tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN February 17, 2016 1:31pm-3:32pm EST
requests for what's been done to enforce sanctions or to reinstate sanctions. i'm really grateful to be working on legislation with congressman joe kennedy as bipartisan about zero tolerance for violations. i yield back my time. >> thank you, mr. wilson. mr. cicilline. >> now this agreement has been approved and we have the responsibility to be certain it's being implemented properly and we prevent iran from becoming a nuclear power. i think when you think about as you said, ambassador mull, in our efforts to push back on iran in a number of ways in the region because of their aggression and ongoing activity, it would be a very different scenario if we were required to push back on iran with nuclear capability. and make, i think, a difficult situation even more dangerous. so i have three very specific questions. when the united states began negotiating with iran, the breakout time was a few weeks to a few months, according to most
experts. that point by which they would have enough enriched uranium to build a nuclear weapon. how far is iran from breakout now as a result of this implementation? >> sir, over the course of the last three months iran has moved from breakout time of about two months to at least one year. >> okay. the international atomic energy agency is being asked to do some significant work in terms of compliance with this agreement. and i actually wrote to the president about this urging that we be certain that we provide additional resources to the iaea to do this work. i know the administration's proposal provides a modest increase, but i think the iaea has already indicated that it's not sufficient. would you speak to the importance of making certain that we in a bipartisan way allocate sufficient resources recognizing we don't fund the entire operation but that we meet the financial requests of iaea so they can do the work that we're asking them or requiring them to do. >> yes, sir. i am in regular contact with
director general of the iaea to affirm that he has sufficient resources for his agency to do a very important job that's vital to our national security interests. and he has assured me that in terms of the -- its responsibilities for the nuclear program, it is fully funded and has everything it needs for the rest of this year. obviously we will continue and we very much welcome the congress' bipartisan support for making sure the iaea is fully funded. >> i think the request they made for fiscal year 2017 is an increase of $10.6 million. so i don't think that's reflected in the administration request, but i think many of us are very concerned and want to be certain that they have the resources that they need. and finally, i know there's been a lot of discussion about the snapback provisions and noncompliance by iran. for obviously the behavior of this country and its leaders gave us lots of reason to expect there will be some
noncompliance. and what i'm interested in knowing is what work the administration has done to deal with violations of this agreement. while some people have argued if there's even the slightest unintentional violation, the deal's off. that would obviously result in the deal which will prevent iran from being a nuclear power from being abandoned, which doesn't give us the result we want to allow iran to pursue its nuclear ambition. so there has to have been some conversation on what the administration's position about minor violations of the agreement, have we developed a grid of what those consequences were, have we communicated those to our european allies? i know there's some discussion of zero tolerance, if there's anything the deal is completely abandoned. just like to know your thoughts on that, what the administration is considering and how we should think about sending a very clear message to the iranians that any violation this comes with a punishment and the consequence even if it doesn't ultimately mean rejecting the entire deal. >> yes, sir. i can tell you that the jcpoa
allows quite a broad range of potential responses to violations or contradictions to the agreement that range from a partial reimposition of sanctions to full imposition of not only bilateral sanctions but those from the european union and the u.n. security council. i am not sure it would be helpful for me to speculate here in terms of what each individual violation or contradiction to the agreement would provoke because we think that uncertainty of response is something that's diplomatic asset to us as we go forward. but i can tell you that in generally speaking the gold standard for us in deciding how to respond is the breakout time that we talked about a few moments ago, that if iran's breakout time diminishes below a year, we would consider that to be a very serious violation. and work with our allies to have the appropriate response.
>> and of course communicating to the iranians that it is the position of the united states that any violation will be addressed and punished in an appropriate way. >> yes, sir. >> there's no death by a thousand small cuts. >> yes, sir. and i can assure you we are in daily contact with iaea on their evaluation of the situation in terms of iran's compliance. >> thank you, mr. cicilline. mr. duncan is recognized. >> let me say i hope history is right and sides with mr. connolly's comments more than history did with nevel chamberlain's comments. we'll see. i hope iran continues to comply. i hope they don't have a nuclear weapon because consequences are dire. i want to talk about the visa waiver program law that was passed as part of the omnibus in 2015 december as it relates to the jcpoa. and i specifically want to point to negotiations that went on in from november 30th through the
passage of the omnibus. these were negotiations between the white house, state department, homeland security and members of the house and senate. during november 30th dhs asked for certain waivers for people to travel to iran and iraq in the post march 2011 forward timeframe. and the negotiations went on for quite some time on november -- excuse me, december 1st, december 2nd, december 3rd, an agreement is finally reached. and december 3rd the white house notifies the homeland security committee via e-mail that they support the negotiated text that does not allow visa waivers for specific groups or categories. okay. that's december 3rd. december 3rd at 10:37 in the morning white house notifies chs, committee on homeland security, staff that the state department has no further edits
to that text. okay. president signed hr-2029 into law which included the visa waiver program language. december 19th secretary kerry sends a letter to the iranian foreign minister stating that the u.s. will implement the requirements of this law so as not to interfere with the legitimate business interests of iran. he ought to be talking about the legitimate business interest and the national security interest of the nation of the united states of america, but that's what he said. then on january 21st homeland security announced implementation planned for the visa waiver program enhancements with five broad categories of waivers including category exemptions that were rejected, specifically rejected during the negotiations by congress through december 2nd. are you familiar, sir -- ambassador, with the visa waiver recommendation paper white paper issued by the state department? >> i've seen many papers that
were involved in discussion of deciding what the administration's policy would be in implementing case by case waivers. >> let me -- i'll remind the committee and you that during the negotiations the congress and the administration, including the state department, said they agree with the text and the negotiated text through the passage of the omnibus. shortly thereafter they issued this white paper, which talks about -- it actually references a second white paper called a legal paper within this document. i have no idea what that is and we don't have our hands on that yet. but in this paper it specifically comes up with rationale for circumventing the will of congress as well outlined during the negotiations, during the omnibus and during the visa waiver program law signed by the president before the ink is even dry on that bill they're issuing
a white paper on how to circumvent that with rationale. i think it points to actually negotiating in bad faith in december before the omnibus if the state department feels like they're going to go around the will of congress, go around these negotiations and actually allow the issue of waivers, visa waivers, for people they have travel to iran, from the european countries. to the simple point that part of it says this is one of the questions they're going to ask madame chairman for someone traveling on business purposes. simple question, was your travel to iraq -- and this was the iraq portion, but i think it applies to iran as well, after march 1st, 2011, question mark, if you ask was the travel exclusively for business purposes. that's a pretty benign question to be asking. i mean, there's not a lot of opportunity for delving into
what the business was related to, who they were talking with and going back to mr. sherman's comments as the negotiation -- i mean the conversation with mr. smith went on a minute ago about contact with irg. we're talking about european businesses, not american businesses, european businesses and businessmen and women traveling to iran who may have contact with iran revolutionary guard, cuds force, whoever, possibly come back to their home country in europe and apply for travel to the united states under the visa waiver program. and according to the state department they're going to be given a waiver. that goes against the will of congress, sir. we're going to delve into this more, madame chairman, i wanted to say -- or mr. chairman, i wanted to say all this on the record. and i would ask that this document be submitted for the record for my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to delve into this a little further. and with that i yield back. >> without objection. we go now to loyce frankel from
florida. >> thank you, mr. chair. thank you ranking member for this hearing and thank you, gentlemen, for being here. i have two sort of -- i think they're sort of related questions. first has to do with the snapping back the sanctions. we have read about a lot of economic activity now with iran with other countries. so my first question is, realistically, let's say we'll look two years ahead from now or three years ahead from now. and we had to do a snapback, what is the prospect of actually getting back to where we were before we lifted the sanctions? that's first question. second question i have is that, you know, we hear talk of peo e people -- not to get political,
but there have been presidential candidates who have said, well, if i get elected i'm going to immediately rip up the deal. and i would like to know what you think the implications of that would be? those are my two questions. thank you. >> i can -- thank you very much, congresswoman. in terms of snapback, if we get to a situation in which iran is not complying with the agreement and we decide to snapback those sanctions, reimposing the secondary sanctions, as my colleague mr. smith mentioned earlier, we've been down this road before where our european or other partners have an economic relationship with iran, companies from those countries do. but for whatever reason we've decided to penalize and to force those countries and companies to make a choice. either you do business with iran, or you do business with
us. every single time they choose to do business with us because it's a more profitable relationship. so i have no doubt that if we decided to snapback sanctions that we would be effective in achieving that. in terms of various interests that some candidates have said that they might rip up the deal on first day in office of a new presidency, i would only say that i would advise whoever the new president and his or her team would be upon taking office that to think very carefully about destroying a deal if iran has continued to comply, which has reduced its breakout time -- extended it from one or two months to over a year to one that has drastically shrunk the amount of enriched nuclear material that could move to a bomb. i'm not sure what the benefit of u.s. interests would be in freeing iran from those commitments that have made our
interests much safer. >> smith, did you want to answer? >> i would disagree with what ambassador mull said with respect to sanction snapback. the world knows what we can do with our secondary sanctions and i think they will follow. we're all very trained in what the secondary sanctions can accomplish. and they know the force of u.s. law in this area. >> but i guess -- i don't know if the word safe is correct, but i would assume that even if you put the sanctions back in place immediately, you're still not going -- it's still going to take a while for iran to actually feel the same impact that they felt before they went to the table. >> it may take some time before iran feels sanctions if they come back on, but we should remember where we are today. iran is in half a trillion dollar hole because of the sanctions that we've imposed over the course of time. now they're facing a drop in oil
prices just as the sanctions relief is coming into play. what we're talking about is them getting about $50 billion, much of which they need desperately to prop up their currency and to be able to do any foreign trade. so when you look at the $50 billion that's relieved that they're getting versus the half a trillion dollar hole they have, i think it's going to be a very long time before iran gets out from under the sanctions burden that we have imposed. >> thank you. i yield back, mr. chair. >> we go now to mr. perry of pennsylvania. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, gentlemen, for being here. i will tell you that i appreciated the very direct questioning of mr. connolly and the very direct answers on very specific items, but i would also tell you that in my view iran has played long ball and we have played -- we have been myopic.
