tv National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers on FISA Section 702... CSPAN October 19, 2017 4:51pm-5:48pm EDT
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>> i felt that i should accept their offers to be behind the scenes. every time they offered it because anytime you stee president of the united states behind the scenes, you learn something about the president. and you see something. and, it is important, i can be there for you. you can't be there. everything i see is important. >> american history tv, all weekend, every weekend, only on c-span 3. next, remarks from fbi director, christopher ray on the pending renewal of section 702 of the foreign intelligence surveillance act, which allows surveillance on foreign citizens under specific circumstances. he spoke at the heritage foundation for about an hour.
>> my distinct pleasure to introduce to the audience both here in this room and obviously to the world out there, i think i can say new director still and get away with that. chris ray of the fbi. director ray comes from new york city, graduated from yale university in '89, makes me feel old. earned his law degree from yale law school in '92. the then clerk for judge, michael of the u.s. court of appeal for the fourth district in 1993 began working in private practice in atlanta. he began the department of justice career in 1997 as an assistant attorney where he prosecuted a series of cases on publ public corruption gun trafficking and fraud. he joined the office of the
deputy attorney general where he served as the deputy attorney general then the associate with oversight responsibilities spanning for the department. it is a very rich curriculum that makes him very, very appropriate for the job he holds now at fbi. so, without further ado, why don't i let you make your remarks, then we will do questions and answers. welcome. >> thank you. appreciate it. >> thanks for putting on this program so we can have a better and more informed discussion about fisa section 702, where is needed. i'm very happy to be here and fired up to be back in public service at the fbi. as david says, i think i qualify as new. i still feel new. and i have spent the first two
months trying to get up to speed on a lot of things, including section 702 and the reauthorization effort. i have also seen the enormous strides that the bureau has made in transforming our work in the new reality -- i still think of it as new, post 9/11. following the 9/11 attacks, the bureau and its partners in the intelligence community and elsewhere systematically worked to tear down walls that had prohibited or dangerously inhibited critical sharing of intelligence across our programs. i know that because i was there. i was there in the days before 9/11. i was in fbi headquarters on the days of the attack themselves. and i was there for the four years afterwards. and the fact that we have not suffered another 9/11 scale attack is not just luck. it is the product of an enormous amount of very, very hard work and diligence by thousands of
professionals. most importantly, it's a product of teamwork and information sharing and dot connecting by those professionals in the post 9/11, post wall world. with dot-connecting made possible, especially by tools like section 702. unfortunately, some of the potential amendments that we have heard about as part of this reauthorization discussion strike me eerily similar to essentially rebuilding walls like we had before 9/11. it's like watching well-intentioned people start positioning bricks back in the walls again. perhaps growing complacent from the fact that we haven't had another attack. so what i would like to try to do in my brief remarks today and then obviously would like to have a discussion, is to talk
first about the current threat landscape, which has evolved and changed since 9/11. second, the value of section 702 in helping us to stay ahead of those threats. and third, some clarification about what the 702 program is and what 702 program is not. and last, i want to talk about some of the potential real-world practical impact of some of the proposed changes in the 702 program. so let me start with the current threat landscape. when i left public service in 2005, we were still very much focused on the 9/11-style attacks, the kind of terrorist threat posed by al qaeda and groups like that. that threat remains. but since coming back, i have learned very quickly how much the threats have changed and diversified. we now face a serious and constantly evolving threat landscape where travel and technology have blurred the
lines between foreign and domestic threats. we still have enemies who are plotting the kind of elaborate, mass casualty attacks that we suffered on 9/11. attacks that might take months or years to plot and plan. but, that's not all. new technologies now allow isis and others to recruit, radicalize and direct people worldwide much more easily and more remotely than ever before, including right here in the u.s. home-grown violent extremists or lone actors who self-radicalize at home with little warning are also continuing to be a major concern. we worry that terrorists and others will be using, as we have seen in europe, crude but agile methods of attack, from vehicles to drones, attacks that can be planned much more leanly and with fewer participants and executed in a matter of days or even hours instead of weeks or months.
