tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 16, 2014 8:00pm-10:01pm EDT
of religious needs and solutions that have been found in other states and that something so dangerous that no one would ever try it in 43 states have tried it, arkansas tried it for years in a situation like that and they ought to produce some of these examples. and so it depends on the quality of their consideration of the issue and there's no indication that they ever considered the adoption of this rule and the testimony is very conclusory, devoid of examples and attention of the jurisdictions. >> the level of deference cannot be so great.
senate seat. >> wisconsin is known as america's dairy maintained because we make the most cheese and the beseeches. the industries developing in wisconsin from what was a homestead cheese, where everybody -- each farm family made cheese for their own use. it was recognized that we had an ideal environment for raizy dairy cattle, and cheese was really just a way to take that perishable product, before refrigeratorration, would only last three days. if you make cheddar cheese, can
last for a decade. this is late 1880s when the industry got started in wisconsin. generally farmers in the neighborhood would form a cooperative. they would build a cheese factory and they would hire a cheesemaker, and the cheesemaker would work for the cooperative on share us. the cheesemakers to move around a lot, and there were thousands of them in 1930, over 2,000 cheese plants in wisconsin. as transportation and road system and improved, there was consolidation among the smaller plants, and that continued until 1990, when there were only 200 cheese factories in wisconsin. there are concerns in the law enforcement community that some encryption technology is hampering criminal investigations. fbi director james comey spoke
about the topic at the brookings instance station. this is just over -- institution. this is just over an hour. >> good morning, everyone. welcome to brookings. i think this event will probably set a brookings record for the height differential between guest and host. i'm kidding. the director is actually not that short. so, i'm actually going to be very, very brief, because we have limited time, and the more of it that i use, the less of it we can use for dialogue between you guys and the director. director comey is here to talk about encryption and the problems it creates for law enforcement.
this is a subject that a number of people here testified due to the amount of interest in the subject, all over the place right now, post snowden, post a lot of debates about surveillance reform. mr. comey has a different perspective, which is about the impact related to federal and state law enforcement. the format is very simple. he is going to give relatively brief remarks. i'm going to ask -- we're going to move to a conversational format. i'm going to ask a few questions and then we'll go to you and we're going to use as much of the time as possible for questions from the audience. when i do that, we're going to do that in a -- as trying to do
it in as ininterrupted form as possible. so please, signal me if you want to get in, and when -- wait for the mic to come around, and introduce yourself by name and organizational affiliation, keep questions very brief, and in the form of a question so that we can have as significant a discussion as possible. with that, i will turn it over to the director, who needs no introduction to this audience. welcome back to brookings. >> small difference. i'm going to adjust the mic. thank you, ben, and good morning. it's great to be here at brookings. i'm told also i'm going to be the subject of a recorded podcast for blog fair, which i read every day, and that's the real reason why i'm here. i'd like to share some thoughts with you, and then the most
important part is our conversation together. so i thank you in advance for asking whatever is on your mind. i've been on this job now for one year, and one month. sometimes i joke and express my tenure in months remaining, as if i'm incarcerated or something, but i don't mean that. i have what believe is the best job in the entire world. i get to come to work at the fbi every day. over the last year i confirmed what i long believed, the fbi is a remarkable place, filled with amazing people, doing amazing work all over the country and all over the world, every day. and i've also confirmed what i have long known, a commitment to the rule of law and severely liberties i at the core of the fbi if believe it's the organization's spine. but as you know, we con front serious threats, threats changing every single day, and i want to make sure i have every lawful tool available to make sure i'm addressing those threats. so see this as an opportunity to
begin a national conversation that is affect though investigative work we die. want to talk to you about the impact of emerging technology on law enforcement. within that context i think it's important for me to talk about the work we do at the fbi, what we need to do the work that we've been entrusted to do. i believe there are a fair number of misconceptions in the public discussion about what we in government collect, especially we at the fbi, and the capabilities we have for collecting information. i think my job is to try to explain and to clarify where i can the work of the fbi. but at the same time i really want to get a better handle on your thoughts because those of us in law enforcement can't do what we need without your trust and your support and we have no monopoly on wisdom. my goal today is not to tell people what to do. my goal is to urge our fellow citizens to participate in a conversation as a country, about where we are, where we want to