while this i think is a bit early to talk about cheating on some of the specifics, but i do think in time that they will get there. but i just see them as consolidating their gains in syria, in yemen, in iraq and then using their ballistic technology completing that testing and that program over a series of years to the point where when they are ready to be nuclear, they'll be very little we can do with it. and that's the long ball. and that's the long goal i see of iran as the regional hedge mom. but within that context let me ask you, ambassador, a question here. the procurement channel of the united nations security council 2231 allows for nuclear articles and dual use articles to be provided to iran through foreign providers through a dedicated procurement channel. however, some of the materials on dual use lists that can be supplied through the dedicated
procurement channel are critical to iran's ballistic missile program such as carbon fiber. i know you're aware. so this is a simple yes or no question. would iran's acquisition of carbon fiber outside of the dedicated procurement channel so in here described be a violation of the agreement and/or the u.n. security council resolution? >> congressman perry, i'm sorry, i can't give a yes or no answer because each case would be dependent on what exactly the intended use of any such material through that channel would be. the united states has a veto in the procurement channel. and so any time that we believe that an item is going to improve iran's ballistic missile program or is going to be delivered in a way that's not subject to appropriate end use monitoring, i can't imagine the circumstances in which the united states would agree to a case like that. >> let me make sure i understand your answer. you said it would be episodic,
right, because of the dual use proposition, but then you kind of said, i think, that the united states understanding and recognizing that wouldn't be amenable to their procurement of that. did i characterize that correctly or not? >> well, again, we would examine what is the good that they're seeking to procure, what's the stated purpose of its use, will it be monitored in a way that we're satisfied that it won't be used in a way to harm our interests across whatever -- >> i mean, you know that they can't domestically produce carbon fiber, right? >> as of now. >> and you know it's critical for their ballistic missile program, i'm sure. and it's regulated through the procurement channel. so how would it not be monitored if it's regulated through the procurement -- how would its use not be monitored? >> well, according to the terms of implementation of the procurement channel, any country
that wants to sell any material that's subject to controls of the procurement channel as part of their applying for permission to proceed with the transaction they must explain how they're planning to monitor the end use. i'd also add that we have a number of other tools outside of the procurement channel such as the missile technology control regime -- >> i don't mean to interrupt but i have a limited amount of time. so rowhani has already stated that it is their intention to expand their ballistic missile program and they'll have to gain access to carbon fiber elsewhere. >> i'm familiar in broad terms with what he said about how he plans to develop the missile program, yes. >> so if or when they do buy outside the procurement channel, which then there is no -- because it is outside. you don't know what they're using it for and there's no inspection paradigm or verification paradigm associated with that. would the administration consider that a violation of the
agreement and the security council resolution? >> congressman, i mean what is subject to the control of the procurement channel is a very specific list of the nuclear supply group annexes of potential dual-use material and other sensitive items. >> including carbon fiber. >> well, it -- it depends. >> what does it depend on? >> what it would be -- >> they're going to go outside the procurement channel, as stated by rowhani. >> sir, i can assure you that we will use every technique and tool at our disposal -- >> including considering it a violation. yes or no? >> well, a violation would be if iran procures something on the nuclear suppliers group list of annexes outside of the procurement channel. >> including carbon fiber. so the answer would be yes.
with your indulgence, mr. chairman. >> yes, sir. carbon fiber. thank you. >> mr. chairman, i yield. >> thank you, mr. perry. we now to tnext questions. >> i want to follow up on some of the questions that mr. connelly has addressed. i think this is really to you, ambassador mullen. you've already i think described to us about the removal of the core of the plutonium reactor. you've already described to us about the shutting down of the thousands of centrifuges. its shipping out of the country of its highly enriched uranium in exchange for lower level nuclear fuel for its nuclear power plants. i want to follow up on these
questions. i'm curious about the extraction of that highly enriched uranium skok pi stockpile. if you can tell us how that was done, it was sent out of the country. where it was taken. what steps we are taking to ensure that it is a permanent transfer and that the iranian regime will not be able to get its hands on that or other highly enriched uranium in the future. >> yes, sir. thank you, congressman. iran agreed that it would remove virtually all of its enriched nuclear materiel to keep that obligation. what it decided to do was to negotiate with russia the transfer of that materiel out of iran on a russian ship into russian custody without any claim of title to that information. so it has surrendered this to russia. russia has committed to responsibly safeguard it within
the -- within its entire nuclear program that it has there, a long history obviously, of maintaining and safeguarding nuclear materielals. >> is there some way we can follow up on that? will we be monitoring where both the russians and the ryan yairao that enriched plutonium never returns back? >> yes, sir. we've worked with the iaea and through this agreement to make sure that any possible entrypoint of nuclear materiel like that back into iran could only take place under the observation and monitoring of the iaea. so if there were some development by which someone tried to do that, we would be aware of it and we would consider that a violation. >> approximately how much was delivered to russia? >> about 25,000 pounds of enriched uranium materiel. >> what could 25,000 pounds of enriched uranium do? how much would it take to -- of
that -- to develop nuclear weapons? >> well, none of that materiel -- the highest grade of enrichment of that material that was removed was at 19.75%. nuclear weapons materiel -- weapons-grade uranium really has to be 90% level or higher. highly enriched uranium. >> i want to follow up. a lot of us voted -- i was proud to support the agreement, but we had concerns about the implementation. so that's why we're so glad that the two of you are here today. and we're concerned, as some of these questions have been raised, about iran's other non-nuclear trouble making, the security of israel in the region. these are all concerns. congress wants to stay abreast of the compliance and any violations. in a letter in august to my colleagues from new york, congress member toomey, the
president allayed many of these concerns and he detailed his plan, which included committing a highly qualified senior official with ambassador rank to monitor. that's really your position now that's come up. what i'm interested in is, in your role, do you have all the proper access and information that you that you're going to need? are there any things you are going to need to regular report? and how often can we expect those kinds of interactions with you to follow up on this? >> yes, sir. i am at your disposal and at the disposal of any member of congress to come down here any time and answer any questions or concerns that you have. i feel extraordinarily well supported by the entire administration. i have regular, rich, frequent interactions with various representatives of our intelligence community. i have access regularly to secretary kerry, other senior officials in the white house who
are very much focused on the implementation of this deal. so i feel very well supported and i am -- and my team and i are ready -- >> so you understand, this is just the first. we've just begun this process and that you are -- we'll be very much agreement to coming back to the committee to reporting on a regular -- because i think it is critically important that we stay in touch. >> absolutely, sir. i think this is a vitally important part of my job. because you may raise questions that i haven't thought of. this is about the interest of all of our countries. i very much want to be a good partner. >> well, i will be calling upon you. thank you and i yield back. >> thank you. now we go to mr. mark meadows of north carolina. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. smith, let me come to you with regards to your talking about this trillion dollar hole that the sanctions have had great effect. let me just maybe narrow our focus a bit as it relates to
financing of hezbollah. i know you implemented new sanctions in january. but my question i guess goes really to the heart of the matter and it is with regards to iran and are they financing hezbollah, in your professional opinion. >> i think we've seen iran support hezbollah over time, yes. >> are they today? >> i haven't seen the latest figures -- >> well, within the last six months -- at what point would you consider putting sanctions on iran, whether it's through the executive order that is in place or through the new law that the president just signed in to law in december. at what point will you consider
putting sanctions on iran or supporting hezbollah? >> so, iran is already under a government blocking from here, meaning that we -- >> i'm talking about -- listen. i understand that. i'm talking about the additional tools that you have. at what point will you implement additional sanctions as it relates to hezbollah and the financing that comes from iran? >> i think i'll have to look at the evidence in the future and see where it takes us. that's what we do. we follow the evidence, and when we see evidence, we continue to develop targets to add them to our list. >> but your question is that the last intelligence you had was that they are financing it hezbollah. let's be intellectually honest. i think we both know that they are. is it not true that the greatest benefactor of iran's support -- or the greatest benefactor for hezbollah is iran. >> that's a statistic that i'm not sure that i have. i don't want to go beyond --
>> can you get it to this committee and the chairman? >> i think we could get that to you in perhaps a classified setting. >> then under your professional opinion, who might be a greater financer of hezbollah, other than perhaps their illegal drug activities? what other state sponsor could be greater than iran? >> sir, i've already acknowledged that i think that iran has continued to do so. i don't want to go beyond my -- >> the american people see pictures of sailors on an anniversary today and they're offended. i'm offended. and if we have tools in place that can address it and you're not using them, would you not believe that that is being irresponsible? >> sir, we're continuing to use our tools. we're continuing to designate virtually every month, every week. we are adding additional designations of terrorists. we did so yesterday. i think we'll continue to do so in the very near future. >> but the big black hole here, mr. smith, is iran.