overall what that means is we now have a greater volume of arguably more compact threats and much less time to detect and disrupt any one of those potential attacks. a much shorter flash to bang, as the professionals would describe it. so that's a very thumbnail description of the threat landscape. that volume of threats, combined with fewer dots within each one of those threats to connect, and much shorter and tighter time windows in which to detect them and connect them puts a huge, huge and obvious premium on agility. it's one of the things that i have also learned since coming back, the tremendous value of the 702 program for just that purpose, that is, that agility. as most of you know, after the 9/11 attacks our government worked very hard to figure out why we had failed before 9/11 to
connect the dots. that's a phrase that should be familiar to everyone in the audience. as the 9/11 commission found, a major problem was our inability to take seemingly disparate pieces of information held by different parts of our government or even sometimes within the same agency and to integrate those different pieces into a coherent picture. since then, through a lot of hard work and a lot of motivation by a lot of professionals we have succeeded in changing that dynamic. the value of section 702 is that it gives us the lawful ability to connect those dots between foreign threats and homeland targets. using information that is already within fbi holdings. i want to make sure people understand that. when you hear about the fbi conducting queries, what they're doing is doing database checks against databases of information
the fbi already has, has already lawfully obtained. so query, database check, lawfully obtained information we already have. that's what we're talking about. that information, in our databases, gives us the agility we need to stay ahead of those threats. there has been some discussion about limiting the fbi's ability to access that database, accessing its 702 collection, which would, i am telling you now, would create a serious risk to the american public. every day the bureau, across the country and indeed across the world, receives tips and leads from lots and lots of different sources, from the public, from other agencies, from state and local law enforcement, from our international partners. the tips and the leads are flooding in hourly. that's the good news. the american people rightly expect that we're going to take
every one of those tips and leads seriously and figure out whether that nugget, that fragment of information represents something innocuous or whether that's the key flag of the next attack. to do that, to separate the cheat from the chaff, to figure out which ones are innocuous and which are the indications of something really serious at that early stage, with that short time window i was describing, we've got to be able to connect the dots from the different pieces we are getting and figure out whether that nugget fits in with something else we have elsewhere that causes that a-ha moment that's so important. and the queries of the fbi databases, including the 702 database, is the first step in connecting those dots. those queries help us better understand the information, again, that we have already lawfully collected from a variety of sources. through section 702 and a lot of other means, by allowing us to
cross-reference the information. that's what helps us prioritize and work the threats. rather than just randomly working one-off cases. and the only way we can do that is by being able to search our data when we get a tip or a lead. so, for that reason, at that early and critical stage, section 702 is one of the most important tools that we have. let me be clear. obstacles to conducting those database queries will put the american public at greater risk. obstacles to allowing us to conducting the queries will put the american public at greater risk. they're going to do that because it will either delay us when time is of the essence in conducting those queries or, worse, in a lot of instances, prevent us from being able to look at all. that's going to blind us to information that is already lawfully in our possession. so let me talk a little bit
about what 702 is and what it is not. there is a lot of misconceptions out there, and i am hoping that our discussion afterwards will help us go into a little bit more detail about some of these. let me briefly make a few basic points. first, what section 702 is. section 702 is a law that has been passed not once but twice by congress with strong bipartisan support. first in 2008 and then reauthorized in 2012. section 702 is constitutional, lawful, consistent with the fourth amendment. every court to consider the 702 program, including the ninth circuit has found that. and a lot of those court holdings, as well as the privacy and civil liberties oversight board have specifically concluded that those queries i was just describing, the fbi's
queries, that practice itself, is consistent, both with fisa and with the constitution. so what that means is all this debate about potentially tinkering with 702, it's not the constitution that's requiring that. that's not driven by the constitution. the courts have uniformly held that both the program and the way it's being executed are constitutional. so a straight reauthorization of 702 would be fully consistent with the constitution, including the fourth amendment. so bipartisan support, fully constitutional. what else is 702? section 702 is, as i have described, an essential foreign intelligence collection program for the entire intelligence community, including the fbi. but it's -- it is a target authority. by that i mean that the collection is only focused on specific selectors, like a