be, especially with respect to law enforcement authorities. let me start by talking about the challenge of what we call "going dark." technology has forever changed the world we live in. all of you know that. sever angel day we're online, in one way or other, all day long, of us are online at night. our phones have been reflections of our permits. they reflect our interests and our identities. they hold much of what is important to us in life. accomplish with that comes a desire to protect privacy and our data. we want to be able to share our lives with the people we choose to share our lives with. i very much feel that way. but the fbi also has a sworn duty to keep every american safe from crime and from terrorism, and technology has become a tool of choice for some very dangerous people. and unfortunately the law has not kept pace with technology, and this disconnect has created
significant public safety problems we have long described as "going dark." that means those charged with protecting our people aren't always able to access the evidence we need to prosecute crime and prevent terrorism, even with lawful authority. we have the legal authority to intercept and access communications and information pursuant to a court order. but we often lack the technical ability to do that. we face two overlapping challenges. the first concerns real-time court order erred interception of what we call data in motion, such as phone calls or e-mails or live text or chat sessions. the second challenge concerns court are-ordered access to data stored on our devices, such as e-mail or text messages or photos or videos. what we call data at rest. and both real-time communications, data in motion, and stored data, data at rest,
are increasingly increpted -- encrypted. i want to start about the court orders and then the challenges posed by different means of communication. in the past, doing electronic surveillance was straightforward. we identified a target phone, used bay bad guy, with a single carrier. we got a court order for a wire tap. and under the supervision of a judge we collected the evidence we needed for prosecution. today there are countless providers, countless networks, countless means of communicating. we have laptops, smartphones, tab lets. we take them to work, to school can from the soccer field to the starbucks, over many different networks using many different apps, and so do those conspiring to harm us. they use the same devices, the same network, the same apps to make plans to target victims, and to cover up what they're doing. and that makes it very tough for us to keep up. if a suspected criminal is in
the car and he switches from cellar coverage to wi-fi, we may be out of luck. i he switches from one app to another, or from a cellular voice service or messaging app we may lose him. we may not have the capability to switch between devices, networks. the bad guys know this and take advantage of it ever day in the wake of the snowden disclosures, the prevailing view is that the government is sweeping up all of our communications. that is not true. and unfortunately, the idea that the government has access to all communications at all times has extended even more unfairly to law enforcement. that is working to obtain individual warrants, approved by judges, intercept the communications of suspected criminals. some believe that law enforcement, especially the fbi, has these phenomenal capabilities to access any information at any time. we can get what we want, when we
want it, by flipping a switch. that's the product of too much television. it frustrates me because i want people to understand that law enforcement needs to be able to access communication and information in a lawful way to bring people to justice. we do that pursuant to the rule of law, with clear guidance and strict oversight. but even with lawful authority, the going dark problem is we may not be able to access thed and information we need. current law governing the interception of communication requires that telecommunication carriers and broadband providers build interception capability into their network for court-ordered surveillance. with that law the communications assistance to law enforcement act was enacted 20 years ago, lifetime in the internet age, and it doesn't cover at all new means of communication. thousands of companies provide some form of communication service and most are not
required by statute to provide lawful intercept capabilities to law enforcement. what that means is that an order from a judge to monitor a suspect's communication may amount to nothing more than a piece of paper. some companies fail to comply, some companies can't comply because they have not developed the capability, other providers want to provide assistance but have to take the time to build interception capabilities, which takes not just time but a lot of money. the issue is whether companies not subject currently to the act should be required to build lawful intercept capabilities for law enforcement. to be clear we're not seeking to expand our authority to intercept communications. we're struggling to keep up with changing technology and maintain our ability to actually collect the communications we are authorized to collect. and if the challenges of real-time data interception threaten to leave us in the dark, encryption threatens to