we're going you a around it. we've got over 100 individuals -- i agree with you, i've been following the numbers. we're addressing it. but somehow iran's getting a free pass, and that's concerning to the american people. >> i would disagree with you about iran getting a free pass. there are a number of agencies of the government of iran that continue to be designated by the united states for their support to terrorism. a number significant individuals that continue to be designatesed of the government of iran for their support to terrorism, and those carry secondary sanctions consequences. >> ambassador mull, let me come to you and follow up on a question that actually came up yesterday. some of your colleagues behind you were there in the hearing at ogr as it related to the visa waiver program. mr. duncan of south carolina mentioned that. under what -- since you are responsible for making sure that this jcpoa stays in place, was there language in there that would allow iran to actually
participate in hour visa waiver program either directly or indirectly? because they're participating indirectly now. was there language in there that would suggest that they should enjoy those benefits? >> language in -- i'm sorry, in the legislation or in the -- >> well, we know in -- in the joint agreement. secretary kerry came out and very quickly said that we're going to expand it to business-related activities which was not -- >> so -- yes. congressman, thank you very much for the opportunity. i'd like to address -- i think this is a critical misunderstanding that i really welcome the opportunity to clarify. the jcpoa, in that agreement, all of the parties agreed that they would not attempt to block legitimate business activity in iran. when this legislation was passed, of the iranians immediately complained to me, to secretary kerry, accusing us of
violating the jcpoa through this legislation. that's decidedly not the case. we explained to them that this legislation was not aimed at disrupting iran's business activity. it was aimed at protecting america's borders and it was in that context that secretary kerry in fact defended the legislation in responding to this untrue charge that the iranians had leveled. >> i yield back. thank you, mr. chairman. >> we're going to go to mr. william keating of massachusetts. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank you our witnesses for being here today and, frankly, for your direct answers to question. we've covered so much ground as a committee here this morning, one area i have left. those are the issues for violations outside the jcpoa that we were told during the whole process would be vigorously pursued. we talked about some of the areas this morning where that would be relevant, including supporting terrorism, regional
destabilization, human rights abuses, and ballistic missile programs and we do know that iran tested precision guided ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead in violation of u.n. agreements. we are aware that the u.s. sanctioned 11 individuals and be entities responsible for supporting these kinds of activities. now my question is this in terms of your oversight, in terms of our ability as a committee to work with you in communicating and monitoring this. i know you can't be very specific on this because it will hurt your leverage with sanctions in the future. but in these sanctions outside the jcpoa, could you just shed a little light on how you work administratively with other agencies of our government. can you just shed some light on the process where you are
determining what to give for sanctions at a certain level, what factors are going to result in your reviewing that and changing those sanctions, maybe escalating them, whether it's continued violations, whether it's continuie ining -- how do arrive at that? how do you function administratively in reviewing those, setting those, so that we have a better sense going noo forward on these very important sanctions that are outside the agreement? >> thank you, sir. i think that's a very important question. i'm happy to try to shed some light on it. as i sit here today we have teams of analysts at the treasury department who are poring over intelligence and other information that we have from a variety of sources. from the intelligence community, the defense department, from all the agencies of the u.s. government they look at the classified and unclassified information that's available and they focus on the different sanctions programs that we have. so i have a team that's working
on terrorism, hezbollah sanctions, isil sanctions, everything in the terrorism realm, whether it is iran related or not iran related, we follow the intel. we also have teams working on our syria sanctions, including any support to syria, as well as anything dealing with yemen. destabilizing activities in the region and also teams that focus on the police tick miballistic program. we gather evidence to see if anything fits within the sanctions program. if we do, we start to develop a case on it. we talk to the rest of the inner agencies so everybody is on board so we know what they're doing. we don't want to, for example, interrupt a sensitive intelligence operation. we don't want to interfere with a law enforcement operation. so we make sure that what we do we communicate very well so that when we roll out, we're able to roll out in the smartest, most effective way. basically we start from scratch developing the intel, building cases, working with a team so that we can roll out successive sanctions against the greatest threats to our national security and foreign policy.
>> in that process, what triggers re-evaluating things? i don't want to undercut the leverage you have, but i mean what are the things that are important when you say, you know, they're not reacting to these sanctions, we're going to have to leverage this up. what kind of things are you looking at? >> i think we continue to look at our experience across all of our sanctions programs. we have a good idea of what's impactful and that's why when we wanted to have an impact on iran and many of these other sanctions programs, for police tick mi ballistic missiles, all of the big names in iran that are associated with the ballistic missile program, we hit those. then we go after anyone outside of iran that we see supporting that program.
we went taf a chi we follow evidence to see what's going to have an impact pmt evidence sometimes suggests different impacts for different programs so we try to get the networks that are most critical to those bad activities. >> it is a dynamic situation. it is not something that's incremental. here we go, going to impose this now, it's continually being evaluated. is that correct? >> those under sanctions know how to try to circumvent them, so we have to continue to evolve. >> thank you. that will help us going forward because this committee is certainly going to be concerned on these other violations going forward and how the u.s. reacts. this will help give us our ability to perform if the oversight function more properly. thank you, i yield back. >> thank you, mr. keating. >> gentlemen, i appreciate you being here. in your opinion, i think we already know the answer to this, hezbollah -- we could assume they are a terrorist organization that carries out work for iran.
agreed? >> yes. >> with iran offering to put gps technology on 100,000 missiles, would we assume that's for peaceful purposes or tryst purposes? >> i'll just say iran's development of its ballistic missile program is something that remains under sanction by the u.s. government and we continue to go after it. >> okay, good. so if they're supporting hezbollah and giving this kind of technology to over 100,000 missiles, we can assume that's probably not for good reasons. right? >> i'm going to continue to follow the evidence. >> the evidence points that it's going there. if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, its p's a duck. this is not a good thing. president obama in the rose garden pledged to remain vigilant and respond to iran's continued sponsorship of terrorism, its supports for proxies who destabilize the
middle east and threats against american friends and eel lies. iran's destabilizing activity has continued in the wake of the nuclear deal. is that not breaching the jcpoa? >> sir, the jcpoa is exclusively focused on iran's nuclear program. >> i want to take you to measure 28 of the jcpoa which clearly states that iran and the e3-eu plus 3 will implement the jcpoa in good faith. if they're doing terrorist activity, is that in good faith? >> terrorism is outside theof t. >> what about the building of ballistic missiles and firing those? >> yes. >> what about the raecbreaches those u.n. resolutions? >> we deal with those problems. >> all right. but also, in good faith, that's a part of the jcpoa, in good
faith and constructive atmosphere based on mutual respect refrain from any action inconsistent with the letter of the spirit and intent of the jcpoa that would undermine its successful implementation. we can argue which side of arming hezbollah with 100,000 g gps-guided missiles or firing medium-range ballistic missiles as they did on november 22nd, i think it was, on november 20th, and then again on october 10th, which was before the agreement went into place. the point i want to bring out here, it is pretty clear the intention of iran is not to play by the jcpoa. they're taunting. for the administration to release sanctions, i've got a letter here that we wrote that has over 100 u.s. representatives that asked the president to hold off on sanctions.
this was sent december 17th of 2015. by over 100 members of this body. republicans and democrats. that asked the president to look into this before we moved further and there was no response from the president. i think this is a travesty to our negotiating and i think it's weakened us. as we negotiate, i would only hope that our government, as we negotiate, is from a position of strength that makes our country stronger. do you feel that this has made our country stronger, this negotiation, and what we've seen, the actions of iran do with the firing of these missiles, the firing of the missiles real close to our navy destroyer, the way they apprehended our military personnel, and then make fun of them on the world scene. i mean do you think that's made our country strong sfer. >> no, that activity was outrageous. i'm disgusted. >> all right. so it's not made our country stronger. do you think the iran nuclear deal has made iran stronger? >> i believe it has constrained
iran's ability to develop a nuclear weapon and has made us safer. >> what about their money? mr. smith, you were talking about the 500 -- half a trillion dollars we're in debt. if a country is a half a trillion dollars in debt and they're screaming for economic release and relief, would you think a country that is in that dire straits and suffering that bad would be funding terrorist activities? >> iran had continued to fund terrorist activities during the course of the sanctions programs. >> so how bad were they suffering? i heard that through the jcpo agreement and i didn't buy it. i didn't buy it then and i don't buy it now. i hope what mr. duncan said does not come to fruition. it will either be a neville chamberlain moment or we can look back and say, you know what? that was a ronald reagan moment. i hope it goes the right way. i yield back. thank you. >> thank you very much.
we now go to grace meng of new york. >> thank you to ambassador mull and mr. smith for all your hard work. since the jcpo. a went into effect iran's hardliners have taken pains to consolidate their economic and political power and sideline political reformers. twos hope that the openings created by the jcpo. a would engender iranian moderati moderation, but instead extremists have reeaped the benefits while tightening their grip and escalating their maligned behavior. does the u.s. have a strategy to combat the retrenchment we see on the part of khomeini, his allies and the irgc? i'll just go through all my questions in the interest of time. how has iran's terrorist activities been affected by the jcpoa? i know that you mentioned that it was outside the scope of the
deal, but what do we know about if their support for terrorism has increased or decreased. does the u.s. have an estimate of the amount of funding that iran provides to groups like hezbollah. how are the funds being transferred. and if we see an iranian bank transfer funds for the benefit of groups like hezbollah, will the u.s. immediately sanction that bank? and if we are to go beyond sanctions, is the administration pursuing any actions beyond sanctions to confront any of iran's problematic behavior in the region? and if so, what are these actions? >> thank you very much, congresswoman. in terms of the impact of the jcpoa and the internal iranian
political situation, you are right, many people have expressed various views and hopes and aspirations of the impact it would have. but the principle reason for the administration to pursue this has really been to diminish iran's ability to build a nuclear weapon. that so far we have succeeded demonstrably by decreasing iran's break-out time to at least a year. it wouldn't be appropriate for me to speculate. we aren't really implementing this deal to have a political impact on iran. it's all about protecting us from a nuclear iran and as i said, in that we are succeeding. in terms of penalizing iran's destabilizing activity in the region, we have a rich set of tools that we can use. as mr. smith has been describing -- i'll let him address in more detail -- we've shown a readiness to do that. we've penalized most recently on january 17th iran's ballistic missile program. in the past few weeks we continue to sanction hezbollah
activities and people linked to hezbollah and we will continue to do that. >> i just would say, congresswoman, i don't have the exact amount that iran uses to fund terrorism. we can go back and see. i think the intelligence community probably has the best number working with the treasury department but that would be more of a classified figure we'd have to provide in a different setting. in terms of it sanctioning iranian banks for bad behavior in support of terrorism, we've done it. we've sanctioned banks that support terrorism in the past. we'll continue to follow the evidence. support for terrorism, ballistic missile support, destabilizing activities. we will develop packages and targets when we see the evidence show. >> finally, but can we tell if the support for terrorist activities and groups has increased or decreased? >> again, congresswoman, i think mr. smith is right that i think we'd be happy to go into more detail in a different setting. but i do note that general
clapper recently testified in the past few days that he has not seen an appreciable change in the support for terrorist by pie ran. iran. >> thank you.iran. >> thank you. >> we've both mentioned iran's horrible neighborhood in the neighborhood, that includes iranian-backed forces that threaten those at camp ajraf. the committee raised this with ambassador mcguirk. i pass these concerns on to you. these individuals niece protection. the u.s. government needs to guarantee that protection. we have seen what has happened of late in terms of the loss of human life there at the camp.