particular e-mail address. and then one last point about what section 702 is. it is subject to rigorous oversight. oversight by not just one, not just two, but all three branches of government. i will tell you, from a practical perspective, that oversight is demanding. it can be pain staking. it is certainly resource intensive. but we want to make sure that the program is working the way it should be. so we take that oversight seriously, and we respect that and embrace that. but that brings me to what section 702 is not. it is not bulk collection of anybody, not even foreign persons. we in the u.s. government can't cast a broad net to collect information indiscriminately. and section 702 does not provide for that. it does not permit targeting surveillance on u.s. persons
anywhere in the world. whether they're here or abroad. and it doesn't even allow targeting of just any foreigner abroad, even with foreigners there will have to be a reasonable expectation that the target will receive or communicate specific types of foreign intelligence information. now, the nsa -- and you have heard from admiral rogers already as the lead agency for the targeting part. one thing you might find reassuring is that the fbi only receives collection for a very small percentage of what the nsa does. so it's about 4.3% of the targets that are under nsa collection. but that 4.3% is unbelievably valuable and important to our mission. let me be clear here. when we run our queries that i have been describing we are running those against just a fraction of nsa collection, and the nsa collection itself is not bulk collection.
and we can get nsa collection only for targets that are relevant to ongoing, full national security investigations. let me close by making clear that this is not an abstract or theoretical debate that we are having about this tool. this has real-world consequences. just to give one example. a tip under 702 from the nsa that was crucial in helping the fbi stop an attack on the new york city subway system. in 2009. just sort of stop and process what a successful attack on the new york subway system would look like, feel like, sound like. 702 helped us prevent that. take a different kind of example. 702 helped us reveal the terrorist propaganda of an isis member, a guy named sean parson
and identified additional members of his network. he was using social media to radicalize and recruit actors for isis. part of his network was encouraging followers online to carry out attacks in western europe and right here in the homeland, in the u.s. he was even posting the names and addresses of american service members. i just want to quote from his postings in case anybody misunderstands the seriousness of this. i am quoting from him. kill them in their own lands. behead them in their own homes. stab them to death as they walk their streets thinking they are safe. these are real-world consequences. those are american service men and service women he is talking about there. section 702 helped us break that network, identify the people he was in contact with. so, given these kinds of potential consequences i am, as you might imagine, very
concerned about some of the kinds of proposals being discussed in this reauthorization debate. any material change to the fbi's use of section 702 would severely inhibit our ability to keep the american people safe. i think back to the time that i was in government before on 9/11, right before 9/11, right after 9/11. i think about how hard dedicated men and women throughout the intelligence community worked to try to tear down the walls that are connected us to prevent those attacks. as i said at the beginning, listening to this debate right now, watching some of the potential ideas that are being floated, strikes me as eerily similar to people, well intentioned, starting to put bricks back into a wall.
normally, the idea of imposing more restrictions on our ability at the fbi to do our jobs would be based on some kind of constitutional challenge. that's not the case here. as i said at the beginning, every court to consider this program has upheld its constitutionality. it's not because of the constitution. well, why else might somebody want to impose restrictions? well, maybe in the past there have been times when government has abused its power. restrictions. but there has been no evidence of any kind of abuse of power under section 702, despite all the oversight i mentioned before with three branches of government and quite a few years of experience now. so, the proposed changes to section 702 that you are hearing about are not based on a need to somehow make this statute constitutional, either as written or as applied.
as i have noted, it already is. these are policy changes. policy changes based on personal views that people have, again, well intentioned views, and i respect that, on privacy. but as you can tell, my views are different. i think our responsibility, our role, my duty, the duty that people at the fbi and in the intelligence community, is that we owe it to the american people to use the full extent of our authorities that are consistent with the fourth amendment and that we be shouldn't be creating gaps and limitations in those authorities simply for policy reasons. one of the experiences i had in my prior time in government was meeting with the family members of the victims of 9/11. and i am not going to look the families of future victims in the eye and tell them that there were things -- there was more that we could have done that was fully constitutional, fully within our legal authorities but that we simply chose not to.
