tv BBC Newsnight WHUT October 6, 2013 8:00am-8:30am EDT
single message and then read it. so, with so much of our lives online leaving a digital trail has the state, without anyone knowing, become big brother? a home in paradise. >> that is what edward snowden believed. he is now in hiding in russia. a hero to some, a villain to others. on how see him depends surprised and outraged you are by what he has revealed. thanks to edward snowden, the guardian has got hold of a massive trove of top-secret documents from the nsa, as well .s 58 thousand from britain so far it has published just a few excerpts. in the last week i have been --en erect access to a small direct access to a small election original documents.
capabilities they reveal and the secrets they contain make clear the very real issues in balancing the public interest with national security. worked inside the secret safe though say this power is vital for national security and is used only for national security. >> will what the state needs, law enforcement needs is the possibility of accessing the communations of the terrorist 's, the criminals, the kidnappers, the proliferators, the pedophiles. those communications are all mixed up with everyone else's communications. around the e-mails globe. you have powerful capability to find a small amount you are looking for. it does not mean you state is reading everyone's e-mail, would thatt -- nor
conceivably be feasible. >> people might fear they could be reading my e-mails? >> i would put the proposition the other way round. would you really support a world in which it was not possible for the police and intelligence agencies to find communications of the terrorist and the proliferators and the criminals nd the kidnappers? the state?we trust technology allows it to do things they could never have done before, collecting and sifting through billions of orords to find a connection reconstructing a person's social interactions. innovative ande complex. although there is a system of oversight and accountability -- or instance every search has to be justified under the human rights act -- critics feel this is not strong enough. >> they could conceivably check
every in sector of the sort that snowden exposed. it should be impossible. the mechanism is not there. that ismething justified by national security has expanded into invading all of our privacy? >> or the ability to do so. there are fairly responsible people. i know some of the people involved in this and they are decent, civilized people. but the state simply shouldn't have these powers because one day they get used wrongly, you know. by then it is too late. >> as well as processing vast amounts of data, the snowden thes also point to intelligence agencies deliberately undermining security protocols on the internet. like the process of encryption, with the goal of making it easier for them to gain access to data. us, the revelations in
early september that the nsa had a major covert program to compromise internet security aandards and products was 9/11 moment. >> some security experts have been left outraged. they spent decades trying to make sure people can communicate to and privately over the internet. >> the goal is to ensure this is not the case, that weekend break anyone's -- that we can break anyone's privacy at any time and they can interfere with the transaction at any time. in order to do this they have compromised in various ways many articles on which the internet relies. now, when you introduce these vulnerabilities, they are not just available for the spies to use. they are available for a guise to use as well. to use as well. >> the files confirm the tale of
what is being built. they also contain pale -- page after page of top-secret operations. by making this material vulnerable to those who want to know britain's egret and in disclosing certain aspects of it, have edward snowden's actions compromised national security? >> not even the kgb in its heyday of mclean in may 1950's could have dreamt of acquiring classifiedly intelligence documents. my fear is we are now going to crashs a slow motion car in which gradually sources dry up and targets, such as cyber criminals will work out what kind of capabilities we have and they will adapt their methods.
it will be harder to track them down. collect the balance between secrecy and accountability is being shifted as the direct result of snowden's disclosures. a senior official told me they would have to be more transparent about nsa work. but can the public understand more about the machine being built in secret. how confident will it be that it is being used to keep us safe rather than spying on us? >> gordon carrera. forjournalist responsible publishing the information leaked by edward snowden joins me from rio. why should you be the arbiter and what is in public interest and vital to national security? >> i am not the arbiter of that. i work with a huge number of guardian editors and some of the
most experienced national security journalist in the world and journalism, which is designed to serve as a check on those in power is about shining light on what those people in power are doing that they try to hide from the public and those are the judgments that all journalism requires every single day. british documents that we know. presumably at least that many from the nsa. you heard from the former gc hq chief saying not even mclean would have an impact such as this and this is a car crash coming. >> this idea that there is 58,000 documents just because the u.k. government said it, i would hope we learned that government claims are not tantamount to be truth. i think the broader point is it does not matter how many documents the guardian or other newspapers possess. the question is, what are they
doing with those documents? every single article we publish and every single article we will a pledge, we have carefully gone over every single line of everything will document and not of what, not one comma we publish could possibly be said to image national security. it is all about informing people what their governments are doing. connections could often be tracking terrorists. would-be terrorists may change their tactics. so it's very possible you have actually buy your actions made toeasier or terrorists understand how to invade all the checks made on them online. >> that is completely ludicrous. fundament of the your question is entirely false. we have shown more than a mere collection of metadata. we have shown all sorts of
invasions into the content of communications between nsa people having conversations online, the collection of their browsing history. the idea that terrorists did not know, excuse me, that the united states and u.k. governments were trying to monitor their communications is laughable. terroristevery capable of tying their own shoes have long known the u.k. and u.s. governments are trying to monitor communications. the only thing we have informed people love is this -- of is that this is targeted at them. >> do you think that the majority of people might actually feel quite safe? shock thatit is a government officials lied to the face of journalist who do not seem to mind very much. in the segment you just played, you had people defending the gc hq on the grounds that this is only about terrorist's and pedophiles. yet, we have reported the gc