lead us all to a very, very dark place. here's what i mean by that. encryption is nothing new but the challenge to law enforcement and national security officials is markedly worse with recent default encryption set examination encrypted devices and networks, all in the name of increased security and privacy. for example, with apple's new operating system, information stored on many iphones and other apple devices will be encrypted by default. surely after apple's announcement, google announced plans to follow suit with its android operating system. this means the companies themselves will not be able to unlock phones, laptops and tablets to reveal photos or documents or e-mail or stored text or recordings in those instruments. both companies are run by good people who care deeply about public safety and national security. i know that. and they're responding to a market demand they perceive, but the place this is leading us is
one that i suggest we should not go without careful thought and debate as a country. at the outset, the good folks at apple say something that is reasonable, which is, it's not that big a deal because law enforcement can still get the data from the cloud because folks are going to back up their devices to the cloud, and the fbi, with lawful authority, can still access the cloud. here's the problem with that. uploading to the cloud doesn't include all the stored data on the bad guy's phone. which has the potential to create a black hole. second, if the bad guys don't back up their phones routinely, or if they opt out of uploading to the cloud, the data will only be phonal on the encrepted devices themselves, and it's the people most worried about what is on the device who will be most likely to avoid the cloud and make sure that law enforcement cannot access enincriminating data.
encryption is part of a marketing strategy but will have very serious consequences for law enforcement and national security agencies at all levels. sew fess tick indicated -- sophisticated criminals will counsel on this. it's a safe deposit box that can't be opened. a safe that can't ever be cracked. my question, to facilitate this conversation is, at what cost? let me try to correct some misperception is think are connected to this. the first is good folks say, you're still going to have access to metadata, which includes telephone records and location information stored with the telecommunications carrier. and that's absolutely true. but metadata does not provide the content of any communications. it's incomplete information, and even that is difficult to access when time is of the essence. i wish we had time in our work, especially when lives are the line. we usually don't. there was a misconception that
building a lawful intercept solution is about building a back door, one that foreign adversaries or hackers to crime. that also is out in not true. we want to use the front door with clarity and transparency. we want clear guidance provided by law. we are completely comfortable with court orders, and legal process, front doors, that provide us the evidence and information we need to investigate crimes and prevent attacks. cybers a're varies, there's no -- adversaries are going to use any -- it makes sense to develop intercept solutions at the front end in the design phase, rather than resorting to patchwork solutions when law enforcement comes knocking after the fact, and with the sophisticated encryption there may be no solution at all, leaving the government at a total dead end, all in the name of privacy and network security.
another mr. perception is folks say, but you could guess the password or break it with a brute force attack. here's the truth. even with a super computer, we would have difficulty with today's high level encryption, and some devices have a setting where the encryption key is is erased after too many attempts to break the password, no matter how big the computer. and sometimes i heard reasonable folk as this question. can't you compel the owner of the device to give you the password? that's a reasonable question but unfortunately, no. even if we could compel them, think about the choice that bad guy has to make. imagine a child predator in custody, choosing between a 30-day consent. sentence for refusing to comply with the direction from a court to hand over the password, or a 30-year sentence for the production and contribution of child pornography, and that choice is not hard to predict. so let me talk about case
examples i hope will illustrate what i'm worried about. think about your life without your smartphone, without internet access or without texting and e-mailing or the apps you use every day. i'm guessing most of you would feel lost or left behind. i'm told that people much, much cooler than i, which is nearly everyone, calls this fomo, or fear of missing out. with going dark, those of news law enforcement and public safety have major fear of missing out. missing out on predators who exploit the most vulnerable among us, on violent criminals, on terror cells, a whole lot of other bad people. the more we in society rely on these devices, the more important they are to law enforcement and public safety officials for reasons i think makes sense to you. we have seen case after case, from homocides and car crashes to drug trafficking, child abuse, child exploitation, and
