobos says if this were the soundtrack to his Hebrew school experience, he would have never dropped out.
Robots from around the world are competing in a Pentagon-sponsored robot "Olympics" this weekend. The challenge is to build a robot that can do human tasks and even go into disaster zones.