hq and nsa are signing on petrobras. are there terrorists and petrobras customer they are spying on the organization of american states when they are negotiating economic agreements. are they terrorists? i think the job of the journalist is to prevent people in power from lying to their citizens. >> how can you guarantee the material you have you can keep safe? the thing is, could it possibly be on a memory stick in your pocket? if you want to know how you can keeping safe? >> we at the guardian have protected all of our data with extremely advanced methods of encryption and our documents have remained completely secure. we have not lost control of any of our material. that remains entirely secure. , when reason i ask this
your partner, i suppose in the evidence it said what he was doing was carrying around passport material written on a piece of paper, the sides being cryptic files. that is not very worrying about how careful you are about security? >> well, i guess i need to give you the reminder again that as a journalist you should be aware that simply because a government makes a claim, especially when they are making that claim in the middle of a lawsuit while they're being sued for violating the law, one should not go around assuming that claim to be factually true. >> so you are denying it? >> it was alive. the idea that he was caring and password that allowed access to those documents is absolutely -- the idea that he was carrying around a password that allowed access to those documents is absolutely false. the only ones who lost control
of those documents are the gc hq and nsa. just look at the affidavit they filed. they said we have to keep this material because it is all "heavily encrypted" and we have only been able to reconstruct 75% of those documents. what happened to dave and maranda, once he was helped and so forth, and as is partner, that must have been very distressing for you, you have said i will be far more aggressive in my reporting now. i am going to publish more documents. i am going to publish more documents on england. "i think they will be sorry for what they did." is there something coming down the pipeline? because that was a number of months ago now. >> actually it was a couple weeks ago. i think it was four weeks ago. there have been four about tch qs spying on petrobras, which scandal withr
brazil. the interview is in or to gaze. the translation you are reading from his very poor. -- the interview is in portuguese. i said it will be looked at in most democracies where press freedoms are protected, unlike in the u.k., it is a very thuggish form of behavior and will make them look quite bad. i think they are -- it is contrary to their interests. it had nothing to do with revenge journalism. >> tuc however inappropriate the translation -- do you see however inappropriate the translation was, it would seem you acting as a campaigner and activist -- you talked about revenge journalist -- revenge journalism being inappropriate. you can see how people would think that? >> no, i will tell you my view of journalism. the more people abuse power, the
more accountability they need through journalism. when i see a government like the u.k. barge into the newsroom where i work and demand that they destroy their computers, the thing you would expect to hear imuran or russia or china or when they detain someone who is a journalist under a terrorism law and acknowledge through the media they are doi it to be intimidating, that is a government abusing their power and showing they need more transparency and that is the will of journalism. >> are you still in touch with edward snowden? >> sure. he is my source and i speak with them regularly. >> how do you know how he is being treated? how do you know, more importantly, that he has not had to give up secrets under russian protection? because unlike the u.k. and u.s. government, mr. snowden's statements have proven to be
completely true in every instance. i have never once seen him lie to me about anything. i know that he has protect it the data he has with extreme levels of encryption that not the nsa can crack and even risked his life to go to the russians and help them surveilled. ,> but he has been to china hong kong, russia now. you can't be sure he has not had to give up something. >> you pointed out various to lay just a few minutes ago that no one can prove a negative, so if you are looking for me to prove to you they do not have any data, i can do that. what i can do is tell you all the evidence we actually know makes it ludicrous to the think -- to think they have not obtained any of that data. there is zero evidence in any responsible journalist would refrain from suggesting that happened when they have no evidence that it did. >> thank you very much indeed. now, let's discuss this further with pauline neville jones,
former chair of the joint intelligence committee. shouldn't we have been told about all of this stuff anyway? >> i think that government does have to have powers to protect us. there are extraordinary things being said by glenn greenwald. in particular -- and i think it is incredulous he actually believes -- that the russians and chinese are not in full possessions of that information. >> so you actually believe -- >> oh, yes. >> why do you believe that to be the case? the russians will have taken possession of his computer. they would have done this. i have no doubt that all they have now a great deal of information which is damaging to us, to our security, and which is the result of the trail on the part of the shafted
employee. >> did you know this was going on? >> the internet -- we talk about people who are worried about this, this huge explosion in surveillance. it is an explosion of the massive increase -- interception always is taking place. you can intercept mail. you can intercept telephone calls. what should they think in a situation where you have enormous expansion of communication which requires purposes of protection than to have comparable powers of collection, in order to find the tiny bits that really matter, that all of this is being read. it is not, kirsty. it is not. tiny is not all about bits. we now face the greatest threat
to our liberties and the second world war. we are sleepwalking into despotism because of the amount of material being collected, because these databases which are not about tiny amounts of an formation will be used, and not just by governments. snowden was working for corporation. it will be accessed and others in government. and most important of all, people will start to self censor. we will find the very fax -- the total surveillance of our activities means -- it is not the question of if you have not done anything wrong, you have nothing to fear. the structure will stop us doing things that are right. greenwald -- glenn greenwald says terrorists are smart. >> they take risks. >> listening to the communication of -- >> i'm sorry.