i think americans rightly expect us to use all of the available information that we have and all of the tools that we have that are consistent with the constitution to combat the threats that we face as a country. the fbi has made enormous strides since 9/11 to make sure that it's doing just that. so i urge -- i implore congress to reauthorize section 702 in its current form so that we can keep using one of the most valuable tools that we have in our tool box to keep america safe. thank you for having me here today. [ applause ] >> thank you for being here. thank you for your opening remarks. ten weeks on the job. you have referred to the changes from the period of the first half of the decade. what's the biggest change that you have seen at the bureau? just in a general sense from having been in government, out
of government, and now back in ten weeks in your current position? >> well, i think two of the biggest changes that are particularly relevant to this discussion, but they also happen to be two of the biggest things i have noticed, even independently, are in the roles of intelligence, the integration of intelligence and partnerships. so what i mean by that is, the fbi, in the '90s and before and into the beginning of the 2000s was still primarily viewed as a law enforcement agency. the fbi now, in 2017, the integration it has of intelligence into everything it does. its role as a full-blown, respected member of the intelligence community, is like night and day to what it was during that period. i think that's in no small part due to the elimination of the wall between law enforcement and intelligence because it allows folks to understand how the
intelligence is being used, what intelligence would be most useful. it's that merging of the two concepts that has made the fbi, i think, so much more effective as an intelligence agency and not just as a law enforcement agency. second, i said partnerships. i have noticed that, while partnerships were always important to the fbi, the degree of collaboration and teamwork between the fbi and the cia and the nsa but also state and local law enforcement, our foreign partners, especially the five is as they call them, has been a dramatic improvement since during the early 2000s. and i think that's, again, a reflection of the fact that, a, the threats that we face are so cross-border but also the fact that we're able to communicate, compare notes and exchange information and connect those dots. and so, i think the two things that i have noticed the most is
progress, ironically -- i would have said that even if we weren't having a discussion. it ties well into 702 and its importance. >> you mentioned foreign partners. how does the bureau manage the sharing of information derived from 702 with foreign partners and, at the same time, protect, for example, the sources associated with where that's derived from to enhance, again, not only our protection but the protection of our friends and allies? so more on the partnership side since you raised that as one of the big changes, but as it applies to 702. >> certainly we exchange information related to section 702, although a lot of it comes from some of our other intelligence community partners and their interaction with our foreign partners. but even the sean parson case i mentioned, for example, you know, a key part of that was being able to exchange information with foreign
partners so that there were subjects of interest in that investigation, foreign subjects of interest as well, who were being picked up in other countries and intercepted through that collaboration. >> and in the question of reauthorization, i think one of the issues that's going to loom large is this whole notion of 702 collection used for investigations of criminals outside of the national security realm. how do you respond to that in terms of both the oversight and the functional role that you have of ensuring that 702 is applied appropriately and in accordance to the law that admiral rogers so eloquently laid out in terms of the checks and balances to it. this is more on the criminal investigatory side than the intelligence collection for national security.
>> well, i think there has been a little bit of myth development in that space. when we talk about sort of the criminal side, i think it's important to distinguish between the tip and lead scenario that i am describing, which is where section 702 is so important. and the prosecution end of it, where the information of any sort is being used. section 702 has not been used for any traditional criminal case as evidence, you know, in a trial or anything like that, ever, except in about ten terrorism prosecutions. so the notion that there are criminal agents using section 702 to make sort of garden-variety criminal cases, that's just myth. it is not happening. >> why has that myth evolved in the public square that somehow a law enforcement agency that also
has an intelligence function, as does the bureau and, as you appropriately say, with the post 9/11 environment, having that intelligence function, how did that myth come about and how do we sort of beat it back from the public square? >> well, i think -- i am reluctant to try to guess as to how people who are just confused get confused. my goal is to try to get them straight. at the access -- i said there were two phases. at the tip and lead phase it's important to think about how information comes in. you know, person "x," you know a private security guard or a police officer, sees somebody at 3:00 in the morning, taking all kinds of pictures of the key bridge, from all kinds of weird angles. that person who is taking those pictures hasn't committed a crime. the guard who sees it doesn't
know what the person is up to. it just seems weird to him. we want that guard, we want that person, to call in and say, i saw this as odd, thought it could be nothing, it could be something. well, we're getting tips like that by the thousands. how do we know that that one is something that really matters? when the agent gets that tip, he runs a query in our databases. it's not just the section 702 collection. it's all 120 databases that the fbi has all in one place. one piece of which is the 702 collection. >> 4.2 -- >> 4.3% of what we get is in that pool. so the agent runs a query. he is just trying to figure out what do i have here. if he gets a hit that finds out that the person -- let's say the guard gave a license plate. you run the license plate and you trace it to a person.
