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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 29, 2013 8:00pm-10:01pm EDT

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possible. let's win it. political will is a you renewable resource. thank you very much. [applause] tonight on c-span the house intelligence committee holds a hearing ons nsa surveillance program and later trayvon martin's mother testifying at the hearing on stand your ground laws. ..
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only those recognized to speak will be allowed to. >> and those who are not in compliance will be removed from the committee room. i would like to welcome our first panel today. the director of the national intelligence james clapper deputy attorney james cole national security or keith alexander the deputy director of the nsa chris ingalls. following the first panel we will move immediately into the second panel of nongovernment experts who are very knowledgeable on fisa and privacy issues. today's hearing will provide an open forum to discuss amendments to the surveillance act and possible changes to the way fisa applications are handled at the department of justice and the
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nsa. i hope that all of our witnesses will give clear answers about how the proposal is under consideration in congress would affect the nsa's ability to stop terrorist attacks before they occur and encourage members to answer questions about fisa amendments and nsa programs. today i'm going to submit my statement for the wreck erred in order to ask some questions following mr. ruppersberger's opening statements in your opening statements to get some recognized -- some things clarified for the record. we will go about our business. we do expect a vote in label hold as long as we can and take a brief intermission. intermission. they are only two votes. we should be able to recess for a short period and return rather quickly so with that i would recognize mr. ruppersberger for any opening comment. >> thank you mesh chairman and
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thank you panel for coming here today. hopefully we will be able to get the ax on the table and the american people to understand what we do why we do it and how we are attempting to protect our national security and i would like to thank the people on the national intelligence. with all the criticism leveled at these programs is important we not forget these men and women are doing what we have told them to to do within the confines of the laws of united states of america that we passed in doing so to keep us safe. the most important thing we can do here today is to let the public know the true facts that we can gauge in a meaningful process of reform that will enhance transparency and privacy. while maintaining the necessary capabilities to protect our nation. there has been a lot in the media about the situation. some right in some wrong. much as been mischaracterize which is not helpful to those of us who are serious about the privacy and national security. after these leaks came out the chairman and i'm members of congress urged the intelligence
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community to release more information to help the public understand which they have done. today we are holding this open hearing so we can continue to get out the facts so the american people can hear it directly from the intelligence community and outside legal experts. one key fact we need to keep in mind is that nsa's focus is on foreign threats under fisa nsa does not target target americans in the u.s. and does not target americans anywhere else without a court order. they are to fisa authorities that have been highlighted in the the press prefers the business records provision known as section 215 which allows the government to legally correct what is called metadata a phone number and length of call, not content. no names, no commerce asians, no content. let me be clear. under 215 the nsa cannot listen to anyone's phonecalls. what section 215 does is allow the government to connect the dots. these dots could have been
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connected to prevent 9/11 and are necessary to prevent the next attack. we could have determined one of the 9/11 attackers for hijackers was in san diego and made a call to an al qaeda number in yemen. i shudder to think what connections will be missed if the program were completely eliminated. keep in mind law enforcement obtains and analyzes these types of records every day to stop organized crime and keep drugs out. we don't want to make it easier to be a terrorist in a criminal in our country. the second authority is known as section 702 of the fisa amendments act. allows the government to collect the content of e-mail and phonecalls of foreigners not americans who are located outside the united states. the authority allows the government to get information about terrorists cyberthrecyberthre ats and clandestine activities but again this authority prohibits american citizens or u.s. permanent residents without a court order no matter where they are located.
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both of these authorities are legal. congress approved and reauthorize both of them over the last two years and no court has ever struck them down. the nsa is also subject to layered constant oversight from executive judicial and legislative branches of government. let me make it clear where these to be done the intelligence surveillance act must be reformed. we have worked with the administration the senate telecommunications companies and other stakeholders to evaluate a range of options. we must improve transparency privacy protections and thereby restore the public's confidence. we cannot truly a privacy without security or security without privacy. we are exploring a proposal to require declassification review of any fisa court decision to improve transparency without threatening sources. we are also evaluating standing congressional reporting so all members of congress not just those committees of jurisdiction
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can view the classified reporting about the progress. we are setting a measure that would create a presidentially appointed senate confirmed inspector general of the nsa to provide an extra independent check. we are discussing ways to change the makeup of the fisa court to grant the perception that is controlled by one political party or another. we are looking into creating a privacy advocate and nonexecutive branch lawyer they would take an independent position on matters before the fisa court and involve significant construction or interpretations of the fisa law. the most intriguing but also the most widely challenging is changing how section 215 is implemented. can we move away from ball collection in a system used in criminal prosecutions in which the government subpoenas individuals can be used for link analysis. we worked hard in these proposals are like to hear thoughts on them. they were here to get your input
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and help inform all members in the american people to hear your responses for themselves but i think you for your time today and look forward to a thoughtful discussion on the range of reform proposals and mr. chairman i yield back. >> thank you very much. we welcome the panel today and director clapper the floor is yours. >> mr. chairman we will go ahead with our statements on the fisa legislation and get to the questions that we know you all have. chairman rodgers and ranking member ruppersberger distinguished members of the committee thanks so much for having us here today to talk about the way ahead in the continuing dramatic revelations about intelligence collection program since their unauthorized >> i'm going to ask you to suspend. i'm going to say for the last time the gentleman off when the left would be removed and i asked the officer to remove.
