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June 7th, 2013
11:40 AM ET

Silicon Valley Respond to NSA Surveillance Controversy : CNN's Dan Simon Reports

Apple and Facebook have responded to the revelation that the NSA has been collecting huge amounts of data from tech companies, CNN's Dan Simon reports. People's phone records, emails and videos have all been collected by the government.

READ MORE: Data surveillance in the U.S.: necessary or 'obscenely outrageous'?

Filed under: Government • Surveillance • Technology
June 7th, 2013
08:45 AM ET

Debate over privacy versus security – Jim Harper, Dir. of Information Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, weighs in

Reports that the NSA is collecting extensive phone and Internet data from U.S. citizens have ignited a debate about privacy versus security among government officials and American citizens. Jim Harper, Director of Information Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, weighs in on the controversy.

“If we’re gonna have a debate about privacy versus security let’s have it in the open," Harpe says. "Let’s have some oversight of the National Security Agency and let’s have some oversight on the part of Congress. We in the public need to oversee our Congress much better because they’re not doing their job so far.”

Harper adds that collecting all the data from every American’s phone calls “can’t possibly be useful for link-based investigation.”

April 30th, 2012
08:29 AM ET

Should there be more teacher surveillance in the classroom? CNN education contributor Steve Perry weighs in

One of the teachers accused of being caught on audio tape bullying a 10-year-old boy with autism is on paid leave this morning.
But Kelly Altenburg's attorney says his client wasn't even at work that day.

The stunning recordings were caught on tape after Stuart Chaiffetz sent his son Akian to school wearing a recording device. You can see Soledad's interview with Stuart here.

Many special-needs advocates call this a wakeup call for school districts across the nation. But should parents be wiring their kids to monitor their teachers?

CNN education contributor Steve Perry talks with Soledad on "Starting Point" this morning on the story, and agrees with parents who want increased monitoring of their children's teachers.

Filed under: Education • Surveillance
April 23rd, 2012
12:24 PM ET

Rep. Markey: Public debate needed on drone use in U.S.

When most people think of high-tech, unmanned drones, they usually think of the military using them to spy on enemies overseas or carry out attacks.

But the Federal Aviation Administration just released a list of more than 50 domestic institutions across the country that have applied for their own private drone programs. It includes small towns and even universities. The list has some lawmakers worried about privacy.

This week, Congressmen Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Tx.), drafted a letter to the FAA chief, saying "The agency has the opportunity and responsibility to ensure that the privacy of individuals is protected and that the public is fully informed about who is using drones in public airspace and why."

This morning on "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien," Rep. Markey explains his concern over the widespread use of drones in the U.S.

"The FAA has already begun the licensing of drones for police agencies, for some other public institutions," he says. "But they are saying they could license upwards of 30,000 drones, public and private, that is commercial as well, in the United States by the year 2020. That is, within eight years, we could have 30,000 of these drones gathering information about Americans flying over the heads of the American people."

"It's un-American for this kind of information to be gathered for commercial purposes without their first being a debate in our country that these eyes in the sky now perhaps the size of the palm of your hand floating over your house are able to gather information that could be used actually in a detrimental way that could harm your family," he adds.

Filed under: Drones • Privacy • Surveillance