tv Headline News RT August 8, 2013 8:00pm-8:31pm EDT
coming up on our t.v. while more is revealed about the expanding surveillance state here in the u.s. there are calls to rein in the programs to look at what options lawmakers may have when they return from the august recess ahead then relations between the u.s. and russia in the russian government grow frosty as obama canceled a meeting with president putin likely over edward snowden's temporary asylum report from moscow coming up also stepping up drone strikes in the middle east the u.s. has carried out strikes in pakistan and yemen in recent days look at what's behind these strikes and tonight show. it's thursday august eighth a pair in washington d.c. i'm sam sachs you're watching r.t. and we begin with the n.s.a.
is ongoing mass surveillance of americans speaking on a condition of anonymity intelligence officials are shedding more light on the actual mechanisms by which the n.s.a. goes about scooping up that a belonging to you american citizen published today in the new york times officials explain that in targeting a foreign citizen with surveillance the n.s.a. casts a wide net on all communications flowing out of the united states that may be in direct contact with the foreign target or simply referencing the target or information related to the target officials go on to explain the n.s.a. is temporarily copying and then sifting through the contents of what is apparently most e-mails and other text based communications that cross the border the official said that a computer searches the data for the identifying keywords or other selectors in stores those that match so that human analysts could later examine them the remaining communications the official said are deleted the entire process take.
it's a small number of seconds of course this is just one component of the massive surveillance apparatus that americans are just becoming aware of thanks to n.s.a. whistleblower edward snowden's leaks also this week reuters uncovered a parallel data collection program run out of the drug enforcement agency special operations division and this division gathers intelligence from multiple sources including the n.s.a. to assist in drug and best editions although d. e a agents are instructed to hide the paper trail of this intelligence while conducting an investigation it's since been revealed that the i.r.s. the f.b.i. the cia and the n.s.a. all cooperate with this special operations division now all of these revelations have sparked a fractious debate on capitol hill over the constitutionality of these domestic surveillance programs lawmakers are on recess for the month of august but left on the agenda for when they get back are a number of bills to restrict the n.s.a.
spying programs and shed light on the secret fi's a court that oversees the legality of these surveillance programs they range from aggressive reforms like congressman rush holt surveillance state repeal act which repealed both the patriot act in the phys amendments act to more modest reforms like ones floated by senate intel chairwoman dianne feinstein to limit the number of years the n.s.a. can store your collected data so while it does look like change is coming to the n.s.a. the question is who will lead the change and what will it look like i was joined earlier by heidi big ocean executive director of the national lawyers guild from new york and brian do good technologist and open technology institute here in d.c. it and i started out by asking heidi if she thinks the n.s.a. leaks have raised enough attention to make congress pass some meaningful reform. there's no doubt that the leaks have changed the conscious ness of the country and i think that when the public is concerned hopefully that leaks up to the
legislators i think it's useful to look at the overall picture which is we're in a state of perpetual war and then many of the reforms that we're hearing about which is a good thing need to be taken in that context thomas jefferson said that it's very difficult to preserve our freedom when we're in the midst of perpetual war so i think it's a great start but there are specific things that can be done and people need to pressure legislators to do them so how do you would say that this can be drawn all the way back to the from two thousand and one kind of started the ball rolling on on this expanded war and expanded surveillance state i think the jargon of the war on terror has really prated to the public fears allowed hastily passed legislation starting with usa. and then the pfizer reauthorization act warrantless wiretapping things that we don't know about secret legal
interpretations to run amok in many ways brian i want to turn it over to you and there's a number of options being floated around right now we have very strong options like what congressman rush holt is saying let's repeal the surveillance state by getting rid of the patriot act in a matter of fact what do you what you make of that i think those are good first steps i think that. acts that tend to address the authority of the court to authorize all the way down to analysts to make that it to make the decision about whether or not data should be collected that's obviously way way out of bounds that authority needs to be put back in the executive branch and the but there are other bills on the docket being discussed right now the focus on government and corporate transparency and we've seen how that type of transparency has been limited in the past google has had a transparency put report for a couple of years now and that obviously did not include all of the data that was