i would convey to you what i conveyed to him yesterday, to the ambassador yesterday, which is this needs to be a priority. we appreciate the time of both of you as witnesses here today before the committee. you've heard the deep concerns that many of our members have about iran policy and how it is being carried out. so i know that you'll want to continue to be in touch with members of this committee as we move forward. and at this time we'll adjourn the hearing. thank you again for your appearance.
tonight on american history tv, oral histories and explorations of black leadership. starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern, phyllis leffler talks to us about tonight's oral histories. at 8:15, radio talk show host armstrong williams is featured. just past 10:00 p.m., former national education association president mari cotrell. all on c-span3. more road to the white house coverage coming up later today from south carolina where donald trump holds a campaign event in walterboro. then at 6:00, also live on c-span, senator marco rubio holds a campaign town hall in chapin. we'll take viewer phone calls after that event and talk to some of the attendees. south carolina holds its presidential primary this coming
saturday. c-span's coverage of the presidential candidates continues this week with campaign events in south carolina and nevada. leading up to the south carolina gop primary and the nevada democratic caucuses on saturday, february 20th. our live coverage of the results starts on saturday at 7:30 p.m. eastern with the candidates speeches and your reaction to the results on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org. tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span, former national security counterterrorism director daniel rosenthal who is in charge of closing the guantanamo bay prison joins a discussion about that facility. the panel also includes two attorneys who represented detainees held there. one of the lawyers talks about why the prison should be closed. >> guantanamo is terribly important to this country, and i'm worried -- i'm worried about the people there, and i want them treated well, and i want them home. but more than that, i'm worried
about what it means for the country. guantanamo was established to avoid the law. the whole purpose of guantanamo, the bush administration considered the law an impediment that it had to avoid and it said if we put foreigners in a place that's technically outside our sovereign territory we can avoid review by the courts and we can deprive them of legal rights. and, unfortunately, although we won the case saying there is a right to habeas corpus and we won another case that said we had a constitutional right, the d.c. circuit still said they don't have the right to due process. if the government can put them over there, they are beyond the reach of the constitution in other ways. and that's a horrible thing for this country. it is a horrible loophole. py find it reprehensible. i not only want the people home, i want the law corrected so the united states can stand by its principles and be proud of them and not try to avoid them. >> the panel also features
rolling stone contributing editor janet wrightman, the last reporter allowed inside the prison. and "miami herald" military affairs reporter carol rosenberg. fordham university law school hosted the event. you can see it tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span. american history tv on c-span3 features programs that tell the american story. this weekend we continue our special series on the 1966 vietnam hearings. 50 years later. we'll hear special consultant to president johnson, general maxwell taylor's opening statement, followed by committee member questions. >> our purpose is equally clear and easily defined. in his baltimore speech of april 7th, 1965, president johnson did so in the following terms -- our objective is the independence of south vietnam and its freedom from attack. we want nothing for ourselves. only that the people of south vietnam be allowed to guide
their own country in their own way. this has been our basic objective since 1954. it has been pursued by three successive administrations and remains our basic objective today. >> next saturday, secretary of state dean rusk gives his testimony defending johnson's vietnam policies. for the complete american history tv weekend schedule, go to c-span.org. earlier this month, members of the british house of commons home affairs committee questioned uk public policy representatives from google, facebook and twitter about their companies' approach to countering terrorism. they talked about content reporting policies, cooperation with law enforcement, and how terrorists use social media as a recruitment tool. can i call the committee to order and ask everyone present
to note the registered members' interest where registered members of this commit are noted. can i welcome our witnesses today as part of our ongoing inquiry into counterterrorism around the counternarrative. obviously, the issue that's been in the public domain the a the moment has been about your tax from your companies. this committee is not concerned about this because you will be giving evidence to our sister committees next week. but just as and opening question, do you have anything to add to the statements that have been made publicly by your company on this issue? >> no. thank you. i'd simply say thank you for having me here to discuss the important counterterrorism work that we are doing and two of my colleagues who are experts will appear before the house committee next week. >> you've just become the largest company in the world, i understand, last night with a turnover bigger than norway,
austria and colombia. congratulations. >> thank you. >> as far as facebook is concerned, there was a report in the "times" today that you all had set aside $2 billion to settle your global tax bill. but it doesn't include the united kingdom. >> well thank you very much for inviting me to the committee. i am aware of that news report, as you are. such speculation in the media, unlike other companies, facebook has not made a statement about this so i am unable to help you further. >> will you be giving evidence to public accounts? >> i will not. like all large companies we have a tax team in regular contact with the tax authorities about our affairs in countries where we operate. there those are complex matters and ones that i've not come here prepared to answer your questions on. >> we haven't been invited to give evidence on public accounts
we comply with all local tax laws. >> good. we've dealt with that. let us now move on to counterterrorism. we had evidence in our inquiry from the head of counterterrorism for the metropolitan police, and indeed david anderson who is the independent assess or for the government on counterterrorism, both express concern that when they have approached your companies and each one of you can answer these questions, even though we direct it to one witness -- you all have been less than helicopterful in respect of handing over information on counterterrorism, in particular mark brody said -- he used these phrases -- that some internet firms would deliberately undermining counterterrorism investigations refusing to hand over potential evidence or threatening to tip off suspects preferring to protect customer privacy. do you think that criticism is
fair? >> i think it's certainly a fair issue to bring up. we have a long history of working together with government and with law enforcement authorities to ensure that they have the information they need to pursue investigations. though our cooperation is obviously governed under both uk and u.s. law, we do our best to make sure that we can provide information in the case of investigations. in google's case we have long published statistics about our interactions with law enforcement authorities. for the uk, there have obviously been an increasing number of requests for information from us. i think it's gone up from 1,200 in the first half of 2013 to about 3,000 in the first half of last -- >> you had 3,000 requests for information from the authorities. >> yes. >> what about facebook? >> it's actually a similar number for each half year. in the last few years, 3,000 to 4,000 in the uk. the uk is one of the highest. but just to be clear, that's about all manner of things.
not just counterterrorism. but the expert team that we have and the company that works on these bases would confirm that there has been an increase in the number of requests we've had on counterterrorism. >> in the first half of 2015 we received 299 account information requests. one thing that reflects is that twitter is a public platform. can you look at a twitter account without even having a twitter account yourself. there is a huge amount of information available without having to ask us directly. >> you understand our concern when the head of counterterrorism says that you all are undermining efforts. he didn't name the companies but he talked generally of internet companies. he went on to talk about people being tipped off. in fact, david anderson in his report published in june of 2015 said this -- some service providers will tip off a customer that they are under surveillance unless persuaded not to do so. typically by a court order. how -- have you all tipped off
customers that they're under surveillance? >> let me be clear. this is an issue where the media hasn't helped get us informed on the policy. >> that's why you're here so you don't have to rely on twitter or the media. can you actually tell us. have you tipped off customers that they are under surveillance? >> so the first question is are they under surveillance. we're not part of that discussion. where a specific request for user data is made to our company, under many jurisdictions around the world, there are legal frameworks that exist to provide notice to that user. one of the things that we are very clear about and reading the transcript of when david anderson spoke to this committee, he actually said he wasn't aware of any circumstances where the situation had occurred. >> we've seen his since and reminded him of what he said, that actually he did say this in his report. what you're saying is you do tip people off, but you have to do so, because if the uk authorities ask you for certain
information, there are other jurisdictions in the world where you have to tell the customer. is that what you're saying? >> that would be clear. in the u.s. and other jurisdictions, there is a legal framework that provides for certainty. our policy is very clear. we seek to provide user -- i'll quote directly from our policy "exceptions to prior notice may include exigent or counterproductive circumstances." so we work with law enforcement on a case by case basis to make sure that we do not disrupt those investigations you are discussing. >> you've not been clear. you've been slightly more complicated. >> well, because -- >> we just want the simple answer. if a uk authority like to the head of counterterrorism says we would like this information, are you duty-bound by either your policy or the law of another country to actually tell that user that this information has been requested? it is a yes or a no.
>> well, so no. by our policy we allow ourselves to not notify a user where it is counterproductive. so we do not -- >> its a pe a double negative. >> we would like to tell users b but we do not have to. >> you do not tell users this information is being requested. you never tell users -- >> no, we do tell users. >> you've just contradicted yourself. >> no. it is contact-specific. if for example police request information from a journalist or member of parliament, we would seek to give notice because in that case it is reasonable to do so. in a counterterrorism investigation that wouldn't be. >> just very -- we've got plenty of time so don't worry. slightly slower. if it's an mp or a journalist that the authorities requested information about, you would tell those people. >> again, it is dependent on the investigation. if it was counterterrorism -- >> you just said that you woo te tell them. >> again, it is content specific. there are certain roles where it may be more reasonable to give user notice than others.