so now you're running that person's name through the database. if you find out that that person has been communicating with a known isis recruiter, which is the kind of information that we have in our 4.3% of the 702 database. okay, now you have got somebody who is filming the key bridge who is in regular contact with a known isis recruiter. still may not mean that it's an attack, but now we know, whoa, don't let that go slip to the someday pile. we need to deal with that now and take a harder look at it and figure out how real is this. take another example. somebody at a, you know, some kind of supply store, hardware store, sees somebody buying some odd accumulation of some product that could be used in an explosive device or could be used for something else. he thinks the person seems kind of squirrely so he calls in a tip. we don't know what we have. we don't know whether the person is an american or foreigner. we don't know whether the person
is buying fertilizer or some gigantic lawn he has or whether he's going to build it into a device. even if he is going to build it into a device, we don't know if it's because he is mad at his employer or his ex or is in coordination with some kind of cell. at that initial access phase, the sifting of all these leads, that's when we need to be able to connect the dots. and that's where 702 is so important. we need the person to know what's the significance of the tip i have. what other dots does this fit with. and as i said before, unlike in the sort of more traditional al qaeda scenario, we have fewer dots to connect. so these are fewer -- these are in many cases we are talking about home-grown violent extremists or isis recruits who are in contact with fewer people, so there are fewer dots
that way, over a shorter period of time, so there are fewer dots that way, over simpler attacks but still very, very deadly to innocent people, so fewer dots that way. so each dot becomes that much more important to be able to connect. and the idea of just blinding the agent by putting some restriction on his ability to see information that, again, and i can't underscore this enough, that we already constitutionally have sitting in our own databases, the irony of it is tragic to me. >> mm-hmm. how often, if you could characterize in an unclassified setting, does the fbi come across criminal -- traditional criminal activity as a result of those searches. and then walk us through the process of what you do with that. if you identify -- go back to the individual taking photos of the key bridge. and it turns out it's not a terrorist attack but he is planning to spray paint it, maybe, or do something that mars
the property, and it's a crime but maybe not a terrorist act. what do you do with that information in terms of that 4.3% holdings as it applies to 702 where a crime is identified? i am not sure if my question is clear. >> right. i think there is some blur in there. so there is the information over here that the agent is seeing realtime in the u.s. that's the tip or the lead. and then there is the information in the database. and it's the connecting that's important. let me talk about what's in the database first and what isn't. what's in the database, that 4.3% is not evidence of garden-variety criminal conduct. the only stuff that's in that is information about foreigners, reasonably believed to be overseas, for foreign intelligence purposes. so that's foreign intelligence information that's in there. it's not evidence of -- i don't know -- pick an example, you know, child porn or, you know, something else.
could be very serious, but that's not what's in there. so, the agent over here, if he is a national security investigator, is connecting national -- something that he thinks of as national security information with foreign intelligence information. the criminal agent who is not doing anything related to national security, he is not looking to try to find some national security hook for his case. he is just trying to make sure -- let's say he has a cigarette smuggling case. one of the things we know is that terrorist groups have used things like cigarette smuggling to finance their activities. there are cases the department of justice have brought over the years on that very thing. cigarette smuggling is a crime. it could be handled one way. if it turns out cigarette smuggling that's designed to support hezbollah, that's different and needs to be viewed differently. we won't know that if we build a wall between the agent and the information sitting right over
here in the fbi database. >> there has been discussion about adding an additional dimension in legislation about warrant and probable cause of going further. can you describe for the audience what are we talking about in terms of warrantless and warrants when it applies to u.s. persons. so now we are in the u.s. persons end of the spectrum as it applies to 702. >> well, a number of things. first let me start with whenever i hear the word "warrant," i think fourth amendment. so, remember, i'm going to say this over and over and over again. every court to look at section 702 and the way it's been used, including the fbi's queries, has found it fully consistent with the fourth amendment. and that makes sense. if you think about it. because what the agent is querying is not some new search. he is querying information the fbi has already lawfully obtained.