being collected at the time so there are good first steps but i think that you know there are there's an entire history of privacy legislation going back to the starting with. and through kaliya before the patriot act was passed that actually mandates certain types of surveillance that should also be addressed right heidi there's lawmakers have suggested and this goes to what brian was just saying about not just government but corporations kind of retaining our data a lot of lawmakers have come forward and said the government should get out of the business of collecting data telecom communications companies or telecom companies already doing this but the government rely on telecom companies to collect the data then the government can go to telecom companies with specific requests should we reform like that put aside these or is there still some money comfortable this about telecom companies storing all our data and being a rubber stamp for the government and handing it over to the. the fact that private
corporations in many cases military contractors conduct approximately seventy percent of united states intelligence should be of enormous concern to americans they are not held accountable to the same constitutional strictures that our us government is and the authorities who took an oath to protect and uphold the constitution are effectively being let off the hook as corporations do their big business for them and the partnership between corporations and the government is a very tight one because of course corporations produce the equipment and analyze the information that is being used to gather this data one of the big. motivators spined reform is that there needs to be transparency to these programs congresswoman zoe lofgren has introduced legislation to allow telecom companies to reveal how many requests they get and how many of their customers are being surveilled. senator al franken has introduced similar legislation in the senate
that would also require the government to disclose this sort of information heidi would just informing people of how broad these programs are. were to encourage more people to push their lawmakers to push for even stronger reforms to these to these programs i think it's important that in addition to some of the court cases that are already ready being brought forward the electronic frontier foundation for example is going to be suing telecommunications providers which listeners viewers should know was tried years ago but the government gave them immunity and also said that you couldn't prove with the certainty that you were being monitored now we know that's different i think that public outrage is very important as we saw in the seventy's with the church committee it was public outrage that called for a comprehensive investigation into cointelpro and covert spying on americans i hope that we harness some of that same outrage now. and put pressure on companies
and legislators to make the most transparent brought it seems like that outrage is growing and there is movement building on the hill but i'm worried that you have these reformers like rush holt and ron wyden who are pushing for strong reforms but then you also have people like senator dianne feinstein who are in mike rogers who are big proponents of these programs what sort of phony reforms might we see coming from that camp that might not really change anything like for example senator dianne feinstein says we should reduce the amount of years that gave us a can hold the data from five down to two is that something that we should be happy with if that's all we get well and so the what what the usefulness of this data is it goes into a type of machine learning database and even after the original messages are deleted or supposedly deleted. the your data all of the data that's being collected still remains in these massive databases that are used to make these decisions so
in some sense or other that data will always be there and will always be used to make decisions about whether or not analysts should pay attention to a specific communication or not so on a technological level that only matters so much because names location information actual content will always remain in some porn because that data will always be useful to the surveillance apparatus we had a former n.s.a. whistleblower russell tice on and he was talking about how the n.s.a. is basically surveilling everybody including senator obama several years ago and we heard there is no to snowden say that you know he could surveil the present united states from his desk is there a concern i want to get both you're inputs here in the last minute we have is there concern that the n.s.a. and the intelligence community has grown so large that it's impossible to rein in crime and start with you yet absolutely there are something like
a thousand. and many many thousands of people in the united states with top secret level clearance it is impossible to maintain a level of trust that guarantees there will be no one who betrays you know the trust placed within all those people as edward snowden did. obviously in the case of everett edward snowden and for whistle blowing this is a great thing but it's impossible to maintain that level of loyalty persone people how do you just last thirty seconds i mean how do we go about kind of tackling this giant that's been created with the n.s.a. well i think the awareness that this has indeed become an information business it's enormous we've built a huge data center in utah to analyze to hold computers to analyze this information and people need to hold corporations accountable and i think the power that has been invested in this business paratus has been enormous and it's really once again in the hands of the people to say i don't want to do business with these providers