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if i see one more example of that i will ask you all to be removed. the gentleman in the gray jacket on the left. thank you very much. >> you said nothing about science. i won't listen to your opening statement. >> the gentleman will continue. >> and the steps we are taking to make the programs more transparent while still protecting our national security interest. we each have statements so i will transition to general alexander. this hearing is a key part of the discussion and nation needs about legislation that divides the intelligence community with authorities both to collect critical foreign intelligence and to protect privacy and civil liberties. we, all of us in the intelligence committee are very much aware of the recent
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unauthorized -- the serious concerns you alluded to here in congress and across the nation by our intelligence agency. we know the public wants understands how the community uses its tools and authorities and to judge whether we can be trusted to use them appropriately. we believe we have been lawful and that the rigorous oversight we have operated under has been affected so we welcome this opportunity to make the case to the public. as we engage in this discussion i think it's important that our citizens know the unauthorized disclosure and details of these programs have been extremely damaging. from my vantage the disclosures are threatening our ability to conduct intelligence and keep our country safe. there is no way to erase our make up for the damage that we know has already been done and we anticipate even more as we continue our assessment and is more revelations are made. before these unauthorized disclosures we were very conservative about discussing
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the specifics of our collection programs based on truisms but the more adversaries know the more they can avoid her surveillance but the disclosures for better or for worse have lowered the threshold for discussing these matters in public so to the degree that we can discuss them we will. this public discussion should be based on an accurate understanding of intelligence who we are what we do and how we are overseen. in the last few months he mannered which activities have which activities that can characterize has often been incomplete or inaccurate or misleading or some combination. people realize the intelligence community exists to protect our nation from foreign threats. the focus on uncovering secret plans and intentions of our foreign adversaries as we have been charged to do. what we do not do this by unlawfully on americans or for that matter spy on citizens of any country. we only spy for valid foreign
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intelligence purposes has authorized by law with multiple layers of oversight to ensure we don't abuse our authorities. unfortunately this reality has sometimes been up scared in the current debate and for some this is led to an erosion of trust in the intelligence community. we do understand the concerns on the part of the public. i'm a vietnam veteran and i remember the congressional investigations of the 1970s later disclosed and i was in the intelligence community then some intelligence programs were carried out for domestic clinical purposes without proper legal authorization or oversight having lived through that as part of the intelligence community i can assure they may compete with the intelligence community today is not like that. we operate within a robust framework with strict rules and rigorous oversight involving all three branches of government. another historical perspective is during the cold war the free world and the soviet bloc had a mutually exclusive
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telecommunications systems which made for an collection a lot easier to distinguish. now world telecommunications are unified intertwined with hundreds of millions of innocent people conduct of millions of transactions on a much smaller number of nefarious adversaries trying to do harm on the same network using the same technologies. our challenge is to distinguish very precisely between these two groups of communicates. we had an alarm bell that went off one of one terrorist make it with another terrorist are jobs would be infinitely easier but that capability doesn't exist in the world technology today. over the past month i've declassified and publicly released a series of documents related to section 215 of the patriot act and section 700 to hundred and two of the surveillance act or fisa could be released a series of documents related to 215 of the patriot act and section 702 of the intelligence -- foreign intelligence act. we have it informed debate about
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the collection programs that operate under these authorities. we felt i in my the van authorize disclosures the public interest in these documents far outweigh the potential additional damage to national security. these documents letter citizens see the seriousness the thoroughness and the rigor with which the fisa court sizes its responsibilities. they also reflect the intelligence communities particularly nsa's commitment to uncovering reporting and correcting any compliance matters that occur. however even in these documents will we have to reject certain information such as particular targets of surveillance. we will continue to reassure our citizens that the intelligence community is using its tools and authorities appropriately. the rules and oversight to govern us make sure we do at the government wants us to do which is protector stared. people's liberties so i will repeat we do not find anyone
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except for valid foreign intelligence purposes and would only work within the law. to be sure on occasion we have made mistakes in some significant. the issue usually caused by human error or problems and whenever we found mistakes the court addressed and corrected them. the national security agency's is typically as part of the intelligence community broadly is an honorable institution. the men and women who do this work are honorable people dedicated to conducting the mission lawfully and are appalled by any wrongdoing. they too are citizens of this nation who care just as much about privacy and constitutional rights as the rest of us. they should be commended for their important work in protecting the people of the country which has been made all the more difficult by unauthorized damage of disclosure. that'll safely in the i see stand ready to work to adjust authorities to protect our
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privacy since civil liberties. i think their principles we already agree on. first must protect our sources targets and relationships and a better job of helping the american people understand what we do and why we do it and most importantly the recursive oversight that insures we do it correctly. third we must take every opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to respond to respecting the civil liberties and privacy of every american. but we also have to remain mindful of the potential negative long-term impact of over correcting the authorizations granted to the intelligence community. as americans we face an unending array of threats to our way of life more than i have seen in my 50 years of intelligence. we need to sustain our capabilities to protect these threats. researching what, balanced discussion about national security and civil liberties. it's not an either/or situation and we need to continue to protect both. with that let me turn to general alexander.
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>> chairman rogers ranking member ruppersberger and distinguish members of committee thank you for the opportunity to provide comments today. i had a prepared statement but i'm not going to be able to read it as well as i can tell you what's on my mind so i'm going to talk from the heart so that you know what we are talking about here from an nsa perspective is what i think you and the nation need to hear. first and foremost i have had eight plus years at nsa. they are among the finest people in this country. what they do every day for this nation is under heralded and we don't get a lot of fanfare but it's absolutely superb. saturday i had the opportunity to work again which we have done every weekend since i have been there to support our troops in afghanistan who are under threat of an attack. we do that all the time. our people were in there
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supporting our troops supporting the military operations and an eight plus years not one person has ever come up to me and said i have to work tonight or the weekend. they always come in and they protect our troops and they protect this country. they have taken an oath to defend the nation and to protect our civil liberties and privacy and they do that better than anyone i have ever seen. it is a privilege and an honor to work next to them every day. what i want to tell you is how we got here and talk about the business wreck or fisa. i want to give you some insights to what we see going on worldwide. i want to talk about the compliance and how we protect these programs in where we need to go in the future and then chairman we will address some of the questions i know you want to ask so i've will hold that until the question portion. first how did we get here? how did we end up here? 9/11.
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2996 people were killed in 9/11. we all distinctly remember that. what i remember the most with those firemen running up the stairs to save people themselves losing their lives. we have this great picture created afterward of a fireman handing the flag off to the military and the intelligence committee and the military and intelligence community saying we have got it from here. we deployed our forces to iraq and afghanistan. nsa has deployed 6000 plus people forward. 20 have lost their lives in support of operations in iraq afghanistan and the war on terrorism. they know what they bring to that fight helps bring back more of our soldiers sailors airmen and marines. you only have to ask people like general david petraeus general ray odierno and they will tell you our people went there every
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step of the way. but while we prepare, while we are there and what we learn about the threat is something that is necessary and important to the defense of this country. we see the threats that come into this nation. we see what a foreign intelligence agency is expected to see. prior to 9/11 we had no way of connecting those dots. nsa would see one side and the fbi the other. so the question is how can we connect these dots in what you are seeing him do it in the least intrusive manner and thanks to you, the senate ,-com,-com ma the executive branch and the courts we have programs to do that. congressman king thank you for your comments. i know what you done in new york and the statements you have made are greatly appreciated and i would tell you that every person at nsa and the military still
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remembers that day and our commitment to those people that we will not forget. but that doesn't mean we are going to trample on our civil liberties and privacy. so the issue is how do we do both because of the constitution that we all swore to uphold and defend and that's what we are doing. look at the program that we have we as american citizens everyone at this table is also an american citizen, have agreed that we would take our personal data and put it into a pile, a lock docs that would only be looked at when we had reasonable and articulable suspicion that we had connection to a foreign al qaeda or related terrorist group and look into that locks. in 2012 we had 288 such that we could look into that. that's it.
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with the billions of records only 288. with that we had tremendous oversight. when you look at the amount of oversight from this committee alone and from others from within the dni the department of defense with their own director of compliance with their own general counsel in their own ig and with all of the compliance individuals at every level, everything we do on this program is audited 100% on the record fisa, 100%. the data is kept separate from all the other day that we have and i think it's important to understand that the leaker did not have access to this data, period. the technical safeguards that we have there in sure that no one else gets access to it and know when king get a query in lessig
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goes to one of those 288 numbers and the numbers that are currently on the list. only 22 people at nsa are authorized to provide numbers to approve numbers and about 30 are allowed to look into that database and that's it. when you look at the number of people we have and the oversight and complaintcomplaint s we have in this program and what it does to protect our civil liberties and privacy we couldn't think of a better way to do that. let me give you some thoughts here because i think this is important for our country to think about this. if you look at the trends in the ct arena in 2012 it was the highest globally it has been ever, over 15,000 people killed. in just this last month 2336 people were killed, 1510 injured in pakistan afghanistan syria iraq and nigeria and yet there
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hasn't been a mass casualty in the u.s. since 2001. that is not a lot. they didn't stop hating us. they didn't say that they were going to just give this. they continue to try. it is the great members of the intelligence community, our military are law enforcement that have stood up and said this is our job and we do it with our partners and our allies. it has been a great partnership. when you look at the numbers that we gave you early on about the number of terrorist related offense that we have helped staffer called the 13 were in the u.s., 25 were in europe. they are closer to the threat. it's easier to get to europe and they are going after them. i think it is a privilege and honor from the united states to know that we have helped stop incidents there.
