"Nobody is listening to the content of people's phone calls," President Obama said Friday as he sought to allay concern arising from news reports over the previous two days of massive data gathering of citizens' telephone records, e-mail messages, and other private communications by the National Security Agency.

Sheriff Nick Finch of Liberty County, Florida, was arrested and replaced by Governor Rick Scott for refusing to deprive a citizen of his Second Amendment rights.

Despite unconstitutional federal statutes and United Nations agreements purporting to override state authority by criminalizing marijuana, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin signed tri-partisan legislation decriminalizing possession of cannabis in the state. The new law, which was supported by top law-enforcement officials and almost two-thirds of voters, makes Vermont the 17th state to defy the UN and the U.S. government by ending criminal penalties imposed on consumers of the controversial plant.

The NSA and FBI are "tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person's movements and contacts over time " the Washington Post reported Thursday evening.

Both houses of the Illinois General Assembly passed a bill restricting the use of drones in surveillance.