if you don't pull rein back what you've been doing and you know for example don't build back doors into your equipment so the government and law enforcement can plug right in. that was heidi because an executive director of the national lawyers guild brian doogan technologies said open technology institute thank you both thank you thank you while the white house is busy putting out fires at the n.s.a. its relations with moscow have grown cold on wednesday the white house canceled a planned meeting with russian president vladimir putin ahead of the g twenty summit archies lindsey france reports on the latest news coming out of moscow in response to president obama's change of plans basco has expressed its disappointment that president obama has decided to cancel his face to face meeting with president putin on the heels of the g twenty summit in st petersburg originally president obama had planned to fly to moscow for that meeting but in light of the word snowden affair that has been shelved president obama shed some
light on his recent. for this there's still a lot of business that we can do with them but there have been times where they slip back into cold war thank you and a cold war mentality or president obama will continue his meetings as usual at the g. twenty summit just with no face to face meetings with president putin at that time and instead of continuing if moscow conductor do you want sweden president putin who has maintained his same stance here the entire edward snowden difficult stating that russia did not ask for this problem into one of the united states' own citizens can knocking out its starts and should be i'm not sure but if we didn't invite edward snowden in russia was in his final destination anyway he was in transit but as soon as he began his journey is route was revealed and our u.s. partners effectively blocked him from taking any further flights they even made other countries afraid of taking him in the president's spokesman your your check off has pointed out that russia has sought an extradition treaty with the united
states for some time but that has been repeatedly pushed off the table and in fact russia has request extradition of its own citizens back to russia repeatedly one that stands out is in the us act my dog a soviet army officer who joined with the militant movement in chechnya in the one nine hundred ninety s. and he is wanted in connection with terrorist acts i has been sheltered in the united states offered asylum and extradition request by russia have been repeatedly denied in that case and these are just some of the instances the kremlin is pointing out to reiterate its stance on the fact that it sheltered edward snowden. that was artie's lindsey france meanwhile the white house and its intelligence agencies are hoping the utility of the n.s.a. spy programs may be enough to ward off efforts in congress to rein them in u.s. officials last week claimed they intercepted an immediate specific threat from al qaeda that led to
a global terror warning in the closing of nearly two dozen diplomatic posts around the arabian peninsula the gulf and into africa on wednesday details of how that threat was intercepted was leaked to two defense journalists cozy with the pentagon who ran an article in the daily beast describing a quote legion of doom conference call between more than twenty al qaeda leaders and operatives around the world that was intercepted by u.s. intelligence allegedly al-qaeda leaders use this conference call to discuss plans for a pending attack now if you think it's a little fishy that al qaeda leaders would suddenly begin using global conference calls to plan their attacks well you're not the only one after the story broke journalist with the a.p. the washington post and the los angeles times immediately cast doubt on it and argue that the government's account of what happened just doesn't seem to add up but even if it does add up there's an even bigger problem which is that a critical intelligence operation against al qaeda was leaked likely putting at
risk that entire operation moving forward and really isn't that far more damaging to our intelligence communities than anything edward snowden has leaked so far so the question is why is there no outrage or demand for espionage charges coming from the government today. now this alleged global terror threat that forced the closing of those nearly two dozen diplomatic posts also set off a flurry of drone strikes in yemen in nearly the last two weeks several drone strikes have been carried out against targets in yemen reportedly killing suspected militants and in fact there have been three such drone strikes in yemen in just the past day but as we're getting used to seeing our drone work campaigns exactly who's being killed on the ground is unclear washington post reported on wednesday officials said tuesday there is no indication that senior al qaeda operatives in yemen have been killed in the drone strikes it's too early to tell whether we've actually disrupted anything a senior u.s.