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as congressman king said one incident was called 9/11. we call that one incident. that should never happen again. that is what we are about here. that is what we are trying to do. i think it's also important to note that we have asked the industries or more accurately we have compelled industry to help us in this manner. like court order and what they are doing is saving lives and they are being penalized because they are helping to save lives and our way of life so that people sitting behind me can express their feelings. that's something that we all stand up for so that they can say what they believe. we think it's important that they have the facts.
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industry has helped because they are compelled to help and i will tell you there are a lot of patriots out there that know what they are doing is saving lives not only here but in europe and around the world. it's the right and to do and it's done under court order. i think it is absolutely vital that we understand that. so where do we come from? eight plus years we have been a team for seven plus years. this is the greatest workforce i have ever met. these are patriots who every day come to work saying how can we defend this country and protect our civil liberties and privacy? nothing has shown that we are trying to do something illegal or unprofessional. when we find a mistake for compliance issue we report it to this committee, to all our overseers and we correct it.
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in the business record fisa and the 7002 there have been no willful violations. under executive order there have been 12 over a decade. the majority of those were done on -- i think that's important to understand. for our foreign partners and their allies we hold ourselves to that same standard no matter if we operate here or abroad. if we do something that does not fall within the intelligence requirement it is wrong. we report it, we hold our people accountable. if they did that willfully and disobeyed orders than they are held accountable. if most all of those people are gone. three of them were military. two of those were given a court martial and reduced in rank half a month's pay for two months and --
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[inaudible] so we hold our people accountable and report to this committee everything that we are doing. as we go forward in a future one of the things that we talked about -- this is a tough time for an essay where everybody says what are you doing in fire you doing it but here's what we do. when we get together we don't whine well maybe a couple of times we whine that we actually say it is much more important for this country that we defend this nation and take the beatings than it is to give up a program that would result in this nation being attacked. we would rather be here in front of you today telling you why we defended his programs than having given them up and have our nation or our allies be attacked and people killed. the interesting part is we have shown we can do both.
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defend the country and protect their civil liberties and privacy. mr. chairman ranking member it's been an honor to work with committee even though at times you know that we are going to tell you the truth, the whole truth in everything that we know every time. that's our commitmencommitmen t to you and that's our commitment to this country. with that chairman that ends my remarks. thank you. >> the clock has reached zero so i will remind members that we will recess at the call of the chair five minutes after the second but we will reconvene and i would ask that we escort our panelists to the green room. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> that's just ridiculous and we are not buying it. >> lies, lies and more lies. >> i will not accept any breach and all of the individuals will be removed and not allowed to re-enter. this committee is now in recess. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> i will call the committee to order. before we get on with members questions on the programs in question i just have a couple of things i would like to see if we can't get cleared given the
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current events of the day and director clapper can you tell me how the intelligence community sets its collection priorities? >> yes chairman rogers. it's all centered around what's called the national intelligence priorities framework. this is a document and the process that has existed in its current form since 2003. it started during the bush administration. in my time in intelligence every commiseration has had some form of overarching intelligence requirements to document so what the current version is called an ipf which incorporates an amalgam of the governments intelligence both analysis and collection requirements and there is a fairly rigorous interagency process in which the requirements of all the departments are gathered. the department of defense state
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treasury etc. as well as those of the national security staff and accordingly the presence requirements are embedded in this document. that then represents the totality of the broad intelligence requirements laid on the intelligence community. the intelligence community then in turn conveys those out to each of their respective functional managers for whatever collection discipline is applicable. so to name a case that is sent here in the case of injury requirements that's translated to nga and i can-ism's for translating those rock requirements into each one of the collection disciplines and then there are determinations made in terms of accessing capability to fulfill that requirement. nsa in turn has its own variation of this as it translates those an ipf requirements to specific needs.
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so that process -- there are updates that are done once each quarter and the totality of that of course is made available to both of our oversight committees so that in general is how it works. >> so would the cia or the nsa be able to go out and establish its own collection parameters outside of the framework? >> no, absolutely not. that is part and parcel to the system to ensure discipline and so we do only what the policymakers writ large have asked us to do. and of course there's a resource implication here as well. we are not going to do things extemporaneously if we are going to be eat up resources which in this day and age are getting scarcer.
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>> so i went back and checked and since i have been chairman of this committee we have had 294 oversight offense just with the national security agency alone. in your estimation director clapper have they misled the committee on the parameters of going outside the parameters of the national intelligence priorities framework? >> i am not aware of a case of that at all across any of the collection disciplines. >> would it be fair to say that the white house should know what those collection priorities are? >> they can and do but i have to say that does not necessarily extend down to the level of detail and we are talking about a huge enterprise here with thousands and thousands of individual requirements. we don't necessarily brief you with the white house with the forthcoming collection is for
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overhead collection for tomorrow for which human asset including which source or in the case of nsa which is being used to fulfill specific requirements. that is done at levels below the white house and the national security staff. what they do -- their engagement is the output of all of this in the form of intelligence analysis and production and that is what they have used to tune the requirements, to update them and to refine them. >> so part of that framework my understanding is plans and intentions of war and leaders be important for the united states to know. >> as long as i have been in the intelligence business, 50 years, leadership intentions is kind of a sick tenant of what we collect and analyze.
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>> you why would that be important for policy may curse? >> for one to determine if from an intelligence perspective what they are saying of what is going on is invaluable to us to know where countries are coming from and what their policies are, how that would impact us across a whole range of issues. it isn't just leaders themselves. it's what goes on around them and the policies that they convey to their governments. >> certainly in my time since being in the business of fbi agent since 2004 in this committee i have always found the best way to determine a foreign leader's intentions is to somehow it either get close to a foreign leader or --
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of a foreign leader. would that be accurate? >> yes it would. >> how many years you have been in the intelligence, for many years as the something new that the intelligence committee might try to target -- >> it's one of the first things i learned in intel. it's the fundamental given in the intelligence business. leadership intentionintention s not matter what level you are talking about and that could be military leaders as well. >> you believe that the allies have it at any time any type of espionage activity against the united states of america our intelligence services or leaders or otherwise? >> absolutely. >> are you familiar with the story recently from the former french head of the dcr i? are you familiar with that? >> that's the french domestic
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intelligence organization. >> let me read you a quote from that gentleman. quote i'm amazed by such disconcerting naïveté he said in the interview. he would almost think our politicians don't bother to read the reports they get from their intelligence services. he's talking about french spying on our allies including the united states of america. would you find a consistent with what you know is better if national intelligence? >> yes it is and i have to say chairman rogers some of this reminds me a lot of the classic movie casa blanca. it's the same kind of thing. >> director alexander your experience at the national security agency, have the allies of the united states ever during the course of that time engaged in anything that you would qualify as an espionage act targeted at the united states of america? >> yes.
