Privacy advocates consider location data to be particularly sensitive.
The U.S. "respectfully" asked Iran's government to assist in securing Levinson's return.
A small group of House members has proposed legislation setting up an international version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which would require the United States to act to prevent violence against women and girls around the world.
Lawmakers have “received an OK from State to move forward” on a resolution calling for the release of imprisoned Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini and “condemning the government of Iran for its persecution of religious minorities,” according to a House staffer.
"Fourteen countries were elected to the Human Rights Council today, including some that commit significant violations of the rights the Council is designed to advance and protect," Obama's UN ambassador said in a statement.
A U.S.-led inquiry ordered by Gen. Joseph Dunford, the top commander for American forces in Afghanistan, cleared the Special Forces team in Wardak of any wrongdoing.
Hillary Clinton will receive the 2013 Lantos Human Rights Prize for her work as secretary of State and in the decades prior as a lawyer, First Lady and U.S. senator, the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice announced Thursday.
Four retired U.S. officials visited National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden at an undisclosed location in Russia on Thursday to award him a whistle-blowing prize.
The four officials, who used to work for the CIA, the FBI, the NSA and the Justice Department, are the first Americans known to have met with Snowden since Russia granted him asylum this summer. They handed him the 2013 Sam Adams Award for Integrity and Ethics, an award given out by retired CIA officers and named after a CIA whistle-blower during the Vietnam War.
Separately, Snowden's father, Lon, also arrived in Moscow on Thursday. He told Russian television that he was not sure if his son would ever return to the United States.
The government shutdown has emboldened foreign critics of America's push for democracy around the world.
An editorial in Thursday's edition of the Sri Lanka Daily News crowed that “the good governance advocates cannot govern themselves.” The South Asian island nation has been the continued subject of U.S. criticism for its human-rights record since defeating the decades-old Tamil Tiger insurgency four years ago.
“For a country that advocates good governance and cautions leaders of other nations about elections not ensuring democracy by themselves - that advice must be packaged and returned to sender,” the op-ed said. “By contrast, governments of other countries that don’t either export democracy as a commodity or extol regularly the virtues of good governance, seem to function under the most difficult of circumstances.”
The blind Chinese dissident who nearly provoked a diplomatic incident last year has joined the conservative Witherspoon Institute, the research center announced Wednesday.
Chen Guangcheng has been appointed a Distinguished Senior Fellow in Human Rights at Witherspoon's William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution. He has also been appointed Visiting Fellow of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at the Catholic University of America and Senior Distinguished Advisor to the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice. All three appointments are for three years.
“The Institute is proud to collaborate with these great institutions, making common cause, in our joint support of Mr. Chen, on behalf of freedom and democracy for the Chinese people," Simon Center director Matthew Franck said in a statement.