exoneration, where critical evidence came from smart finances, hard drives, and online communications. let me just give you some examples of cases that involve the content of smartphones in louisiana, a known sex offender posed recently as a teenaged girl to entice a 12-year-old boy to sneak out of his house meet this supposed young girl. the predator posed as a taxi driver. he took this young boy, murdered him, and then tried to alter and delete evidence on both his and the victim's cell phones to cover up the crime. both phones were instrumental in showing that the suspect enticed this child into this taxi, and that suspect was sentenced to death in april of this year. in louisiana, -- excuse me. that was in louisiana. in los angeles, police investigate the death of a two-year-old girl from blunt force trauma to her head and there were no messages. text messages on her parents' cell phone, between them and
family members, proud the mother caused the death, that the father knew mat was happening and failed to stop en. the text messages show they failed to seek medical attention for the little girl for hours after she convulsed and the painted her with blue paint to cover her bruises before calling 9-1-1. because of the evidence the parents pled guilty, in kansas city, the dea got search warrants for the smartphones of members of the group, and the found text messages that outline the distribution train and tied the group to the supply of lethal heroin that caused five overdoses. in sacramento, young couple and their four dogs were walking down the street when a car ran a red-light and strike them, killing off four dogs instantly
and severing the young man's leg and leaving the young girl in critical can. the driver fled the area. the suspect's smartphone was taken. it showed he fled california right afterwards. he is convicted and serving 25 years to life term for murder. it has been used to exonerate innocent people in kansas, data from a cell phone was used not long ago to prove the innocence of several teens accused of rape. without access to thephone or the ability to recover a deleted video, several innocent young men could have been wrongly convicted. these are cases,. just a few examples i pulled together in which we had access to the evidence we needed. but we're seeing more and more where we believe significant
evidence on the phone or laptop and we can't crack the password. if this becomes the norm, i suggest to you that homocide cases could be stalled, suspects walk free, child exploitation, not discovered, and prosecuted. justice may be denied because of a locked phone or encrepted device. here are my personal thoughts about this. i am deeply concern about is, as both a law enforcement officer and a citizen. i understand in of this thinking in a post snowden world, but i believe it is mostly based on a failure to understand why we in law enforcement do what we do and how. i am a huge believer in the rule of law but believe no one in this done there should be beyond the law there should be no law-free zones in this country. i like and believe very much we need to follow the letter of the law to examine the contents of someone's closet or the contents of their cell phone. but the notion that the marketplace could create something that would prevent the
closet from ever being opened, even with a properly obtained court order, makes no sense to me. i think it's time to ask, so where are we as a society? are we no longer a country that is passionate both about the rule of law and about there being no zones in this country beyond the reach of that rule of law. have we become so mistrustful of government and law enforcement in particular, they we're willing to let bad guys walk away, willing to leave victims in search of justice. i know there will come a day where it will matter a great deal to innocent people that we in law enforcement cannot access certain types of data or information even with court authority. we have to have a discussion about this before those days come. i believe people should be skeptical of government power. i think this country was founded by people who were. who knew you do not crust people in power. so they divided the power among
three branches to set interests against interest, and then wrote a bill of rights to ensure the papers papers and affects of the people are secure from unreasonable searches. the way i see it, the means by which we conduct surveillance, threw telecommunications providers or internet provider, is an example of a government operating the way the founders designed it, with the executive, the legislative and judicial branches, proposing and acting, executing and overseeing legislation pursuant to the rule of law. i suggest that it's time that the post snowden pendulum be seen as having swung too far in one direction in a direction of fear and mistrust. i think it's time have an open and honest debate about liberty and security. some have suggested that there's a conflict between accomplish security. you have to give up a little of one to get some of the other. i reject that framework.