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i have chairman. >> that would be consistent with most of our allies. let's just pick a place. the european union. >> yes it would chairman. >> and this is ongoing today. this didn't stop two years ago or last year or last week. to the best of your knowledge? >> to the best of my knowledge, yes. >> so you what i get the ongoing counterintelligence activities that we participate at all levels and maybe both of you could answer this that members of congress that go through in their policymakers overseas go through is consistent that we should all be protected against espionage activities including traveling amongst our allies in the european union. is that correct? >> that is correct. >> mr. clapper? >> this is kind of i think standard fare for anyone who travels overseas.
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it's all so i think your comment is a manifestation of the emphasis that i have tried to play since i have been in this job on our own counterintelligence resources which i believe are so underfunded. >> this may be out of your bounce but i will ask it anyway. it's striking to me that the parliament and certainly the parliamentary members that come in good faith and have discussions on these issues are not fully aware of what their intelligence communities are up to. is that consistent since 1963 when you talk about overseas services in their operations and how they are criminalized away from their legislative bodies? >> yes absolutely chairman. that comports with my experience that oftentimes policymakers who come and go may not have familiarity with exact a how their intelligence operations work and i would also tell you that there is no country on this
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planet that has the magnitude of oversight on intelligence oversight like we do. >> to that and if i can mr. alexander there were some reporting that the story about the french citizens being spied on by a particular slide that was leaked that concluded the french citizens were being spied on. can you expound on that a little bit? by the united states and by the way specifically the national security agency? >> chairman the assertions by reporters in france. >> zero mondo and italy that nsa collected tens of millions of phonecalls are completely false. they cite his seven screen shots of a result of a web tool used for data management purposes but
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both they and the person that stole the classified data did not understand what they were looking at. the web tool counts metadata records from around the world that displays the totals of several different formats. the sources of the meta-data in the data legally collected by the nsa under various authorities as well as data provided to nsa by foreign partners. to be perfectly clear this is not information that we collected on european citizens. it represents information that we and our nato allies have collected in defense of our country's and in support of military operations. >> so if i understand you crack me this information was likely collected external from the country in which it may have been reported in defense of operations ongoing in the world in which nato participates is that correct? >> that is correct. >> and so let me just ask you
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this. as you study the networks of the world so let's just talk about the european union for a second if i may. is it possible for chinese intelligence services military or otherwise to usenet works that you would find in any nation-states in the european union and? >> absolutely. >> how about russian intelligence services? is it possible they could use communication networks incorporated communication networks inside the european union? >> absolutely. >> what about al qaeda? is it possible for them to use the found that the european union to conduct planning operations or execution of operations? >> absolutely, sir krusbe would be in the purview of a national security agency to try to prevent those activities especially through the european union and they be targeted at one of our allies? >> it is chairman and it's something we share with our allies.
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>> you would collect information in those cases and share it with our allies in a way that was appropriate? >> that is correct and it may not be actually collected in europe because it's a global network. >> but it could be in europe or it could be someone else. it could be in the middle east or could be in asia or in the united states by a fisa warrant collected by the f. ei. >> that is correct. >> so you share information with their european the allies and they share informatiinformati on that they have with us. the certain accusation that the national security agency was collecting information on the citizens of their respective nationstates i just want to get on the record again is false. that did not happen. is that correct? >> that is correct. those shots they showed lead people to believe that we nsa or the united states collected that information is false and it's
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false that it was collected on european citizens. it was neither. >> it certainly has created an international row that i would argue is very poor and inaccurate reporting something that we are going to have to deal with here in the future. i'm glad you clarified that as it's terribly important. director clapper i'm going to ask you this given the recent row about the leaders that may or may not have been collected over the numbers that may have been in the position of u.s. intelligence services. would any value of that information find its way to at least the national security council in the white house? >> it certainly could. i would rather not speak specifically but speaking in totality. the leadership intentions are an important dimension of the
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landscape out there whether the white house or elsewhere. >> just given the likelihood that the intelligence committee which the house intelligence committee was aware of information for leadership and intentioned plan wouldn't logically the administration have access to that same information? >> they may not have information specifically related to a specific selector or any specific collection target. but they would see that would be the output of this in its total dimension. >> we are dancing around the bush but i imagine if there were specific output and we are talking almost hypothetical it would be by certainly a trained intelligence professional to clearly understand that maybe the intelligence services were
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following the national intelligence priorities framework. is that correct? >> yes. >> we are going to get onto the privacy issue but i thought that was important to get out of the way. i'm concerned about where we are and we decided we are going to name our intelligence services at the earliest opportunity says the bad guys in the process of trying to collect information lawfully and legally with the most oversight have ever seen and as a matter of fact they are the only intelligence service in the world that was forced to go to a court -- a. foreign intelligence operation which is shocking to me and yet the very folks who have no view into their intelligence services have been screaming the loudest including candidly someone the united states. when you look at syria embroiled in a proxy war the world that china is now threatening
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specific allies and the fact that iran is aggressively working toward a nuclear weapon in the middle east is collapsing in front of us heading towards sectarian violence in the way we have never seen in history of our country and what that portends for those folks trying to find a way back the european allies and the united states and their criminal gains with access to technology that we have never seen before operating in every country of the globe. we have liberators of radiological materials that keep us up at night working in every major nationstates in the world. i m. a little taken aback that we have decided our intelligence services are to blame for what we have found again and again and again. it is absolutely inaccurate reporting and if we are going to have this debate, and we should, then we should do it in the facts are presented before us. if we evolved didn't something
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wrong and general oxen to put it best he knows we can bring out the wire brush and we have done it but the way we go forward is to make sure that our programs are protected and their people by the way that taken those oaths in doing their best not to demonize in the process. this is the time for leadership in a dangerous and chaotic world and it's not a time to -- i will hope you'll pass along to individuals that hopefully they can fight out the politics up here and we will get it right. we know that the 9/11 road was paved with a lot of intentions and we ought not to walk down that same road again. >> as far as the questions are concerned number one i believe we need to increase transparency to regain the public's confidence to keep us safe. one way to do this is to release more information about the programs and processes.
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general clapper do you feel we can declassify fisa court decisions and opinions in a way that protects our national security but also gives the american public more insight into what is legally allowed and what is not? >> i do mr. ruppersberger and in concert with the agency particularly the nsa and the department of justice we have released a lot of documents over 2000 the last two or three months with certain caveats that i indicated in my statement we want to make these as transparent and available as possible and to protect liaison partners and targets. with that in mind i agree with you that we can and should and we have been doing so. >> okay.
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the second question. all of these programs are already subject to executive judicial and legislative branch oversight that we are looking to see if we can do more to be more transparent. general alexander do you really presidentially appointed senate confirmed inspector general of the nsa would provide an extra independent check and you feel this is necessary? >> i think for certain it won't hurt. i'm not sure that would have stopped anything that had happened. i think in the public's interest that you and the public would know that we are being transparent so i don't oppose that. anything that we can show that we are being transparent is a step in the right direction. >> i think that is where we are really going. i think the oversight that this committee has had throughout the years i feel strongly that the men and women who work in the intelligence community are following the law based on the
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loss procedures and processes in leadership we have put in place and that is why it's extremely important that we give back confidence to the american people. unfortunately with a lot of the media that has been out there and a lot of the media that is not based on facts and the allegations that are out there that are really to gain in some situations what do i want to say putting out a situation where it inflames or scares people. that is what we need as americans. we need the american people to trust the government so what we need to focus on is that transparency issue and that is what we try to do. we need to do something in that regard. now a final question that i do have. when it comes to changing the business provision in section 215 metadata our committee is value adding whether we can get away from the
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book collection and move closer to the system used in criminal prosecution systems of our country. telecommunication providers would respond to a subpoena to give the government information about metadata. phone numbers no content. the informational come from what the providers have in their business records. as i said in my opening statement this is the most operationally challenging proposal and we know we have a lot of issues from the operation technical point of view to move toward with this but it's critically important we evaluate what can keep the operational capability of the program to keep our country safe. we talked about that and you have testified that this does keep our country safe and it's safe to say that if we have this program before 9/11 there was a good possibility that we would have identified the fact that one of those terrorist was in the united states coordinating the attack. it's like finding a needle in a haystack.