>> we understand the word reasonable because we are lawmakers and therefore we have to deal with these words all the time. i'm just asking you for facts. do you tell people other than journalists and mps that the authorities have asked for information? >> yes. >> thank you. mr. miller, are you in the same position that you, in effect, tip off people an tell them when information is requested? >> no, we don't do it in the uk. >> do you do it in america? >> yes. sometimes. but not in every case. we have -- it does depend somewhat on rules in the particular jurisdiction and indeed it is a matter before the investigative committee who -- >> sure. >> in the uk we don't do it and even if we could, we would never do it in respect to counterterrorism cases. >> so if mr. brody or someone else like him says we want this information, it is a terrorism information, you would never inform the user. >> that's correct.
>> you'd just hand over the information. if it came within a criteria -- >> if it met our criteria. we review every case as a case by case. >> thank you. yes from pickles. yes from twitter. a definite no from facebook in the uk but in america it is different. we accept that and we understand that. what is the situation with google? >> we're in the same situation as facebook where it is jurisdiction dependent. obviously we follow the law and the jurisdictions where we operate but where it is not prohibited where disclosing is appropriate in the context of an investigation, we will. >> now in respect to taking down items that are on the internet, we've had also received a lot of evidence over the last few months and indeed in our previous report that person to person radicalization has been replaced by radicalization including on the net. therefore, internet companies obviously important in that context. we've also had evidence that in
289 days, groups like anonymous and ghost security have taken down or reported 2,555 weapon sites and reported 19,568 twitter pages and reported 40,000 suspected terrorist materials in total on the internet. do you have figures, doctor, as to the number of websites that you all have taken down that you're deemed to be websites that propagate terrorism? >> so we don't break out our removals by the specific criteria on which we remove them. i think it's probably worth stepping back and putting into context where we have -- we obviously operate youtube which is a video platform for sharing information and we also operate a search engine. in the case of youtube where we are posting the materials and we set community guidelines that set the rules of the road of
what's acceptable, we've had a zero tolerance approach to terrorism for years. we first put up a flagging option for terrorist content in 2008 and we have adapted our policy over time to take into account new ways that people are using the platform to make sure that that zero tolerance policy is actually put into effect well. >> how many have you taken down in total? >> so on the youtube site, we've received about 100,000 flags a day. but that's across all types. >> a day. >> a day. >> in the uk. >> no. no. globally. and then -- 2014 is the last year for which we have numbers but we've removed 14 million videos from youtube in 2014. again, that across all types of of abuse. >> are you able to be more specific in the future? would you be able to look at the number of websites and the number of items that have a terrorism content? >> yes -- >> are you able to?
>> we're not payable to do it right now. we're certainly open and actively thinking about ways that we can be more trance patient about what we remove and what rules it violates. it is worth noting that one of the reasons it is difficult is because if somebody is offended by something on youtube, they go into our flagging procedure. and lots of those flags overlap. they could flag for terrorist content but the same video they might flag for hate speech or inciting violence. those are all slightly different. so at present we're not able to count that way but it is something that we are keen to think about how we can do a better job. >> your boss was pretty critical a few days ago about what was the content on the net. she said that she felt that it had become a place where hate wassic disseminated? >> absolutely. >> what prompted cheryl sandberg
to say that? how many pages have been taken down in the last year relating to counterterrorism? >> the first part of your question, what prompted cheryl sandberg to say that, then i'll take the second part around data. what prompted it was the announcement of an initiative called the online civil courage initiative announced a couple of weeks ago in berlin. a joint initiative with two uk-based organizations, the institute for strategic dialogue and the institute for countering violent extremism -- sorry, institute for the study of research into countering violent extre extremism, with the icsr, based at king's college. this initiative will provide support for ngos that are trying to use the internet for counterspeech and counternarrative. some research into what works. and then training around best practice. so what cheryl said was -- >> why did cheryl sandberg
suddenly say that after all these years? >> it absolutely wasn't sudden, chairman. this was something that as a company we've taken very seriously for a number of years. but of course, as events in the world have unfolded in recent years and this has become probably the number one public policy issue that i talk about with governments across the many countries that i cover, as well as the uk, this has just risen up the policy agenda. i'm sure you would agree yourselves. it's risen up our agenda as well. what we want to do is to ensure that we are learning from organizations that work on the ground, from the best academic researchers, and we're providing the best support. >> are you able a publish the outcomes of the initiative? >> absolutely. this is a three-year long initiative and there will be more to follow. i can take the second part of your question? we don't provide the same level of detail as yet as google do around take-downs.
we provide similar information around requests we get from governments. but at the moment we don't provide public data on the number of pieces of content or accounts that we take down. >> finally from you, mr. pickles on this, the turkish government has just fined twitter $50,000 for refusing to remove what it considers terrorist propaganda. i have just been looking at the pages for jihadists and the tweets that they have sent out today. one of them says i asked about the path to paradise. it was said that there is no path shorter than jihad. this is pretty hot stuff. what are you all doing about those who are using twitter in order to propagate terrorism this way? it is quite obvious. you don't need a b.a. in counterterrorism to understand that they are recruiting using twitter. >> firstly in terms of statistics, we have taken down tens of thousands of accounts.
we, like google, are thinking about how we can be more -- >> is that last year or is that in the life of twitter? >> those figures would be -- in the cumulative period in the last 12 months. >> are they broken down between counterterrorism and other areas or are they global as they are in the case of other companies? >> so that specific figure of tens of thousands of accounts is specifically relating to violent extremist accounts. >> tens of thousands. >> yes. >> you've taken down tens of thousands of twitter pages. >> yes. we're currently looking how we can be more transparent because we clearly understand there is interest in this area. we're currently having discussions to see what we can do to provide extra data. if we are happy to do so i'm happy to write to the committee subsequent. >> would you be able to publish this information on a much more regular basis? it doesn't need a select committee of the house to get this information, does it? >> no. in six months we publish transparency reports.
we're asking can we have this kind of data to our take-down reports that we already push blis -- pub accomplishe published. >> you all now accept this is the way -- >> is the question is the internet the number one way that people are being groomed, i'm aggrade i don't know enough about how people are being groomed offline. >> i'm not sure i do agree. i think you would be better off talking to people like the institute for strategic dialogue, like the properly nam named experts. we are not the experts. we're the experts in how we can keep this kind of content off face but. but what happens outside of facebook, we can't see. >> as a quick supplement? >> thank you, chairman. i want to follow up on one point around -- you said that you
removed 14 million videos, which is an extraordinary figure, and that shows that google's current policy, if i understand correctly, which is a team of it reviewers working round-the-clock to look at the videos manually is certainly working to an extent. but are you confident that this is actually succeeding in removing the dangerous material quickly enough in terms of preventing people from being radicalized in a short window possibly, but short window could be time enough? >> so it's certainly something that we think about and we review how we do removals on a regular basis. 400 hours in video are uploaded to youtube every mrnt. the vast majority of that is people using the product in the way it is intended. not to abuse anyone, not to radicalize. so since youtube was founded, as it has grown, we've had to think about what is the best way to do this. and continuing to this day, the best way is we have a billion people on the platform every
month and we found that the best way to get the stuff down quickly and to get it down reliably remains to have people flagging it and then removing it quickly which happens -- does happen quickly. it happens in a number of hours. >> thank you. >> mr. miller, you said that you -- the initiatives that are taking place at the moment to deal with terrorism are -- is recently coming to the public domain. many of us would argue it has been a long time and many of your organizations are just coming forward accepting some responsibility that people are being radicalized on your platforms or you have an issue with managing your company brands because they seem to be hijacked by terrorist organizations while grooming vulnerable people on known platforms. what would you say to that? >> i think it's not -- i think this is not something that we've only just started thinking about. as i mentioned, we've had a zero
tolerance policy on youtube towards terrorist content since 2008 when we implemented the flag. we hosted our first summit on violent extremism in 2011. we've been working with ctiru at the home office since 2012. we hosted a counterspeech event with the home office, and then with you, fairly soon after that. so this is a multi-year -- >> with the committee. >> sorry. with the committee. in 2013, i believe. this is something we've been thinking about for many years and obviously there is more work to be done. >> if you have zero tolerance in u tube, how can videos appear to enable to groom younger people or export terrorism? how is your zero tolerance working? is there we have 400 hours of video uploaded every minute. therefore we rely on the community to flag videos that violate our zero tolerance policy. for people who violate that policy after multiple violations
or one serious violation we will terminate the account and we prevent those groups -- the person who created that account from creating a new account. >> who decides what is a serious violation? >> so our community guidelines are fairly clear on different types of infractions that happen. there are different ways that people will abuse a service like youtube. but to be clear, we strictly prohibit calls for or glorification of violence. we specifically ban videos at training camps or direct recruitment. we specifically ban incitement of hatred against people based on their gender or race or nationality. those are all serious violations of our policies. >> mr. miller? >> i can understand why something like the announcement that was made a couple of weeks ago that i talked about can look as if the company's just discovered this. that's not the case. it's all about -- >> i said that the company was worried about its reputation or accepting some responsibility? >> we absolutely accept that we have a responsibility to act in partnership with civil society,
with governments -- >> no. accept responsibility that their platforms are being used to generate extremism. >> we accept responsibility we have to be acting on this, absolutely. we are not responsible for the behavior of people who abuse our platforms but we are responsible for ensuring we have the right policies in place and very well trained people who can act on reports quickly and take action as required. but most important, we have a responsibility to help those organizations like the active change foundation, like connect justice who want to use our platform. so as well as the occi initiative, there are a number of other policies we have in this country and elsewhere where we help organizations who want to present the alternative. not particularly islamic but it could be another religion or another belief who want to use our platform for good. so that's something we've seriously for a long time. in fact i appeared before this committee three years ago to talk about this issue. we've learned a lot since then
and we are improving to do what we do and will invest more in it. >> to the policy points, our policy pz clearly prohibit encouraging can terrorism, promoting terrorism. so one of the questions we have to ask as companies is sometimes what's on our platform is a reflection of society. sometimes that's very uncomfortable. because what you see is a ve transparent view on what people are thinking. our responsibility, another area the committee might want to look into, the role of companies is about making sure people can use our platforms to challenge ideas. because we can remove all the content, but even if we remove the content the idea remains. a lot of this is about ideology and about ideas. if we don't challenge the ideas, then the issues will not remain. >> but you're not generating conversations to challenge those ideas. i find it difficult to understand that google, twitter, facebook take no responsibility whatsoever for people using their platforms to radicalize other people.