i think when we are at our best in law enforcement in national security public safety, we are looking enhance security and liberty. when a city post police officers on a dangerous playground, the freedom to play without fear. people in the fbi are sworn to protect both security and liberty. it isn't a question for us. we care deeply about protecting and safeguarding the citizens we're here to project -- protect. so finding a space and time in tower lives to understand them is hard. i'm so grateful to brookings for carving out stuff. smart people disagreeing to come to the best answer. i have never been, i don't think, anyone who is a scare monger. but i'm in a dangerous business. so i want to ensure that we
discuss the impact of limiting the court authorized law enforcement tools we use, and that we talk about what are the losses associated with our -- inability to collect information. we at the fbi will continue to throw everything we have at its challenge. it's costly, ini efficient but we'll work to make sure we can -- but we need to fix this problem. we need assistance and cooperation from companies to comply with lawful court orders. so the criminals around the world cannot seem safe haven. we need to find common ground. we care about the same things. i said it because i meant it. the companies we talked to, we talked to are run by good people who care about the same things. we know an adversarial posture won't help us make progress. we understand -- it is not our
intent to stifle innovation or undermine u.s. companies but we have to find a way to help these companies understand what we need, why we need it, and how they can help whileprotecting privacy rights and network security. we need our private sector partners to take a step back to pause, to consider, i hope, a change of course, but we also need a regulatory and legislative fix here to create a level playing field so that all communication service providers are held to the same standard so those in law enforcement, national security and public safety, can continue too do the job you entrusted us to do in the way you want us to dod. perhaps most importantly we need to make sure the american public understands the work we do and the mind by which we do it. i really do believe we can get there. i really do believe that we can find a reasoned and practical approach, and that we can do it together. i do not have a perfect solution to suggest to you. but i think it's important to start the discussion.
i am very happy, in fact eager to work with congress, with our partners in the private sector, with my law enforcement and national security counterparts, and with the people we stoffer find the right answer, to find the balance we need to find both liberty and security. so, thank you for being here today to participate in this conversation. thank you for carrying about these issues. i look forward to your questions. >> i'm going to ask a culp -- a couple questions. the question is, why now? the crypto wars people thought there -- they were solved 20 years ago. all of a sudden this whole thing has been re-ignited. why? >> that's a great question. i think it is an accumulation,
another brick in the load of the going dark, that especially hit me when i took this afternoon year ago and got briefed on our capabilities and the limitations on them. i do think a catalyst for -- i can only speak for me personally -- was the announcement of the default encryption on the devices which are ubiquitous, and i thought they're responding to a market imperative but holy cow, where are we going in so that energized me to have a conversation about this. >> you left government last in three -- 2005. you were not in the -- on the investigative side but you certainly had a sense of how light and dark things were. how different is it today than it was when you came back into government, how much darker is the world than before you left? >> my sense is dramatically darker, especially because of the proliferation of so-called
nontraditional communication means. the proliferation of different apps for communicating, peer-to-peer communication, the outside act communication channel dish don't have a number but increased dramatically since 2005. >> so, you describe in your remarks that you wanted not a back door but a front door, and i'm trying to understand what that means technically to have an ability to decrypt with an order that does not create technical vulnerabilities that others could exploit, either foreign intelligence services or i think probably lot of people believe our own intelligence services. what do you envision when you talk about building in a front door lawful intercept decryption
capability. >> i'm not smart some of to give you a reliable answer. but i'm told, anytime there's a door, there's a risk that someone will try to pick the rock and get into the door, but if the door itself transparently in the front, designed into the product, the chances of a vulnerability being unseen are much lower than if it is at the end after the device has been created. so this undergoing to providers and saying can you build one, their response is, justifiably, heat a risky thing to do and smart people tell me the best way to do it, far less risky, is to build it at the front end. >> you're not talking necessarily about a revival of the idea from the mid-'90s. you're speaking more themeaticly than that? >> that's correct. i'd like too see the act written so a
communications provider to build an intercept capability into the product they provide. not that we hold some universal key. >> one of your "60 minutes" interviews -- >> it's on every sunday night. >> the jim comey show. you were asked whether all of these interceptions take place with a warrant. i was actually a little surprised at your answer. you said, categorically, the fbi does not do interceptions without a warrant, and i was a little puzzled by that because i can think of at least a few situations in which you guys are authorized to do interceptions without a warrantment i was wondering, is there some policy that you have adopted that you categorically don't do surveillance without a warrant or when you said that, were you
incorporating various warrant exceptions into your remarks? >> that's a fair question. when i was asked the question i gave an answer i thought was fair and accurate, and people gave me feedback saying it was insufficiently lawyerly, should have been -- it remains true in the over, over, overwhelming number of our cases, we have court authority to collect the content of e-mails or telephones but there are exceptions to the warrant requirement. the two are important. one is that consent, where someone gives us consent to monitor, we can be reading the content of e-mails or listening to telephone calls made to the consent party. and, second, where there is collection on a nonu.s. person overseas, enough section 702, fisa 702, that is authorized by the court, if an american is communicating with that person, that communication is going to sit in the government's
database, and my a little agents doing an investigate will query that database and see that e-mail and read it. they do not go back to the court and get authority for their look at it, our view being it was collected lawfully in the first place, burt that's an exception that if i thought about it in the moment i would have messengered it. >> a lot of people are going to say, we have this fight in the '90s. the idea was lost because building in insecurity is inherently a bad idea. and that if you want things to be secure, you got to build security, not build other ways in. in the same "60 minutes" episode, or maybe the other one, you said there are two types of american companies. the companies being hacked by the chinese and the chineses that don't know they're being hacked by the chinese.