the second thing, i guess i would say, to me, when i hear warrant, probable cause, especially if you're talking about a warrant to be able to look at information that's already in our own data bases that we lawfully and continue constitutionally obtained, that's those bricks in a wall. when people now sit back and say 3,000 people died on 9/11. how could the u.s. government let this happen. one of the answers is well, they had this wall. people say, how could there be this wall? folks, right now that's what we're watching. this is what building a wall feels like. well intentioned people when there is no constitutional justification for it and no abuse to be remedied, think, well, what if we just put this one more restriction here, one more hoop there, one more restriction here, one more hoop there. that's what building a wall feels like. building a wall between the agents and what's in the fbi's own data bases. think about some of the
hypotheticals and real-world examples i gave today. the guy who sees the person taking pictures of the key bridge. he doesn't have -- he is not going to be able to get a warrant based on that to search what's in the database. think about the person at the store with what could be a precursor. they're not going to get a warrant. think about an example, you know, one of the -- maybe near and dear to a lot of our hearts. high school student calls in. says my ex boyfriend has been making all kinds of ominous comments about his admiration for various mass casualty attacks. and let's say he lists everything from, you know, the awful shootings in connecticut all the way to, like, the orlando nightclub bombing. all she knows is that he is saying how much he admires those people, and he has got -- let's say he has got a twitter handle that says like i am the angel of death or something.
horrible, scary, worrisome, not probable cause. no warrant. so that agent who gets that tip, he is out of luck. he can't look if he doesn't have that -- if there is going to be a warrant requirement he can't run that search. now, maybe he could investigate. maybe he could get lucky. maybe, maybe. maybe over a period of time he would hit pay dirt. i don't think we should be relying on maybes. and especially when there is nothing in the constitution that would require it and there is no abuse by anybody in law enforcement intelligence community under this program that would justify it. it's just choice. just personal, self-imposed choice. when i say "self-imposed choice" another version of that is self-inflicted wound. like i said, i have enormous respect for the people who have raised some of these possibilities like a warrant requirement. i know they mean well, i just don't think they understand the consequences of what they are asking for.
tips when they come in, some people will say, oh, well, you could do it -- maybe you would have an exception for national security, but not if it's a pure criminal matter. think about some of the examples we have talked about. when tips come in, they don't come in with a nice bow on the top that says "national security," "criminal." they're not labeled that way. it's not all the round pegs go in the round holes and the square pegs go in the square holes. the pegs are coming in oblong. we have to figure out whether they're round or square, and that's what 702 enables us to do. so any restriction on our ability to access the information that's already constitutionally collected in our databases, i just think is a -- a really tragic and needless restriction. and i just -- i -- i beg the country not to go there again. i think we will regret it, i just am hoping that it doesn't take another attack for people to realize that.
>> and certainly in the kind of uncertain world that we live in, that's a distinct possibility of what our adversaries would wish to do to us. how is the decision on the 4.3 of the 702 data decided? why isn't it not 10% or why isn't it 2%? what, if you can elaborate on why is that so precise in terms of what's held, that moves to the bureau and not retained by nsa, let's say? >> well, the nsa still has it, right. so the way to think of that is the nsa has done all of this collection, and again, i want to stress, the nsa's collection is not bulk collection on anybody. >> exactly. >> not even foreigners. so they've got their collection. we -- we're nominating certain e-mail addresses to be included as part of their -- what they collect. because we only ask for that
information when it is related to what is our highest level of predication for a -- for a foreign intelligence or national security investigation, that just has a -- i think, a narrowing effect on what it is we would be asking for. so it's not that there is some magic percentage that we're seeking. it's just, i think, our own focus is what leads to it being a very small percentage because we ask sparingly, surgically and with emphasis on the proper focus. but -- you might say, well, gee, 4.3%, chris, that doesn't sound like much, so why is it so important. well, an easy way to answer that is, think about how much havoc 19 people caused on 9/11. think about how much havoc one person caused in las vegas. so you don't need very many people for it to be incredibly valuable.