you have to actually go through the data in order to get the clues that will enable you to -- >> what does it matter what the brazilians are doing at petrograd esther mark -- at petrobras? you might be going after terrorists, that what are our interest -- >> it is out of control. bei agree there needs to control over the system. there does need to be accountability. >> is there enough control? >> what i do believe is they are acting according to law. i do believe on the other hand, given the public anxiety aroused by this that we do need to have actually a body like the information security committee actually do a review. >> is that a good thing? >> i'm sorry -- [all talking at once] law. is not under the
it is acting beyond the law at this point. that is a crucial idea. and the idea that the intelligence services have said toneed all the raw data search through is absurd. if you have a clue, then you have access to track something. gordonas something in carrera's film that there has been a deliberate undermining of encryption. this is not new. not new -- look, there is a tension between the need for security and we need to intercept community. this is nothing new. on heart, actually in a way you think there should be a review, that glenn greenwald was right? >> no, absolutely not. >> there is no question he has done a huge public service. >> what the intelligent security committee needs to do the quack
-- needs to do -- >> in the house of commons? >> is the joint committee. very senior mp's. anymore than the judges -- >> if you could say one thing to glenn greenwald, what would you say? >> i think there is no way that young man would have been able to resist. a very senior intelligence expert in this country saying there is no way, no way on earth, the edward snowden has not had to give up something in russia or indeed perhaps before that in china? >> the ignorance of those comments is truly astounding to me. first of all, you would think a rational person, before making an extremely serious accusation like russia and china has gotten all of his data with have at least a little bit of evidence before saying that. there is none. >> let me --
>> please let me just make the point. i listened for a long time. i just want to make the point. they could make out the data on his laptop. that is not how data works. it's not 1998. data is stored on thumb drives. on the some drives are encrypted shells and i know this because i've read the documents i have on this. not even the nsa can break those. the encryption codes are 4000 characters long. >> clarification. you don't have -- the don't believe capabilities of the nsa matter. the russians a very sophisticated capabilities. >> from all of us, goodbye.
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also, fred de sam lazaro reports from pakistan on the reasons that country is one of only three left in the world that has not eliminated polio. welcome. i'm bob abernethy. it's good to have you with us. religious groups were among those strongly condemning this week's partial federal government shutdown. 33 faith leaders wrote to congress denouncing what they called the "political
brinksmanship" that seems to be prevailing. they said democracy depends on a commitment to the common good. the u.s. catholic bishops urged lawmakers to meet the basic needs of people in the u.s. and around the world. and separately, an ecumenical group said the shutdown particularly hurts pregnant women, infants and seniors. despite the shutdown, the us supreme court is scheduled to open its new term this coming week and we have a special report from tim o'brien on one of the cases the court will hear. it's a church-state issue and the question is what kinds of prayers are constitutional at the start of a government meeting. >> the august 20, 2013 meeting of the greece town board will now come to order. >> reporter: ever since john auberger was elected town supervisor 15 years ago in greece, new york, a predominantly catholic suburb of rochester, the town has begun its monthly meetings with a prayer.
>> for the benefit of all greece and mankind in general, we offer these prayers. >> reporter: on this evening last august, the prayer was offered by tom lynch, an adherent of the bahai faith. >> oh thou, oh kind lord, this gathering is turning to thee. >> reporter: it was auberger's idea. >> it's important from primarily a historical perspective. our founding fathers believed in the right for us to pray and have that freedom of expression in prayer, and that's what we offer here today in 2013 in the town of greece. >> reporter: but the founding fathers also drafted the first amendment, prohibiting the government from establishing religion -- no state sponsored church. two greece residents, linda stephens, an atheist, and susan galloway, who is jewish, say for any governing body to begin its sessions with such prayers violates that first amendment ban. >> i think for the protection of government, as well as for the
protection of religion, they need to be separate. i think when government gets involved in religion, it corrupts religion and i think when religion gets involved with government, it can corrupt government. >> reporter: a federal appeals court in new york sided with galloway, noting that roughly "two-thirds of the prayers offered contained references to 'jesus christ,' 'jesus', 'your son,' or the 'holy spirit.'" judge guido calabresi wrote, "we do not hold that the town may not open its pubic meetings with prayer or invocation. americans have done just that for more than 200 years. but when one creed dominates others, regardless of a town's intentions, constitutional concerns come to the fore." this is not merely a contest between a small town and two of its residents. the town's case has all but been taken over by, and financed by, the alliance defending freedom, a national advocacy group promoting more government