if you had a shop and somebody walked in and started shout something abuse at another customer or trying to recruit someone to be involved in a terrorist act, i hope that you as an individual would try and remove them from the shop, not expect someone else to come in to do that. but you are on your platforms. you are expecting other people to monitor or remove -- do you not take any responsibility? >> actually if you use that example, that's exactly what we do. we remove them from the shop, we prevent them having a voice in our community. and also one -- if i can just talk to you a little bit about what we've seen working with experts that can be the most effective voice. one question always put is why doesn't facebook step in and say, hey, that's not right. actually the work that we've done looking at what kind counter speech works, it is quite frankly not government or elected politicians whose voice matters in these debates. it is people more like those young people who might be radicalized.
it is people who use humor. it is people who use very eye catching content who are going to be more effective and drowning out those negative voices on our community. >> thank you. before i bring in the other witnesses, can you tell me how many people are in your hit squads? the places where this content is monitored and then reported or taken down. mr. pickles? >> more than 100. it covers a lot of different teams so a specific number is difficult. more than 100. >> for how many accounts worldwide do you have? remind us? >> 320 million using twitter and we have a variety of tools and one of the issues we have is stopping people coming back on to the platform so that resembles other -- >> 100 to monitor 320 million? >> it's more than 100. >> facebook has how many in the hit squad? >> we have a community operations team. we don't have a public number of it but it does number in the thousands of employees who are part of the operation team.
the vast majority of whole do not focus on counterterrorism. we have an expert team that focuses specifically on the issue of terrorism -- >> and how many are on that? >> i'm afraid not. it's not a public number that we provide but i'd be very happy for you to come and meet some of them. you can come to our dublin office where some of them work and meet that team and understand a bit more about their expertise and how they work. >> right. thanks for the invitation. we'll let you know. dr. house? >> much like facebook i'm not in a position to share a number. we don't have a public number of the size of our removals team but it is a significant number -- >> do you have such a squad? >> we do. >> and is it also based in dublin? >> we have some people based in double lynn but we have people staffing it 24 hours a day 7 days a week. >> you didn't tell me the amount of accounts wordwide. >> the latest number is 1.95 billion. we are handing millions of
reports every day. most of them are not about the issue that this committee is looking in to. >> questions first of all to all three of you. you presumably all believe in corporate social responsibility. yeah? >> yes. >> yes. and indeed google, your slogan until october of last year was don't be evil, is that right? >> it still is actually. >> ah, right. okay. and you must accept sitting here as you do representing three of the most -- the largest companies on the internet, you accept that sadly the internet plays a vital role in extremism and terrorism? from the perspective of extremists and terrorists. >> certainly a serious problem i would say. >> i'm not sure i would use the word vital, that implies this wouldn't exist if the internet didn't exist. it's impossible for us to know because the internet is so pervasive but the problem of terrorism is clearly not something that started with the internet. >> no. all right, let's try a little close together then. you'd accept that when we look
at terrorism historically now that the internet is here, it is easier for extremists and terrorists to speak to each other than it was 20, 30 years ago. >> of course. it's easier for everyone to communicate. it's the whole purpose of our services. >> of course, this is also the case for pedophilia, the internet plays a role in that. >> and our company's been at the absolute forefront of helping to combat the spread of such material and to bring people to justice. >> and serious organized crime because criminals use the internet just as everybody else does. >> yes. >> so, why did none of your companies choose to attend the joint committee that is scrutinizing the draft investigatory powers bill in the house of lords at the moment? >> well, i think firstly, one thing to say there was a joint statement made which was a comprehensive statement of issues with the bill.
secondly, i understand the committee wanted us to attend together and the committee was working on a very accelerated time scpale aale. there wasn't a refusal it was the fact trying to get companies from people across the world at the same time with a few weeks' notice it was difficult to get everybody in the room and i think our submission actually will evidence the fact of how seriously and how comprehensively we have looked at these bills and indeed how the seriousness with which we take this bill was the fact that five global tech companies that the three of ourselves and microsoft and yahoo! came together to make a unified statement about our concerns with the bill. demonstrates just how seriously we are taking it. >> may i deal with the time factor because i should declare i'm on the committee. this meeting today was organized at very short notice, wasn't it? last week. perhaps two weeks ago? >> yes. >> yes. and we've managed to get all three of you in the room. the committee, the joint committee, made significant efforts to fit in with your
companies' timetables so that we could hear your evidence. and yet you still declined. why are you -- why were you afraid to come before the joint committee to be asked about your views on what is one of the most important pieces of legislation this parliament will deal with? >> firstly, i think there's been a discussion with the committee for the diary dates. i know i made several comments about when i was free over a prolonged period of time. i think secondly, our joint submission is very, very clear. we're not afraid of engaging on this issue. our joint statement and i gave evidence to the previous joint committee on the communications data bill. i mean, a previous role. and i think the substance of the submission you saw from industry on this bill more than surpasses the kind of discussion that happened last time, so i don't accept the premise of the question. i think we've taken it very seriously. >> i have nothing to add to the logistics points that mr. pickles has made, but i would say that i reject any suggestion
that this implies that our companies don't care about the issue, don't care about the investigatory powers bill and the important powers they will convey on the authorities and the issues that we particularly addressed in our submission, nor does it mean that we don't take our responsibilities seriously with respect to the issues before this committee. >> dr. house? >> the logistical challenge is outside my direct area of expertise. but i would simply repeat that we are committed to working with the british government in making sure the -- >> thank you. >> i should add we heard evidence from a judge in new zealand, 5:00 our time, five a.m. his time, so we did do skype and that was available to any of your employees internationally, so we'll leave it there. mr. pickles, i want to deal with your phrase about when twitter chooses to tip off people that law enforcement have made inquiries about with you. and i think -- i picked up the phrase that you said it may be
more reasonable -- you tell users where it may be reasonable to tell them that they are the subject of law enforcement. have i heard you correctly? >> context specific, yes. >> what is the interpretation of reasonableness according to twitter? >> well, it would be the same type of reasonableness that a u.s. court would use or indeed any court. it's a useful opportunity for me to clarify and i apologize to the committee if i wasn't clear. in the case of an ongoing counterterrorism investigation that would be a circumstance we would not seek to provide user notification. that's a request for the data -- >> you said you did tip them off. you are now saying you didn't. >> i am not aware of specific cases but in the case of a hypothetical case of a counterterrorist request for user date ta that is a case tha would fall within the exception which is counterproductive circumstance. >> does pedophilia fall within that definition? >> i think that's another example we would not provide user notice because of an
ongoing investigation. >> does serious organized crime fit within that definition? >> that's a circumstance where we would not provide user notice. >> who makes the decision about reasonableness for twitter? >> we have a legal team working on these issues and it's worth pointing out in terms of the number of requests in a year we see hundreds for a plat form of 320 million people globally, more than 15 million in the uk, in the first half of 2015, we had 299 requests. so, i think to put this into context, there's a huge amount of information available publicly on twitter that doesn't need to come to us and we also work with the police. tomorrow morning i'm joining the conference call to help the police understand the policies in this area. >> i just want to get to the bottom this because as you'll understand one of the balancing acts that the joint committee's having to grapple with is the balance of civil liberties against national security and keeping our -- our country safe
from terrorism and also serious organized crime. i just want to get a sense of who decides in your legal team that a request is unreasonable. a request made by law enforcement, that's unreasonable. what right of appeal does the -- do police officers have against that? >> mr. pickles? >> this is why we have -- as i said tomorrow morning we're having a conversation with uk law enforcement to discuss thee issues and it's one of the reasons why in the submission in the u.s., for example, and other jurisdictions there's a time% for police once they requested data to investigate. at the end of that time period the police can either allow user notification to happen or go before a judge and ask for an extension. and one of the questions that we've asked of the investigatory powers bill such a framework that would make a situation clear for everybody where a judge makes a decision. >> anything to add? you don't have to add. just nod if you don't have -- dr. house? no? >> i don't have anything to add.