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if you have the terror spending the needle and you have those terrorist throughout the world you have to have that haystack in that haystack is basically just a number and a call. notwithstanding that we must move forward and try to put together another system that will allow the american public to trust what we are doing. let me ask you this. do you think of a program such as this by going to the providers as we do in criminal cases instead of us thus the government holding that metadata do you have an opinion on whether it would work and i know if there are operational issues can you discuss them with us? >> i would be happy to take that question. i have discussed with this committee before and you asked that question a number of times and caused us to study this question. there are numerous architectures technical architectures that are possible and viable. where you place the data is a component of that architecture. there are force features present
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in today's architecture we have today. we must provide for privacy and have controls placed on this so is used only for nearly prescribe purposes of the court is authorized in second it needs to be the whole haystack. eshoo comprises them put it together when you make a query you, away confident that you have the whole answer. if you're looking for a terrorist plot in the united states gets it's an answer you can take to the bank to kiss you have the breath. you also have the debt to know you have -- can look far enough back in time that you know there's something two years ago that is gone quiet you can see it in that phase. we talked about having that data five years or as little as three years which we still think would meet that need. >> let me to just stop you there because i understand providers
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by fcc rules must keep it for 18 months. >> they keep it for their own purposes. they don't keep it to respond to governments. they therefore don't keep it in the format that would make it such that you could make the fourth requirement which it needs to be available in a timely way. we are trying to support the fbi and its destruction of the plot. it would chill of the counts and multiple architecture that is how we would assess any particular recommendation and i would be happy to work with the committee to that extent. >> general alexander in general clapper do you have any comments on the metadata 215 with providers? >> i agree with what chris said. chris articulated exactly whatever architectural scheme we, with as long as those for requirements are met. >> the justice department
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attorney and mr. cole. >> i worry with mr. engel's evaluation of the. i yield back. >> mr. conaway. >> thank you chairman. general thank you for your heartfelt defense of your team. my limited experience comports with your router experience that thank you for the defense of their efforts on behalf of americans and tell them thank you on behalf of me and i appreciated as well. two questions and i will ask them both at the same time and asked general clapper to think about the second one. the oversight over all these programs if you would walk us through these various layers of compliance officers privacy civil liberty and each step to make sure we get at the oversight processes and then general clapper if you would give us some sort of guess as to the total manhours and dollars that we would use in that oversight process based on your experience? general alexander?
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>> congressman thank you and thank you for those words for our people. i'm going to start with the oversight we have an essay. inspector general and general counsel who have responsibilities for overseeing these programs. working with this committee and the we set up the director of compliance. this is another separate office to look specifically at these programs and other collection programs to ensure that we do this right. we have a few hundred people that audit and track what our folks do every step of the way so within nsa we have an extremely healthy compliance oversight and great comments by working substitute another saying this measures what you would expect in any world class organization. ..
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this is not a happy time. i found them to be completely professional, while they may not understand it, they have absolutely hammered us and tried to get us get it right. you all -- hear about that. >> there was an editorial that referred to a vague description provided the faa is -- fisa court somewhat is going on. >> would you ever use the word vague? >> absolutely not. i think they take aned aer adversarial relationship. they will argue it out with us. they will tell us what is wrong
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with the things as we put in drafts in the justice department actually does a great job with that. i want to end with two others. the civil liberty and many of you know, we are hiring a new civil liberty and privacy officer to insure we do it right as well. that's the oversight and compliance. >> are there any restrictions on the civil liberties what they could look at within the role? any restrictions? >> to -- no restrictions as long as it complies with the law. >> all right. general clapper how many man hours? >> i can't off the top of my head. i'll tell you it's easily tens and throughs of man hours and millions of dollars we spend on the oversight of the pralt. -- program. if you take the 300 compliance officers of the nsa alone, the
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rat -- apparatus. civil liberty and privacy officers, ig in the amount of time they spend it's a costly program in term of both man manpower and dollars. i don't have a figure. >> one last comment. is there anything you can think of within your authority to do to address civil liberty and privacy issues you're not doing? >> from my speption no. >> the annual dollar we spend is $30 million. we have 300 full-time equivalent. whey describe on the note it's everybody's job. everyone has a role to play in compliance. we bring our employees in on the first day, whether military or civil yab, we give them the oath
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of office. tell them it's the constitution and the constitution and that each and every one of them has an responsibility no matter what they do to ensure they follow the law. i would say the time equivalent is working compliance every one of us. 0. >> to answer your question what else can we do? i think we are already embarked on this and it gets to what congressman was talking about was, of course, is more transparency. to the the extend we can make the elaborate processes more vizble to the public particular to give them more confidence in what we're doing. that would be something that we recognize we need do. >> if i could, we have courses that our folks have to go through. if they're handling any person and every person including myself has to go through how we handle it do you have to take a
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course and pass a test. everyone. everyone has to take who deals with -- has to go through a series of courses. everyone who deals with foreign intelligence data has to go through a series of courses to handle the data and pass a test. most of those are almost everyone we have annual certification process. in this business record there are the at least six cores that people have to go through. this is a significant training thing to ensure that we handle the data appropriately. thank you for what your team does. thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, alexander we've been in many meetings together, i have to tell you your robust support of your staff and your calling
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them patriots, i felt, implied that someone was saying that the people who worked for the nsa were impugned as not being patrons and not working hard. and i have to tell you that i have never heard that. i think people have questioned the policies of thes nsa. i think the policies you carry out have been questioned they have been carried out as patriots as evidenced by the fact that almost the majority of the congress actually voted to end the surveillance program and
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the chairman of the senate the
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intelligence committee raised a question that i think is legitimate. an issue that is legitimate. why did we not know that heads of state were being eavesdropped on, spy on? the reason why it's important is because it is a policy issue that has very broad implications. it could put the united states in a difficult position. i understand that sources, methods within all of those things. we are the intelligence committee. we did not -- we didn't know that and now all of us, automatic are us are dealing with a problem in our international relations. there will be changes. whey -- what i heard from you is a robust defense of the status quo. it's not necessarily what have i heard in other hearings. i herald -- heard your openness and the four
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different ways we would measure how we use this meta data i think. we have to move on that. i think that the people who are concerned about this and that is a lot of patriots feel this must be changed. i have a couple of questions. what about having an official outside of the nsa to provide prior approval of what would be reasonable, arcticble suspicious in order query a name and ask for the information? >> if i could, let me just address because my internet was not to say that anyone here in congress was less noble. my intent actually in that discussion about nsa was to let you know what i see in the
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people who are executing these responsibilities that we have challenged them. it was meant as nothing against anyone else. the patriotic employee of the ns, are the problem. you can take responsibility but they don't need to take responsibility. so i think this is where perhaps in a discussion, you know, from my perception. i continue read all the newspapers some of the stuff that comes out sure looks that way. i want do you know where i sit on this. it's not to impugn anyone else. toast tell you i think we're doing the right thing inspect that, it doesn't mean that we shouldn't change. let me be also clear that in