and i can assure you that 4.3% is very valuable to all of the victims that could have been -- >> right. >> -- from that collection. >> thank you for elaborating on that. a question from the audience is, can you describe how the fbi uses 702 to fight cyber crime, which, of course, is a growing threat in its own right, as you look across the spectrum of cybersecurity. >> well, i mean, cyber, of course, now spans across everything from what a lot of people think of as traditional hacking all the way to cyber, you know, ransomware and various other kinds of activity and it's used from oerved everybody to nation-states, non-state actors, cyber terrorism. much like in the terrorism context, we are sending, as
taskings, certain specific e-mail addresses that we think may be tied to cyber activity that is related to a national security investigation, and then that may lead to, again, just like in the terrorism arena, we are getting tips, by the thousands, and we need to be able to figure out which ones need to be prioritized. it's a similar concept to what i was describing in the terrorism context. >> i think your explanation about information sharing. admiral rogers talked about the russian cyber issue and the report from late last year that the community issued and how important 702 in its generic form, obviously could not give us details on that. but that information sharing that crosses the boundaries of foreign and domestic, i am sure, is of tremendous value, isn't it, in terms of seeing what nsa is focused on, well, you are addressing that as well. >> absolutely. that's true in a lot of different ways. just to pick an easy one to describe. lots of people are quite rightly focused on efforts by
nation-states to meddle with our election systems. well, nation-states are doing the same thing with other countries' election systems. the fbi doesn't investigate interference with, you know, the german election system. but if there is information that we're obtaining about what's happening there, that tells us a lot about trade craft, methodology and so forth. i was on the phone just before i came over here with one of my foreign counterparts in europe. so that sort of comparing of notes is absolutely essential across all the different topics we talked about, whether it's counter-terrorism, counter espionage, cyber, frankly even outside the national security context, we are an inter-connected world in a way that i think is more and more true every day. >> another question from the audience. can you tell us about the minimization process and how 702 information on americans
minimizes and what does it look wlik like for the fbi in terms of getting access to it? >> minimization is jargon, it's term of art. minimization procedures are procedures that the fbi -- in this case we're talking about with the fbi. >> right. >> that we have approved by the court that allow us to -- require us to restrict how we use information about u.s. persons in the take that we get of the intelligence information. and there is a whole -- i can't describe all of them here because it's about 40 pages, but i think the main takeaway for the audience is that these are protections for u.s. persons, approved by a court. if you think about all of this discussion that we had a minute ago about a warrant requirement, should there be a warrant requirement, well, what is a
warrant requirement? a warrant requirement is a protection for a u.s. person approved by a court. the minimization procedure. we have those. they're 40 pages. they're very detailed and affect things like how long -- if a u.s. person is incidentally collected, it affects, you know, whether that information is redacted. you know, masked in the information. it affects whether or not -- how long the information is retained. it affects whether or not you asked earlier about could it be used in a criminal case. it affects whether or not it can be used in the case. all those protections are being fronted and reviewed by another branch of government, a court, a judge, a federal judge, with life tenure, doesn't answer to me, doesn't answer to anybody in the executive branch. reviewing that with the independence you get from judicial review. that's why the minimization procedures are important.
we put a lot of effort into crafting those, making sure that they're going to pass muster with the court and then adhering to them. >> and then the training that goes with it for -- >> right. extensive training. >> -- that goes with that. >> absolutely. >> i have a question that starts with, i am interested in the process. nsa discovers intelligence via section 702 and then fbi is made aware of this. there is a national security investigation. what happens, then, when nsa has made that discovery and then turns to the fbi? is that a phone call? is the data immediately passed? how does the process work by way of that information sharing? what's the interaction? how close are the communications between the two agencies before and during an ongoing investigation? 702 related. >> well, i mean, i think the -- probably the short answer is all of the above.