is there something else you want to ask me specifically? >> i find it interesting that a tech company should be telling parliament how best to police law enforcement and security service inquiries. i suspect that may be one of the reasons why your company decided it was best not to come before the committee. >> i apologize that's the impreg i gave. i did not mean to. >> final question. >> the investigatory powers bill focuses on the double lock that is the mechanism by which the secretary of state, the home secretary, the secretary of state for northern ireland, whomever, judges a warrant necessary and proportionate and that is approved by a judicial commissioner. my question to you, why twitter thinks that your legal team superse sup supercedes this definition of reasonableness? >> i think if you look at the submission our companies have made on this particular point one of the questions we have is what happens when a request that has gone through that process may be either technically not
possible or actually may be a request for information which would not be in compliance with u.s. law. there is a conflict of law question in this area of policy which is why all our companies have encouraged the british government and the united states government to work closely on building a legal framework. because actually we don't want to have to make those decisions. we would like a court to make those decisions -- >> you are not answering my question. i asked you what gives your legal team in twitter the right to override the secretary of state and the judicial commissioner. >> as i said, we are not overriding anybody. what we're doing is respecting that there are different legal frameworks at play and we would like -- >> i'm not interested in the legal frameworks elsewhere, i'm talking about a warrant issued in the united kingdom to stop a terrorist attack. what gives twitter the right to override the home secretaries and judicial commissioner? >> in the case of an emergency threat to life we would provide information and have consistently done so as none of the witnesses have raised otherwise but this is one of the very reasons why an
international legal framework is so important. >> i think you made that clear. thank you. we just have to move on. we had a supplementary on the original set of questions, i think. >> i first of all wanted to follow-up on a question that you asked, chair. >> yes. >> and mr. pickles provided an answer but the others didn't, which was in relation to the number of people working in the teams removing content. now, mr. pickles has provided us with a rough figure against a user group of 320 million i think you said. what i don't understand is why dr. house and mr. milner won't provide those details to the committee. you didn't just say -- both of you, you didn't just say that you can't. you said that your companies won't provide those figures publicly. >> mr. milner? >> why? >> i'm happy to take that away and write to the committee in
regard to it. i will check again with my colleagues. we've been asked this question before and i was asked it three years ago and it's not information we make public but i will ask again. >> dr. house? >> we're in a similar situation. >> and you will write to us. >> we will. >> my two points. one was for twitter and the other was for all of you. i just want to check one thing that hack reported and was reported in april of last year, mr. pickles, and this was in the "daily mail" which is why i want to check whether or not it's factually correct. is it true that more than 10,000 accounts linked to daesh militants and their supporters were suspended in a 24-hour period in a fresh crackdown on those tweeting violent threats? is that correct? >> to date we have definitely suspended more than tens of thousands of accounts. as the specific time period, i'm not sure, but cumulatively we've
certainly suspended more than that figure of accounts. >> would you be able to write to the committee and let us know whether it is an accurate report or not and if it is, explain why, if it is the case, that this was done in a 24-hour period, 10,000 or more were done in that 24-hour period. and they weren't suspended beforehand. do you think you could write and explain to us why? >> absolutely, yes. >> my question is, the questions that the chair and others have posed to you have been based around when you receive a request for information from a law enforcement agency. i want to ask you a question about the threshold that applies in each of your companies before you proactively notify law enforcement of there being terrorist material that has been identified by your company or by users. what is the threshold beyond which you decide in each of your companies that you must
proactively notify the law enforcement agency? >> dr. house? >> threat to life. >> mr. milner? >> exactly the same for us. >> mr. pickles? >> we don't proactively notify and actually one of the things because twitter is public that content's available so often it's been seen already. and then law enforcement have established criteria to come to us and request information. >> so, just so i've got that right, twitter has no proactive approach to notifying law enforcement of potential terrorist material on twitter? >> actually one of the things that's very important to flag here this was discussed in congress recently, there was discussions about putting this into a legal requirement and the fbi director was asked would he support such a proposal and he did not support that proposal. one of the reasons is, as i say, if we're taking down tens of thousands of accounts that's a huge amount of information and we're not in a position to judge credibility of those threats so actually you may end up in a
situation where you swamp law enforcement with unwanted information so i think that's why the fbi said what he said. >> thank you. notwithstanding whatever the fbi felt was appropriate for the united states, with regard to the united kingdom, do you think it is right that you are the ones who should determine the threshold that should apply in those circumstances? or do you believe that actually the better approach would be for there to be a legal framework that others perhaps judiciously, judicially, can apply to determine when you should proactively provide information of potential terrorist activity on your platforms? >> a legal framework is always preferable. the one problem we have in this area is different countries around the world we all operate internationally and have a defend differentnition sometimes of what is a terrorist and so the legal framework is preferable but it's important to bear in mind the international
question. >> yes, thank you. you have said that before. >> two separate issues. i'll come to the question of the powers of home secretary ones which was raised by my colleague ms. atkins, but first of all, do you accept the dissatisfaction generally not only in parliament -- certainly in parliament -- but amongst the public over the way in which those who wish to engage in terror use social media and continue to do so? it's a yes or no. i mean, do you accept this, this feeling of dissatisfaction? >> speaking for google, absolutely. we would prefer if no one abused our platform for -- to abuse individuals or to promote terrorism. >> so, one assumes you do? >> i think there is enormous public decries about extremism and terrorism and radicalization and people are rightly to be concerned about wherever it
appears including online. >> if you take, for example, one of the two murderers of the soldier which took place, lee rigby, he put his aims on facebook, saying what he intended to do. i understand that facebook had not been aware of what occurred. however, the intelligence and security committee here then discovered that facebook had previously shut down this person's account. obviously very rightly so. but failed to relay such concerns for the security service. would that be right, mr. milner? >> the committee did not name any company. i'm unable to talk about individual cases as i hope you'd
understand. but i can reassure you that when our company comes across information which there is an immediate threat to life, we provide that to the authorities. and any request associated with terrorists or would-be terrorists we take extremely seriously. we have an expert team that deal with those cases. >> the person was sentenced yesterday. the female who had gone with a young child to syria, then returned. during the course of the proceedings in court and also the judge's summing up, when the person had been found guilty by the jury, it appeared that she had used social media to advertise her intentions. i mean, the whole point -- i mean, the reason you're all here to a large extent is what i started at the beginning of my
questioning, the concern for what could possibly happen in any way with ordinary print material happens on social media because of the very nature of the companies in which you are senior executives. >> i would draw a very strong distinction between, say, the pages of "the daily mail" online or "times" online and facebook. facebook is a community of almost 1.6 billion people. billions of things being posted every single day, most of that extremely befinnign and uplifti. like the uk, there are some bad people and people who want to use our service with ill intent and including the most serious crime of terrorism. >> to say the least. to say the least. >> to say the least, absolutely. and we absolutely want to root them out and stop them from doing this. and believe me we are committing more resources to it month by
month and learning as we go. we'd prefer it wasn't the case much as we'd prefer there weren't people trying to radicalize people in communities across the uk. we'd love to press a button to get rid of them and you can't. it's not as easy as that. it takes a lot of effort and a lot of resources and intelligence and we are applying our best endeavors to that and we are very serious about it. >> mr. pickles, do you want to answer the question? >> i think one of the points just to follow-on is, yes, social media brings out things that are discomfort and it highlights issues in society. there was research in northern ireland which was funded by the community relations council who said the challenge is there but there's also an opportunity and the opportunity for using social media to engage across cultural boundaries, across social boundaries where they didn't exist previously is how people will meet people from different faiths and the person who
formally ran the social media for the westboro baptist church actually talked very movingly and she's coming into our office in few weeks engaging with someone in social media is how she rehumanized this person she was told to hate and that led to her leaving the westboro baptist church so i think this is an opportunity to challenge ideas. >> thank you. >> while there is unanimous opinion in parliament to say the least, every effort should be made to avoid social media being used by those who want to carry out terrorism atrocities like we saw in paris and indeed in london. there's not the same unanimous view about what the home secretary's intending to seek, and therefore with ms. atkins' view it should be told that parliament has reached a decision on this at the moment. do you recognize, however, a
much divided opinion amongst the public and certainly parliament over what the home secretary's intending to ask parliament to approve? >> dr. house? >> absolutely we acknowledge that and that it is not a settled decision in the uk. i think one of the important contextual things to note is that the uk government is taking a leading role in modernizing surveillance laws for the 21st century. like most other countries, the surveillance laws here haven't been updated since most people had access to the internet as they're walking around, so it's right that the modernization of those laws be looked at. >> mr. milner? >> dr. house put it very well. i couldn't say it better. i have the responsibility for facebook in a number of countries including the middle east and israel and turkey and i hope the uk gets it right because i think if it does, it could set an important benchmark for many other countries i
operate in. i'm always asked about what is happening in the uk and people are looking for it. it's not just about the safety of 60 million people in the uk it could have ramifications right across the world frankly. >> sure. mr. pickles? >> i think that's absolutely right. the international precedent this bill will set is worth bearing in mind when considering it. we've been grateful as an industry with dialogue with the home office about the substance of it and we look forward to hearing the committee's work to take forward this important step. >> mr. winnick? >> there are cynical people in this world. the chair in the beginning said we're not involved in matters concern with sitting around here, some of us are very, very concerned about your tax position when we're in the chamber itself, but we're not doing -- we're not involved with it this afternoon in the home affairs committee. >> indeed. >> however, as i've said there are cynical people and i've seen the report in the newspaper which says in effect that
because of the controversy over tax affairs and the fact you're very much on the defensive and some would say so are ministers, it's going to be said that you will come to some sweetheart deal over what the home secretary is intending, what many of us would describe as a snooper's bill in order to minimize the embarrassment your three companies are facing over tax. indeed the chair of this committee, if i may be so bold as to quote you, said that you would be very wise to work very closely with the government on the powers she wants. now, he was speaking, as he have every right to speak, as a member of parliament, on behalf of his committee. we haven't reached a decision. what do you say about that cynical view because of the embarrassment that you are suffering as companies over tax matters you'll make some sort of deal with the government despite what you said just a moment ago? >> very quickly, do you regard the home secretary as your
sweetheart, dr. house? >> certainly not. i would simply say each of these policy matters is serious and worth serious consideration and i at least in my mind and in the mind of the team i work with at google, there is a bleedover. we need to have all of these conversations. >> thank you. mr. milner? >> i think one is a matter of policy and that's legislation which is not yet set and one is a matter about the application of legislation completely different teams deal with it in our company and there is no discussion between them about the matters that you described. >> i think if you read our submission to the joint committee it's very clear that we have ambitions the bill could be made better. >> the sweetheart deals aren't the issue. >> i think we have the answer. just on the issue of instant messaging apps is one of the concerns you had together with yahoo! and microsoft that the legislation that is currently written could ban the use of these instant messaging services because of their end-to-end encryption? is that one of the concerns that has been raised?