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this area i think some of our partnerships are absolutely vital to this country. we need to ensure we balance the partnership. i agree with you 100% on looking at that. that's a policy decision. i think we ought to look at that. these are things that we ought to look with our allies. it takes allies in where we are with court terrorism. i want to be crystal clear. you met these and help set it up. to answer your real question, help set up the compliance program. to answer your real question. the issue i see we tried that back a couple of years ago with the court it got up to nine days and the court gave us back the authority to do that. i would propossess a counter offer every one we do is 46 to 98 hours. so we meet the timeline you need or chris mentioned for some of
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these options where it is time is of the essence. i use the case where this was a one-week thing. you can't afford that. i would say we would absolutely be willing to work with you on something along the line or with the committee. i'll give you one more question. we had technical difficulty. for lo logistics i'll try to give 30 second notice. >> currently the nsa is holding for five years. the business record data many people suggested it's too long. what do you think about shortening the time whether nsa or some other entity hold it? our analysts think somewhere around three years is probably the least that you could do. and so if we did that, it goes
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back to what congressman said, i think three years makes sense that's what our analysts come up with. >> thank you i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. many others have been running and hiding. you've been out front. thank you. i thank the outstanding men and women that work for you. the tremendous job they have done. have to disagree with my good friend. i don't think we can go by a day without seeing words like snooping and scandal on nsa. very seldom do you see the word patriotic. to me the only scandal is the tax laid upon you. you can bring it back to the people. they stand with you and defend your policies. not just as individual but their policy on what they try to do and trying to do. i think it's probably only a
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matter of time saying the foreign leaders have a constitutional right. any event i want to thank you for what you do. you said before the importance of timing is whether or not the meta data stay controlled by the company or the nsa. there could be delays as far as getting the information and time. because often it is a race against the clock. general clapper, in one case i have some -- that one incident could have resulted in hundred if not thousands of deaths in the new york subway system. how important was 215 -- section 215 how important was that as far as timing, as far as ensuring that it will be connected in time to save the plot. and also if you can discuss the
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extent of the plot and what could have happened if the plot not stopped. >> first of all, on behalf of not just nsa but the entire intelligence committee. i want to thank you for the staunch sport of the men and women of the intelligence committee. let me turn to the real authority on the case, and it does illustrate the need for a general alexander or chris engal. >> thank you. >> so congressman, king. i'll take wack at that and let general alexander correct my omission. as you recall in early september of 2009 mile monitoring the activity of al qaeda they noticed contact from that individual to the united. we tipped to the fbi and they determined it is there authority. not ours. we tipped across. and using the 215 authority given we had reasonable suspicious of a plot in to the homeland we're able to determine
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further connections in new york and elsewhere as the fbi tracked him as he made the way from colorado to new york. we knew that he now in hindsight intended to mount a plot which was described the most terrorist plot since 9/11. the timeliness of that was not intended to what we saw him doing an the time. on the move making the way to new york city. we didn't know what else he might have -- what other notes might be. was it destination new york? was he going 0 to do something en route. minutes counted as we helped the fbi focus their time and attention on the things they should focus on and perhaps ruled out all of those things where they could save resources and concentrate the precious few resources on the plot. they disrupted it. a terrorist event didn't happen.
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9 importance of section 215 often time the metric used to evaluate the value or worth is the number of plots foiled. we had a recent case with the al qaeda and others in the mideast which occasion the close sure of 20 diplomatic facilities throughout the mideast. in the course of that we discovered some number of selectors, i think nine or so that pointed to the united states all of those were checked out. as it turned out, there was no domestic nexus to any plotting. so i would add to plots foiled as one metric, but i would call the peace of mind metric you rule out a domestic nexus using the tool.
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let me say in the years i've been on the committee, and in all the years that you and direct air peered before the committee i've always found you to be forthcoming, and the programs that we're debating discussing today although they may be changes i found that you and the nsa had bent over backwards to try to operate within the confine of the law and the constitution and i realize you take all of these issues. these are important issues before the committee today. i appreciate being able to have this discussion in an open forum. i think it's important that the american people have confidence in what we're doing and the
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things that are happening are the nation's best interest, their best interest in respecting and protecting civil liberty all together. over the past several months. i was in concern about the scope and character of nsa's survey remembers programs loudly and cleary for my constituents. it i'm sure my colleague on the committee have as well. and i hope that the information from the hearing will address the legitimate questions raided on these issues. i think that the more transparent we can be about this the better. and obviously there are things right now that the congress is considering the it "ft" talked about relooking at the scope of our intelligence program and the surveillance we do to protect our nation from harm. i wouldn't like to give you an opportunity to talk about if we're going rebalance you know what the trade-offs are. because obviously if the reaction ask going to be
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opposite reaction and there are some, for example, a sense of legislation wants to repeal much of u.s. patriot act. if we go that. what are the ramifications? what are so. other areas question curtail perhaps some of the surveillance. what would be the impact of that ? in is not just us passing a number to the fbi and saying, here, good luck with it. as chris noted out, one of the thing was a number of had. the number connected to d in new york city who then connected to
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two other numbers and two sets of terrorist-related activities. if you don't know what the numbers mean, you just get a number and all you know i have a number and you pick out a number and say what is it? you don't know if you are facing a threat or something else. what the fbi needs that the point is the fact this number is associated with other known terrorist activities and you have eight event. that allows them to quickly look tat. if you take away that program, what do is create a gap. that's a risk that congress and the pots makers will set up. we will follow faithfully, the laws that you establish as we always have in the policies that are set up. what you're asking me is there are a risk and the answer is yes. we know the risk because that's where we existed in 9/11. this was one of the programs that we took.
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how we frequent their privacy ash what we do. that's something we're trying to do i think all of you have tried to do that. we've tried to do. what bev got to do is help the american people understand it. it's the same impact as reduction in capability occasion by sequestration. and the net effect is we will do the best question with the tools and capabilities we're given. i think it's incumbent on all of
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us to recognize the fact when it happens we are incurring greater risk. i see it as a general comment. my time is expired. i think the clock sped up. i think i thank you for the work. we are going get it right. it's vitally important that we obviously give confidence to the american people that we are doing everything possible to operate within the confine of the law of the constitution it's what they expect and demand.
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i too want to thank you for your service and especially your team. i join with congressman king and at least some of my colleagues in recognizing that recent developments called so much in to question in an erroneous way have cast a dark shadow over the intelligence agencies and by nature our i tack coming with the erroneous information all the people that work for you. i think far too many people in america for them 9/11 is a distant memory. you said i also know trips to cements to the edge of the world the middle east and africa and the peninsula your folks and general clapper the other agency folks who are placing themselves
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in an incredibly circumstance. dangerous circumstances patriots beyond belief can't talk about it and discuss the work being done. they need to know that at least some of us are appreciative. i think more -- they would be appreciative. so i really want to reemphasis that strong message that without them this country would be in greater peril. with that having been said, can you describe, general alexander how nsa are taking steps to improve transparency under the collection of fisa?