in terms of interaction between the fbi and the nsa. it depends on the particular circumstances. there could be phone calls, there could be e-mails. there could be other kinds of communication between the two agencies, if i understand the question correctly. i think that's -- >> would the bureau, in this case, and now i am adding to the audience question, place additional requirements on nsa for additional collection if it now moves into an investigation stage? in terms of additional data, in terms of looking for 702? in other words, there might be new selectors because the investigation is clearly, hopefully, identifying additional dots as you have described them. so does then the bureau go -- reach back to nsa and say, here are some additional leads that we have, can you collect on that? >> well, yes and no. i mean, no in the sense that,
remember that the bureau is only nominating selectors that, by that -- which sounds like a legalistic term, but essentially making requests of the nsa in the context of national security -- very specific kinds of national security situations. so, i don't want anybody to get confused into thinking that the fbi, in an effort to build a criminal -- some kind of non-national security case, is enlisting the help of the nsa to build that case. that does not happen. >> that's a very important point. >> that does not happen. what does happen is people in the fbi identify maybe a new e-mail address. they started to pick up on somebody who is linked up to isis in some way and they thought it was these three e-mail addresses and how they get a fourth or fifth e-mail address related to it. they might supply that information and say can you have that in your collection, can you collect on that e-mail address as well.
>> is there anything that you see in your tenure so far that 702 does not provide that you wish it did? this is thinking more proactively. the last question i asked admiral rogers was, it took from 1978 to get to 2008, then 2012, as we have seen technology change. obviously t copper wire of 1978 is largely gone by the wayside unless we double pay for our hand set as well as our l.a.n. line. how do you sort of see the future by way of where this is going, which may be another way of asking the question of what you wish it had or we need to be ready to see that it should have in terms of this legal authorization that we are not thinking about, perhaps, the way
the world is going. >> well, i think my very high level answer to that question is, we need to be trying to anticipate in a way that i'm still new, as you said at the beginning, enough to be able to evaluate the ways in which technology is changing in terms of how people communicate. i mean, if you think about the ways people communicate now and how different they are from the ways people communicated ten years ago, it's not hard to at least imagine and understand that it's going to be different again ten years from now. the collection aspect of 702 is really admiral rogers' thing. i'm enormously appreciative and admiring of his work. if he's already got a lead on that, i would defer to his expertise on that one. we are doing our best to be more effective in using 702.
my main focus right now is saying, folks, for god's sake, please, let's not take a step backwards, which is what some of the amendments could do. >> director wray, thank you for this conversation and your opening remarks. we can only hope for the sake of the nation we don't go backwards, having lived with the world of the 9/11 commission and the terrorism prevention act of 2004 and how vital and critical it was to move and hopefully stay ahead of where adversaries go rather than backwards. we are in a much better police today by way of the two communities coming close together with proper oversight, with concern to privacy and civil liberty that is they have acknowledged in a report three years ago. with that, thank you very, very much for coming today and
helping inform the public on this vital issue that has just a few weeks away from really coming to a head and hopefully renewed as is. >> thank you. thank you to you and heritage for hosting this event because it's an incredible important topic that you can tell from the discussions you have had today. doesn't lend itself well to soundbytes and one sentence descriptions. there's a lot of confusion out there. having a thoughtful, adult discussion is what the country needs. thank you for hosting it. >> thank you. thank you. [ applause ]
this afternoon, former president barack obama attends a campaign rally for lieu ten nantd governor ralph northam. it starts live at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. tonight, remarks from house speaker, paul ryan at the annual al smith dinner in new york. that supports catholic charity group that is assist needy children in new york. see the speaker's comments live at 8:40 p.m. eastern also on c-span. you can watch online at c-span.org or listen on the free c-span radio app 6789. this weekend on american history tv on c-span 3, a look at union and confederate generals from the