isn't there a tension here between, on the one hand, the concerned about cyber security, and on the other hand, the insist citizen that we -- the insistence we have to build in a certain larry of insecurity for one particular set of actors? are we facing a choice between a secure internet and an insecure internet? >> i don't think so. this comes back to what said in response to the first or second question. it's about relative risks. there is much more risk associated with the after the fact intercept capability being built in. there is nonzero risk associated with building it in the first place, and also a risk to society by foregoing the ability to collect that information with lawful authority. so my view, and other reasonable people may disagree -- the risk mitigation associated with building at the front expend the risk of avoidance by not having a dark spot that is spreading across our entire country, makes
sense. >> let's go to all of you. we have a lot of questions. let's start with chris. when i call on you, please wait for the mic, and keep questions short, and let's frame them in the form of a question. >> hi. i am kris chris, work for the aclu. over the last few years we learned the lawful intercept systems at google and microsoft have been hacked by foreign governments. google and microsoft were hacked by the chinese and then microsoft law enforcement team was subsequently hacked by the syrian electronic army. these are companies that invest vast sums in data security and the leading companies on the security front. whether you want to call it's front door or back door, if these companies are delivering encrypted communications the only logical way to provide law enforcement access is to have a key, if the keys are there, whether there's in law enforcement hands, third party,
or the company's hand, people will try to steal them. last year, foreign policy ran an article in which they described the fbi -- a team of fbi agents backing a trash truck into the czech embassy's facilities and stealing a crypto graphic machine and the keys associated with it. many people don't understand that the fbi is also in the business of stealing encryption keys in its capacity as a foreign intelligence organization. so, given that you know that keys can be stolen, given that the companies are constantly having sophisticatedded a're sears trying to steal their private information, and given we have multiple acknowledgeses of -- what gives you confidence some small sill son cohn valley company -- silicon valley company can build a secure intercept system. >> thank you for the question. i don't think anybody with complete confidence can build an
interception-proof system. that's what meant when i say the risk is nonzero. i sympathy thing when -- simply think the alternative doesn't make sense, saying we can't eliminate risk, therefore a universal encryption and not just a going dark but a complete darkness for law enforcement is a place we want to go. i agree with you. there's risk associated with what i'm suggesting. i think given the other risks involved, that it makes sense. >> thank you, dr. comey, david sanger from the "new york times." you talked about the enforcement side and you mentioned the pendulum swings from the snowden disclosures. you didn't talk very much about the nsa and others. one thing we have learned from the snowden disclosures is that the nsa found ways around encryption at google and other
places by going in to the communications between the servers and so forth. so when apple and google make these announcements, the kind you're concerned about, clearly they're trying to demonstrate to the germans or to the brazilians or anybody else who was outraged by these disclosures there is no hole, they have deliberately thrown away the key so the nsa couldn't do that in their systems. that's essentially what is going on here. i haven't heard yet from the administration any kind of guarantee they that if you created the kind of portal you described, front door or back door there would then be assurances the nsa didn't do again what was disclosed to have been doing before? tell us about the discussion inside the administration about how you provide those assurances. >> that's a good question.