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giving classified information and doing something that put some of our people or nation at risk. they are work push it out on behalf of director clapper and the rest of the intel community. >> and general alexander, you talked about this a little bit already, but i think because there's so much attention i would ask for a little redundancy here for you to describe to us how nsa protects the u.s. citizens personal data.
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everyone is trained. the fact you bump to u.s. persons data on the internet today is very likely. there is to be some way to mine nice the fact of a u.s. person. let me for the clarity here define what a u.s. person is. it's not just us a u.s. person. it could be a company or green card card holder or someone working in a foreign government who is dual citizen. all of those are u.s. persons. we have a series of attorney general approved min himmization procedure for handling u.s. person. that's the first step. brpt to these court order we have special training we have to go through. i think this is a --
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when they actually do it. a reaction they do is overseen. and then once they get all that have data out and go to publish it can only go to people clear 0ed to receive it which is a small group of people an the fbi. so in each case, when you look at the programs in the wake of the business record fisa and the way we handle it data. this is a set of procedures we go there. from my perspective, this is the most overseen program. we. what it really means i have it in here i talk briefly about the emphatic access control what we have for the program. what it means. once the number is approved it's put on a list. only the numbers. you can't make a mistake typing
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it in. somebody has to add it to a list. and authorized. we set the rule up and the oversight up. then we review an audit erg being done. the director clapper talked about the national intelligence priority framework. in foreign intelligence clek, when we go after a collection we have to state why we're doing this. what is the purpose of the collection and what are we dismoing it goes along with the absence what we're trying to put forward.
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thank you for being here. thank you for your service. i have a question for director clapper and one for director alexander. under the national security act of 1947 the intelligence community is required to keep congress informed the intelligence committee informed of suggestion intelligence activity. without confirming our denying the most recent press report of would you consider a wiretap on the leader of an allied country to be a significant intelligence activity required to be reported to the intelligence committee?
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what we submit in the book. we think by and large met the comply be the spirit and intent of the law. not to say we couldn't do more. i have put a lot of emphasis on congregation -- written congressional notification to the congress since i've been in this job. and i think the statistics would bear it out. the fact we don't necessarily report each and every selector and depended on the general rubric for leadership intentions, i mean, i guess that's something we can discuss as to whether that level of detail is required in the form of congressional nullification.
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germany or france or another would continue the trip commitment in afghanistan after is certain date. you don't tell us why you have the high confidence. i wouldn't consider that informing us of something that is a very significant intelligence activity. i would certainly think in an intelligence activity we undertake that has a potential for a blowback we are seeing today would be something that you would want to report in considerable detail to the committee.
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is it worth the risk in light of the nfts we gather? i think we have more work do to make sure we get the information we need. the conduct of intention is premise order the notion we can do it secretly. we don't count on it being revealed in the newspaper. that would change the criteria, obviously. if what we embark on and the way of a collection activity because of its potential blowback if revealed public. that's a higher threshold or lower one, i guess for providing more information to. i find it very hard to understand why if this
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information was being too sensitive to be shared with the intelligence committee it was not so sensitive it wasn't assessable to a low lefm system analyst like mr. snowedden. that makes no sense to me whatsoever. director alexander, if i could ask you on the meta data program, if you believe that this can be technologically, that is move the data to the telecommunications divider allow them to retain the data. and we can get all the information we need when we have a need to get it. why not undertake it now on your own? why wait for legislation to require it? why not say we're going ask a program which we go to the communication provide we are a particular number and a selector when we have reason to believe it's connected to a plot. we're hear you and make the
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restructuring. we would a change in statute. at the service provider. that's where you come in. we couldn't compel thm e or get them to keep the data and the court could not do that. as i understand it did i get it right? >> that would be correct. there's no statutory requirement for them to keep for for the length of time we're looking at three years or five years. we would have to have that as a separate piece of legislation to give us that kind of longevity confidence. >> i'm out of time. thank you, mr. chairman. i want to clarify the record on this.
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talks about activities that are sensitive to the national security of the united. all of the products of the intelligence community which we are consumers are available to the committee. sources and method unlike any committee here in the congress are available to this committee. i would argue to make the case that somehow we are in the dark is mystifying to me.
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if that report is correct. i wouldn't confirm any specific by the intelligence committee. as the gentleman knows we have access to all sources and methods and there is lot of product to be revealed through the intelligence committee and the member of the committee. and -- any implication that through those reviews that this committee would not be informed to the status it in question is not correct. i would be interested to know. >> take you down to the
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committee and spend a couple of hours going through mounds of product that would allow to a member to be informed as a member wishes to be on sources and methods and all activities of the intelligence community under the national intelligence framework. >> i would say -- i think we need to be careful. >> i -- [inaudible conversations] so i would like to find out what we were informed by the intelligence committee and i would also like to find out if it's in the pieces of spite chirr you sometimes see in litigation. you given a warehouse full of documents. reclaiming my time. this is a very unique committee on capitol hill. the only committee on the both sides of the chamber that has both military and civilian intelligence activities.
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that's an enormous responsibility. we don't get to take personal staff to any processing of information we may have to do as member of the committee. i think it is the symantec of exactly who, when, what, and why. if the intelligence community submits a selector to every engagement in their business to the intention committee that would be ridiculous. no one would receive it in that way. to know what the framework and the guidelines are and know what the reporting is and go through the very significant oversight of the committee and the review of the product, which is incredibly important to the end, to say the committee is in the
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dark is simply not accurate. and i think we need to be incredibly careful about making any assertion somehow we're in the dark because that information is available in robust amounts of terrible in our particular committee. it feeds to a flame of misreporting or lack of oversight. the intej community is doing what they want to do or any oversight is wrong. again, i just caution members before you might make any statement to the contrary, i would argue that in accordance the law which we are charge to
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do. with that, -- no. notch. i have a series of questions. does the nsa spy on the american people? >> no, congressman not without a warrant or under a warrant program or fisa program. >> okay. does the nsa listen to foreigners if there's an intelligence-based interest? >> yes. >> do foreigners have american constitutional rights? >> could you say that again. >> do foreigners have american constitutional rights? no, they don't. it would be accurate to say that snowden was acting as a lib rare research -- he took the research books for the home. >> and longer. >> and longer. did he violate his
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constitutional oath by revealing to the detriment of united states national security interest classified information? he did. were his actions illegal? >> they were. >> mr. snowden's actions unconstitutional. >> that i were. >> did mr. snowden put at risk america's national security interests? >> they did. did mr. snowden's illegal unconstitution ?iewgal revolution help the terrorists to seek to kill americans? >> i believe they will. i would say they have and they will. >> it was recently state -- yes. >> or even as we speak? >> yes. woe have reason to believe
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whether it's germany, france, or brazil or any wonderful ally it's reasonable to believe they historically have or currently listening to the united states or are leaders? >> that's correct. is it common for those not united states allies russia or china or iran it would be reasonable to conclude listen to the united states or leaders? >> it's reasonable to some -- yes. >> and has that information been made available to the white house? >> yes. has it been made available to the president of the united states? does the white house get national security briefings from the nsa? women nsa is one of the contributor. and often are those briefings given to the white house? >> virtually daily. how often if given daily how
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often does president of the united states attend the briefings? how often does the president attend the briefings? does he receive them personally? >> quite frequently. if this his absence which members receive the briefings? >> the rest of the national security apparatus the vice president and cabinet heads all receive variations but essentially the same briefing. >> and so would the national security counsel staff or the white house who deal with the country in question be made aware if there is any listening going on? would the national security staff or the white house who dreams with the country in question be aware if there is any listening going on?