official said the renewed drone bombing campaign in yemen comes just as a new report from the bureau of investigative journalism alleges that one of the most controversial tactics of the drone war so-called double tap strikes is still in use by the cia now a double tap strike refers to a series of drone strikes against one particular target so that a second or third strike usually comes just as first responders and rescuers are responding to the first strike un investigators have referenced to this to i've referred to this topic she used me as a war crime but the bureau of investigative journalism says that five such double tap drone strikes occurred in a single village in pakistan in the middle of two thousand and twelve and i was joined earlier by investigative journalist chris woods was been involved in carrying out some of the leading investigations into cia drone strikes in recent years and he's currently writing a book on the u.s. covert drone war and i asked him what's the usefulness in double tap drone strikes and is it just about terrorizing the enemy at this point. i mean i've been looking
at these double tap strikes for a couple of years now they are definitely happening i have no doubt that it's all working with the bureau of investigative journalism our care that two major field investigations in pakistan illness i phone coming back absolutely clear that these double tap strikes are happening this deliberate targeting of rescuers on the scene of a previous strike why are they doing it i think polity to ensure that the original intended targets are killed and going back and making sure that anyone in addition is drawn into that strike is killed but i do think there is a significant element of terror here in these strikes because this is a profound level of fear in these communities and it's interesting tonight that we first broke your best good journalism first broke the story of the double tracked strikes in february twenty twelve not a single u.s. official has yet to deny that claim the best we've had is a deputy u.s. ambassador in pakistan saying we don't deliberately target civilians and these
don't have strikes so no i didn't i was well i'm absolutely clear these dots that type strikes are taking place and they were going to get nasty it there. has been on there's been no increase in drone strikes in yemen here in the last few days was this attributed to this kind of global terror threat that we've heard of is there something else behind them what do you think. i am absolutely sure it's linked to the global terror threat and he's wondering as well the u.s. has this rule book now and we're told a strict rule which is supposed to limit civilian deaths in places like pakistan and yemen but unfortunately the moment this this crisis came to light that rulebook of his to significant be thrown out of the window the washington post is reporting that many of these strikes that it's taking place in yemen right now are simply buying time for the u.s. intelligence community while it finds out what's going on and because the room because been thrown out because that's taking less care over these strikes there's
a much greater risk of civilians being killed and that's what we're seeing c.n.n. reporting this morning that two civilians were among those killed in the early hours of this morning in a strike in yemen so the strikes are reacting to this outcry the terror threat we're getting a big upswing in attacks which in turn is generating more civilian deaths and the risk of civilian deaths which in turn risks most backlash i thinking i'm trees like yemen where i remember it was just a few months ago that the president gave his national security speech and he announced these new presidential guidelines that would govern future drone strikes spread as you said it appears that those have been kind of thrown out the window here clearly there is a lack of congressional oversight over what's going on in the drone warfare that was revealed during brennan's nomination to head the cia. do you think members of congress are aware of double tap drone strikes and if not you know how do you think they would react to that and how could they not be aware of it if you're out here talking about it they are is in
a way that congress is is unaware of these double tap strikes i just don't think they're interested in investigating them i'm think they may have spoken with the cia and cia has assured them that there's not a problem that he's a big problem in washington right now the senate and house intelligence i was like committees just doing their job in my opinion for example when. dianne feinstein the chair of the senate intelligence committee said during john brennan's confirmation hearing as head of cia that she done most to find out the civilian casualties were numbers afterwards i contacted every single going to his ocean that he carried out field work in pakistan into civilian deaths whatever the outcome of those investigations every one of them came back to me and confirmed they've never been contacted by congressional oversight committees there isn't any i decide outside the u.s. intelligence community it's a self referential system of buying them and i think when things go wrong as they
occasionally do oversight has to mean stepping outside your comfort zone asking some difficult questions and asking what's really going on where in the midst of the anniversary of dropping the nuclear bombs on hiroshima and nagasaki and at the time when we dropped those bombs we were completely unaware of the long term consequences of that sort of warfare here we are several years now into this drone warfare program we have this issue of double tap drone strikes do you think the administration is fully aware of the long term consequences of carrying out this sort of global drone war all across all all i said global all across the globe. i don't think any of us are aware of the consequences we can look back on the invasion of iraq by the u.s. and u.k. ten years ago and some of the appalling consequences that were unleashed from that radicalization of many young muslim men terrorists to try attacks across europe and many attempted terrorist attacks on the united states some of which exceeded as a direct consequence of that one can look at the drone strikes in this you might
