Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee on a warpath against the CIA over the agency’s alleged spying on her staffers. Her Republican counterpart? Not so much.
In a short speech Wednesday on the Senate floor, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, the vice chairman and highest ranking Republican on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said committee investigators had yet to do forensics on the computers the CIA searched. He said he did not yet know the facts of what had happened in the now public dispute the CIA has had with Feinstein.
“I cannot make a statement to reflect on what actually occurred,” he said. “Right now our committee members are conducting an internal assessment. This is an ongoing process that should not be discussed in the public domain.”
That is a far more mild assessment of the matter than the one offered Tuesday by Feinstein herself, who said the CIA likely violated the Constitution when CIA director John Brennan ordered information technology specialists to search special computers used by her staff to read millions of pages of documents made available to the committee.
The statement is also mild considering that Chambliss and his Republican colleagues have long suspected Brennan to be responsible for high level national security leaks from Obama’s first term.
This year's report by Reporters Without Borders on World Day against Cyber Censorship condemns Russia as one of the " Enemies of the Internet." "Russia has adopted dangerous legislation governing the flow of news and information and freedom of expression online," it concludes.
Even though much of the Russian media is known to be under state control, the Internet has remained relatively free, with blogs and social media sites providing an important and creative platform for political discussion. But on March 4, the Kremlin once again took the media battle it has been waging against pro-Western protests online. Russia's Internet monitoring agency Roskomnadzor blocked 13 profiles associated with the Ukrainian protest movement on the popular Russian Facebook equivalent VKontakte because they "contained calls to commit terrorist acts and take part in unsanctioned mass action."
The Kremlin recently blocked 13 VKontakte pages linked to the Ukrainian protest movement
It's not the first time that content on social media sites and blog platforms has been temporarily blocked or blacklisted. But Russian legislators have made the job easier thanks to a new article, which came into force on February 1. It allows Roskomnadzor to block sites containing calls to extremism or mass unrest in the space of hours. It seems that the freedom of the Internet has been under particular attack in recent months through a series of measures that seem designed to rein in opposition bloggers and social media activists.