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as general response -- if the united was doing any anyn leaders, we learned this week it was news to the white house. would it have been made available in the briefing book? >> as i way i described earlier the way it works and the way the broad national tasking is implemented or executed throughout each of collection discipline. it's unlikely unrealistic to think that everlast detail is gleaned through the collection apparatus imagery. let me ask you this, was the question ed snowden a traitor?
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>> you're asking me? >> absolutely. >> would that opinion also generally alexander? >> absolutely. >> yes, ma'am. >> certainly not with trayson but leeking and comprising the intelligence of our -- >> considered a traitor? >> a matter -- your personal opinion? >> unfortunately his justice department official where there's a case involved it's difficult for me do that. it and perhaps he could
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elaborate for the committee at some point what those instances would be and what rights they have. >> it could be. we can get some information. >> i yield back, thank you, mr. chairman. thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. let me say to general alexander, and to director clapper. i'm a new member of the committee, as you know. i have learned so much in this amount of time. i is had the out most respect for not only what you do each and every day but the people and the team you direct each and every day. having said that, i have to tell you that the american people have lost confidence in what we
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do. i think that at some point per accepting become realty even though reality may be something totally different and not based on the facts as you know it or laid out today. my comment we should ear on transparency. to the extend we can make declassified information so the american people can understand what you do the better off i think all of us will be. where i come from. i think we need to reform the programs not just dismantle the program but i think there are ways question make them much more transparent. it for example, on the fisa court, can you explain how the one goes about getting a warrant and goes before the fisa court currently? and is that an adversarial process? if not, which i know it's not, how can we make it more
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transparent and not muched aer have sallial where it is -- for wiretap under title three of the statute that are involved. on a routine matter, i think it would be disruptive and slow down the work of the fisa court and of the intelligence community to have an adversarial process go on. it's never been done in the criminal law to obtain a warrant for individual. these are done on probably cause showing ther. is an agent of a foreign power or acting on behalf of a foreign power. there's other requirements that need to be shown in that
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regard. where it interprets the law. and in that regard, we have in a couple of different settings and hears said there are times where the court may benefit from appointing amicus and give other viewpoint in the regard. those could be beneficial and help court in finding a way through novel and significant and difficult areas of the law. we think there is an appropriate place. when you deal with serious and significant privacy implications, poor example in some of the 25 2-15 bulk collection issues. there could be a place if the statutes provide for an amicus to come in. and give the court the benefit of other point of view in order court can have the benefit of that. but some of that is within the
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court's power now. some require the changes in the legislation in order to be able to do. it right now the statute said there should be ex parte hearings which involves only one party. there's constitutional issues. of whether an am amicus have standing or not involved have standing. in listening to your explanation there are cases in which having a process will lead to a better result and in that more a tran parent process for the american people. i think there some cases where it would be the case. some still would need to be mindful of timeliness and being
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able to nimble. when these authorities expire they only go for 90 days at the time. you have to renew them. you have allow and make sure you put in enough time you don't create a gap and expire and you have no coverage when we determine the coverage is beneficial. so i think those are things that could be worked through. >> thank you. all the work they do on our behalf. it didn't really recognize the years of work by the nameless faceless individuals in the
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intej community who deliver bin laden to the military. i think people need to realize while the military is overwhelming there's a lot of support that goes on behind the scenes. that is very important them. and being to be execute their mission. a reasonable arctic -- material group or individual if limited only to terrorism inquire. i'm not sure how to answer that. i'm going try and defer to the deputy attorney issue. i think the issue we go from the to a probably cause standard, then you have to have a lot information to show that this
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person is doing x before you go in. right now we have to show that a reasonable person, which is a lower standard any reasonable person agree they are doing something associated with al qaeda as threat to the homeland. ic the probably cause raises to a standard that goes up and i'm going defer to a lawyer to answer that. i think where you come to on that the type of collection we're doing under 215 doesn't implication constitutional standards. that's why you adopt meet the probably cause finding. it's a higher standard and you have to the have the court approval for each individual use of the warrant to get content. that's what we're doing in the instances. you need to show very specifically that the person is an agent of or a terrorist which be included within that. and the collection your going get is going to lead you to
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foreign intelligence information within that definition. which includes terrorism and weapons of mass destruction thing of that nature. under 215 it's very preliminary type of information we get. it's don to allow us whether there are certain connections without knowing specifically who the people are. so that we may be able to develop further profile to get to the point where we could develop probably cause. so if you require too many of these probably cause type requirements, in this early sphaij, it would be probably unusable. you never get that much information. it's one of the tool we use to start to build the probably cause information. it's not the end of the chain.
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and dozen -- but what about what we've heard a lot in the media. the inadvertent violation. could you add clarity to what happened? congressman, thank you. there was a report that talked about 2700 i thinkst important for the american people. i actually have some details on that. first, when you think about it 2776 and what we're asked to track, we actually go out and track every incident that we have.
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in most indications what they call a -- trashing that is overseas. it it comes to the united states if changes the authority of upon which we are authorized to collect on the phone. we have to tell the court and or justice if we have a roamer coming the united states about 75% a little over 2,000 of those who are roamers not even violation they were things that we were tracking. for a smaller number. the vast majority of these incidents involve foreign persons. when i say vast majority 90 plus majority involves foreign person. for the smaller number that involved a u.s. person a typical incident involves a person overseas involved with the
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foreign organization subsequently determined to be a u.s. person or a green card holder. and as a dual citizens we found that out from some means down the road that this person x is actually a u.s. citizens or a dual citizens and we have to report that the court and to all the folks here as a violation. we track that, we stop the collection, we have to go back the other route to get authority to collect. that's the bulk of what we see. even if, you know, when we started out all the indications are it was a foreign person. threaten are others that we make. small cases where we perhaps will enter in the wrong number. tripe graph cam era. we begin collection and we give that to the court wrong. that's a violation. and at times we make a mistake. and again, i just would say, you know, for myself if you think about typing in your password it
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probably never happens. for me maybe once a day i type it in wrong. it kicks me out. if we done it and went through it would be a violation. when you think about it it's a few percent we do. the lead to r to report that was internal compliance report which describes across the year 2012 on annualized basis it was immediately described at some press quarter as thousand of violations privacy -- general alexander explained 75% of -- you can't anticipate. they don't check with us before they move from one terrorist area to the united states or join something that creates a u.s. person situation. so we do exactly the right thing when we detect that. it's not a slew compliance violation as much as a transition from one authority to another. we have to thandle right. receipt maining errors about 700 in all. the remaining 25% in the pile,
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were errors as we formed perhaps a collection, selector, as query the data base and disseminate something. none in the report were willful. thaw were human error. if you took the remaining 700 and sayinglet adescribe them to analyst at the national agency. everybody take a fair share of the error it turns out that the average analyst at the nsa would make a mistake every ten years. ..
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>> they sent nsa letters country teaking how you do or don't do your job and only learn about it when some more intelligence is disclosed from leakers. i want to know, and this would also require all denials and modification of fisa orders and now or changedded legal interpretation of fisa, and i'd like to know from you, and we start with general alexander, would there be harm to


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