>> there's an issue around clarity as to what the provisions of the draft bill entail in respect to the issue of encryption. but i wouldn't suggest that we're concerned that certain services will therefore be banned. but as with all matters of legislation, you know this much better than we do, having certainty about what this actually means is extremely important. >> thank you. >> thank the gentleman. dr. house, i wonder if i could first ask you one question before broadening out to your colleagues. we've heard a lot in the press about the so-called islamic state's effective use of social media, yet jared cohen of google has deemed them, quote, not a tech savvy organization. how much of their success, if we can put it like that, do you attribute to their use of social media? >> i'm afraid the success or otherwise of islamic state outside the use of our platforms is beyond my level of expertise.
i would say that we are extremely effective at removing both videos and accounts that are created by foreign terrorist groups. and that we are -- we are extremely effective at removing reuploads of those videos after they've been removed. >> they take those videos, youtube being a form of social media, do you believe that some of the success that these terrorists have had is based on their use of your platform and how much would you say that your platform has been used to leave a new supporters into this islamic state? >> it's a constant cat-and-mouse game as with any form of abuse of our services but it's one we are well equipped to meet. >> and so are you working with the government or any community or youth-based organizations to provide an online alternative narrative? >> absolutely. and that's something that we haven't really talked about yet today. i think we've mentioned several times that there's a zero tolerance policy.
we should get the bad stuff down but it's also extremely important that people are able to find good information that when people are feeling isolated, they go online and they find a community of hope, not a community of harm and so we have worked as i mentioned before with the home office, with this committee and that has actually been a model for our work on counternarratives around the world. >> so, do you have any examples of some of the work you've done? >> i think one of the primary examples would be abdullah-x which was a video series we launched together with the european union in 2013 which was a formally radicalized man appears in cartoon form and uses humor and the type of language that people at risk of being radicalized connect with to draw them away from ideologies of terror. >> how many people did that reach? >> i don't have the number to hand but i can write to you and provide it. it is worth saying and i've said it a couple times before this isn't done. we are constantly looking at new ways to make sure this is more
effective. we're running two pilot programs, one is to make sure that these types of videos are more discoverable on youtube. the other one is to make sure that when people put potentially damaging search terms into our search engine they also find this counternarrative. >> thank you. mr. milner? >> we work with a number of organizations i mentioned imams online earlier and in my ohm city of bradford recently, we took part in a training forum and i also want to emphasize this is not just about radic radicalization of young muslims. we also are concerned about extremist speech which is directed at muslims so we've done some work with the major uk hot line for islamphobic hate crime to make sure they make the best use of our platform to make sure that people know exist. a lot of focus on radicalization and the young muslim community and absolutely we're looking to see what we can do there. but as our occi initiative is
right across the spectrum and we want to have partnerships across. >> mr. pickles? >> no, i think just to follow on from that i was at belfast with the center of democracy and peace building and i think one of the challenges is that not just to focus on one type of extremism but look at broader social issues and what we did there was actually try to help community organizations actually police services in northern ireland to themselves come up with the most pressing issues and i think the important thing is while our companies can help with expertise, we're not the messengers and the people who are the most credible messengers are the community groups. >> what more do you think we could all together be doing to create a more credible, positive message working with communities, using the tools at the disposal and indeed working with businesses who manage these platforms to actually provide alternatives to young people and make sure that their perhaps
misguided views are addressed with as swiftly as possible? anyone? >> mr. pickles? >> well, i think looking -- the institute of strategic dialogue raised the question can we use women who have returned from syria as messengers to talk about what happened there. that's a good suggestion. i think there's different messengers for different communities. our hope is that we can have more of them in every environment and that's why i work with the adaptive change foundation right across to belfast to scotland. it's a force approach. >> i would say one of the things government needs to recognize and perhaps you when you are interrogating ministers, why aren't they doing more, but actually in terms of the voice of government, the voice of government doesn't work. it just doesn't work when it comes to counterspeech. kind of -- using research about what does work, so talk with isd, talk with peter newman and
his team and then -- and then -- use that and i'm sure you always want to be evidence based in your question but use that to interrogate things like the prevent strategy rather than assuming that more money equals more effective. >> dr. house? >> i don't have anything to add to what my colleagues have said. >> i'm sorry? >> i don't have anything to add beyond what my colleagues have said. >> mr. milner, mr. pickles, dr. house said that he'd provide us with further information on the number of people reached and therefore helped, we hope, by the resources that google has deployed. i'd be grateful if you'd do the same with some of the examples you've talked about. >> we can follow-up and write to you. >> before i come to your fellow citizen, on the issue of diversity in your organization, one of the key features of trying to deal with the daesh narrative is to have arabic speakers and those in the community. what kind of numbers do you have, mr. pickles, in terms of in your group of 100, how many
would be either arab speakers or those who actually know and understand the community? because obviously you and i may not do so. >> no. to reiterate, it's more than 100. it's not an absolute figure. and there's expertise from across the company. we absolutely have local language specialists looking at this. >> how many would be arabic speakers? >> i don't have the number at hand. i can investigate. across the company we have a whole range of language ports operating in multiple time zones so they can address -- >> mr. milner? >> you are very welcome to come and meet them, some are based in our dublin office. we don't publish a number how many there are but this is an area of strong investment. >> dr. house? >> we've said publicly that we're actively recruiting arabic speakers to increase the effectiveness of this team and this is the same as when we see other new presents and we hire experts to understand the types of harm but also understand what
types of solutions are appropriate. >> thank you. >> quickly, you talked about removing videos. you can remove them and make sure they don't come back up. are you tracing them back to the ip addresses or is it just the accounts? >> i'd rather that go into the technical specificities so people cannot figure out how to outwit our systems but abuse of our systems is something we've been familiar with since our inception as a company and getting people who are trying to commit, for example, basic financial fraud and preventing them from creating new accounts or being able to engage with our systems again. so, it's similar lessons to the other technical challenges abuse of our systems. >> while i appreciate you have systems, do actually any of you be specific in talking about terrorism? so, for example, on twitter, i have lots of twitter trolling or accounts and the amount of time it took me to get even one account removed was absolutely
appalling. and so it took me days if not weeks to have them removed because the process that you have to go through is just -- you jumping through hoops and having to go back to screens. it's not just an essential order that you can just report something. so, have you improved that in the last year in particularly twitter, and how long on average would it take you to remove an account? >> mr. pickles? >> no, absolutely. this is an area where we are always trying to strike a balance between making things simple for users and not increasing the number of reports in our systems so it slows down our response. we've absolutely invested in how we can make that quicker. i'm sorry to hear of that experience. we don't have an average takedown because what we say we try and focus on the most pressing cases so we'll focus on violent threats before we'll focus on offensive content. we try to get through everything as fast as we can. >> going back to terrorism, do you have something specific about this is terrorist
material? so you prioritize it because to me that would be high on my agenda in terms of priority where how do you prioritize it? >> for law enforcement, for example, and ngos we have a specific form to report that content through. for users we don't. this is, again, one of the areas we keep under review and making sure we're striking a balance but one of the challenges we all have is whenever we provide users with controls, often they are used for people to try and get content taken down they disagree with and that's a challenge because it increases the number of reports that are inaccurate. >> moms net for jihadists. >> these kind of accounts, the user accounts, you can't remove them? >> absolutely, if they break our -- we will remove them and we'll aim to remove them as quickly as possible. >> have you looked at that organization? >> not one i'm familiar with but i will do following this appearance. >> okay. but it's that kind of information you expect the public to give you rather than your 100 people beavering away
in dublin or wherever they are? >> the benefits of being a public platform is that users. >> the point being made which has been echoed by other people is it takes too long for twitter to act. she's not saying you won't act, it just takes too long for them to act. what are you doing about speeding that process up? >> actually, the reason why the figure 100 became in the public domain because we tripled the size of the team working on things. we've invested in the people and we continue to do so, we continue to invest in technology to help us find things and to follow dr. house one of our challenges was how do you stop people from re-creating accounts once you suspend them and we started asking people with their phone number to stop people with the same phone number to keep coming back. but it's an area we'll continue to invest in. >> very quickly, yes. >> just in terms of what you are talking about, you are talking
about working with different organizations. what i feel is coming across here is very much like a denial of responsibility and passing it back which i really, really struggle with. and aside from working with people, what are you doing as initiatives that you, as social media, you know, your corporate social responsibility that my colleague earlier touched on, what are you doing to try to invest in this area? i'm not comfortable with what i've heard today. >> i'm sorry you feel like that and i'd be very happy to follow-up with you afterwards. i think there's some things we can help with in your constituency. but just to be clear we take this issue incredibly seriously what's happening on our platform. so, we're investing and making sure the reporting is effective and we're trying to make sure we have the right relationships and in the home office and we can flag cases. but in terms of -- because we recognize from the research that others have done that people don't typically just get radicalized online, it's a
combination of in person and online contact that actually working with community-based organizations, like imams online, who can understand the context of what's happening with young people in their communities so they -- so they can address the online bit or the facebook bit of what's happening. >> indeed. >> is something we can help you with. >> thank you. i think before you came in the companies set out their strategy, but we will write to them again. i think ms. shaw has raised some very important points and perhaps you can write to us again specifically on the appointments she has raised, i think that would be very helpful. we're running out of time. stuart o'donnell. >> what is the trusted flagger program that applies to youtube? >> absolutely. one of the challenges we have despite having a billion users they might not understand how to flag effectively and the example that always comes to my mind is that our most flagged video ever is a justin bieber video simply because people dislike it and so we are confronted with how do
we -- how do we increase the number of high quality flags that we have and so we work with both government agencies, including the ctir at the home office and euro-pol to give them additional tools for flagging. the general public has a one-third accuracy rate for flagging these trusted flaggers tend to have around a 90% accuracy rate so it's much easier for us to prioritize their flags and to act quickly on them. >> is it a way in which you could add some members of the public to that? for example, if there are members of the public who have made four or five flags and well founded and they're now given -- >> we have the ability to do that. >> one of the things i picked up peeking to the young folk last week was a frustration that they make flags and nothing happens. is it