Martin Kaste

martin-kasteMartin Kaste is a correspondent on NPR's National desk. He covers law enforcement and privacy, as well as news from the Pacific Northwest.

In addition to general assignment reporting in the U.S., Kaste has contributed to NPR News coverage of major world events, including the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the 2011 uprising in Libya.

Kaste has reported on the government's warrant-less wiretapping practices as well as the data-collection and analysis that go on behind the scenes in social media and other new media. His privacy reporting was cited in the U.S. Supreme Court's 2012 United States v. Jones ruling concerning GPS tracking.

Before moving to the West Coast, Kaste spent five years as NPR's reporter in South America. He covered the drug wars in Colombia, the financial meltdown in Argentina, the rise of Brazilian president Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, and the fall of Haiti's president Jean Bertrand Aristide. Throughout this assignment, Kaste covered the overthrow of five presidents in five years.

Prior to joining NPR in 2000, Kaste was a political reporter for Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul for seven years.

Kaste is a graduate of Carleton College, in Northfield, Minnesota.

Victims of Civil Asset Forfeiture Criticize New Federal Rules

Early last year, the Obama administration pledged to reform the civil asset forfeiture system, by which police can seize and keep suspicious assets without having to convict anyone of a crime. Critics of that system say the reforms haven't changed much. KELLY MCEVERS, HOST: Members of both political parties have introduced a bill in Congress to reform something called civil asset forfeiture. That is the process the government uses to seize suspicious assets, usually cash, and keep those … [Read more...]

Is It Possible to Let More People Out of Prison, and Keep Crime Down?

President Obama has made incarceration reform a White House theme this week. On Monday, he commuted the sentences of 46 mostly nonviolent drug offenders; and on Tuesday, he spoke about reducing the prison population in a speech to the NAACP. "The United States is home to 5 percent of the world's population but 25 percent of the world's prisoners," Obama said. "Think about that. Our incarceration rate is four times higher than China's." And Thursday he'll become the first sitting president … [Read more...]