First Watch: Attention Target shoppers, Spying recommendations, Putin envies Obama

McClatchy Washington BureauDecember 19, 2013 

BIZ BLACKFRIDAY 3 CS

Shoppers got a jump on Black Friday sales in Columbia, South Carolina

C MICHAEL BERGEN — The State/MCT

The Secret Service is investigating a massive data breach that affected 40 million Target shoppers from Black Friday through December 15. Stolen: Magnetic strip data on debit and credit cards, which can be used to make counterfeits, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The Washington Post was hacked for the third time in three years, the paper reveals. "The company’s suspicions immediately focused on the possibility that Chinese hackers were responsible. ... This more-recent hack, Post officials said, began with an intrusion into a server used by The Post’s foreign staff but eventually spread to other company servers before being discovered."

The next U.S. Ambassador to China will be Sen. Max Baucus, if President Obama gets his nominee. The Senate Finance Committee chairman is not planning to run for re-election, so a move now means Montana's governor could appoint another Democrat in his place.

A panel appointed by Obama has suggested he dramatically change surveillance tactics used by the National Security Agency. The President will review the recommendations and announce his plans in January, according to the White House.

The NSA's mass collection of data was revealed by former contractor Edward Snowden, who is being sheltered by Russia. President Vladimir Putin said this morning that he has not met Snowden, but he "envies" Obama's ability to spy so broadly and "get away with it."

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