get some of the patterns of behavior that is mixed evidence on that at the moment what certainly clear is how i hope you know these drone strikes on internationally not just in the countries that are being bombed but all across europe u.s. drone strikes deeply unpopular among some of the united states' closest allies who is in deep discomfort. right we left wing newspapers here in the u.k. for example there's no difference when it comes to covering the drone strikes with megacity this is a problem for the united states that i think isn't just about the relationship with the muslim world it's about the relationship to the u.s. and the international community and so investigative journalist chris woods thank you so much there now a criticism often leveled at our lawmakers is that they seem to exist above the law this criticism has particular relevance in colorado where a local c.b.s. news affiliate in denver launched an investigation and how special license plates allowed state lawmakers to break traffic laws with impunity these license plates
are issued to colorado's one hundred senators and representatives every two years but they are not put in the state d.m.v. database. so windemere is photo radar cameras caught them speeding they never got tickets because denver could not electronically cross reference their plate with a home address the city of denver has identified sixteen different lawmaker license plates that have racked up twenty one hundred dollars in fines and penalties that have never been paid after this immunity was exposed the city announced it would track down those lawmakers who haven't paid tickets but now the city says such actions would be too expensive. and with concerns growing over surveillance one has to wonder what's coming next the government has of course been at the forefront of the news thanks to the n.s.a. leaks but no one seems to be paying attention to the surveillance carried out by private companies for more and that the residents lori harvest.
worried about rights movement forget about it they take forever to destroy thanks video surveillance cameras are too invasive they capture a small panorama now that google earth makes pictures of your home available for the entire world has to be a big deal those images are years old what you should really be worried about in terms of big brother watching you i was privatized satellite coming soon to some outer space near you. about a thousand satellites orbiting the earth at any time but only twelve that in fact
images a company called. is looking to change that takes on a mission to produce low cost satellite that could make images of any location on the planet excessive all to private companies so monsanto could have the ability to monitor crop growth across the globe at goldman sachs could see in a real time the size of slag needs outside of the gold mines in south africa walmart can see exactly how many cars are in all of their parking lot and then track where those cars drive home to. skyboxes initially targeting hedge funds with an interest in monitoring the ports where oil tankers come and go keeping tabs on tankers is huge money for hedge funds that use the ships movements to predict the price of oil and i think it isn't just manufacturing low cost satellite hardware and providing the means to get it up and running in space they are also working on
software that incorporates man. algorithms that can combine together to create an economically or politically predictive power that power could yield fortune and enable total control it's beyond insider information and it's capitalism at its best a baby. guy that has ninety one million dollars in venture capital funding it's founders have worked for the pentagon and nasa one of its founders was the liaison in congress for the national reconnaissance office a theocracy by agency that manages america's best base buy toys on their board of directors is the former president of lockheed martin special programs and the former air force lieutenant who captained the use of drones among others with strong washington ties. guy bought to have twenty fourth satellites up and running and the next five years after that it is game on it's only
a matter of time before our biggest corporations join in the big brother game of the surveillance state from space the time all in the name of big profit and all at a big bend to your privacy tonight talk about beth by following me on twitter at the red button. and finally while anthony weiner has stolen the show and they're coming new york elections he's not the only politician with baggage asking for a vote tonight larry king said stand with the other high profile politician trying to mount a comeback former new york governor eliot spitzer here's a preview as a liberal do you think in the future john should go to jail you know the buzz it's going to generate a little yes or some time so let me answer this from the perspective of not my own perspective which obviously is to imbued with my own context but what law
enforcement generally has concluded in the answer has been no to your own conclusions if you will is what i was crushed curious. and you can touch that whole interview tonight at nine pm on politicking with larry king and that does it for now for more on the stories we covered go to youtube dot com slash our team america or check out our website our teeth dot com slash u.s. set and you can also follow me on twitter sam sachs thanks for watching take it easy. going.