i don't think i'm in a position to talk about discussions inside the administration. it actually in my 12 months, is not -- has not been extensive because lots of other things going on, and i goods i probable my wouldn't tale you anyway, david, what was going on inside the administration. i don't understand -- i understand totally. no trying to jump on the companies. i understand totally the market imperative. i've worked for two companies before coming back to the government. i get it. but i think that -- i think we can address their concerns by being transparent as a country about, here are the lawful authorities by which the government can enter through google's door or through apple's door so they can assure their customers, no one is getting in here except through clearly understood channels. >> director comey, i'm garrett
mitchell. i write the mitchell report, publication with a slightly smaller circulation than mr. sanger's. and -- >> can you read it? >> it is interesting to hear you talk in the abstract about presumably the chief executive officers and members of the c-suite in the companies that are clearly at issue here, as being well-intentioned, mate trot -- patriotic, et cetera. i wonder -- and yet, they don't want to go where you want to go. i wonder if you could characterize for us the nature of the argumentation that they use, that the logic, if you will, of their perspective, and
as you said, you know, one of the wonderful things about a democracy is that people can do that. one of the not so wonderful things about a democracy is that people can do that. and so we get nowhere. so i would be curious if you could characterize for us the point of view, the sort of internal logic, that those -- the people that you're dealing will have, and the soundness of that point of view even if you disagree with it. >> that's a good question. i don't want to talk about particular conversations because i want to make sure that conversations are robust. maybe in general. i would draw from some of thes here and things i alluded to in any remarks. they're responding to a market imperative, where they're getting bead up around the world because the american government is reading everything on your systems and their competitors are using it against them all
around the world, and they're trying respond to that by saying, that's not true. our stuff is protected. i get that. and that makes sense for them to advocate that position. they're not responsible for the other risks we have talked about. and so they're advocating in good faith a view that makes sense to me from their perspective. the thing they're not able to advocate is the safety tradeoff, the security tradeoff. probably the best way to describe it. >> yes, right here in the front. >> thank you very much. director, paul joel from -- i'd like to ask you a question based on my previous experience. one as a federal law enforcement officer as well as the senate intelligence committee next past next '70s and '80s we had a lot of debates concerning civil liberties and protections and the activities of our
intelligence service. there was a response with attorney general guidelines to put in place rules and regulations until the law basically was changed or catches up. i understand the problem with the act. in the internet of things it doesn't address the problem wes have. just like aristotle said in this writings, should a city have walls, we have an obligation to, one, protect privacy. we also have an obligation to allow law enforcement to do its job to protect citizens. are you taking any steps, short of a law change to try to put in systems that will assure the american public that we're going to do a better job at protecting their privacy? >> that's a good question. the fbi has a ton -- if i get any complaints prom -- from my
troops that we have an overwhelming amount of policy that governs their able to obtain information in investigations of all kind, my response to my folks issue get your frustration but i like that. i like the restraint. so i'm not -- i look at the restrictions on fbi agents' able to conduct investigation, to collect electronic evidence, and they're pretty darn extensive and no one suggested an improvement. so i'm focused on trying to get the law changed so for those whom we enter act with are able to comply with it. >> general mar go his. what we tell us not bureau's plan to update the act? >> not much more than i just told you, which is hopefully we can now start a dialogue with congress on updating it. there have been an effort, gather, underway before i took this job, that got blown away in
the post snowden wind, which i understand, but i think now it's an opportunity to maybe stand in that wind a little bit and have that conversation. so i think the first step is to talk to responsible, thoughtful people on the hill, about what makes sense and how to get that kicked around. >> cam harris. >> thank you, director comey, i'm cam carey and here at brookings as a visiting fellow. when i was at the commerce department, i was part of that effort, went back and forth with your predecessor about some of the potential warms to the, a. a lot of issues that have been raised today were part of that discussion. but i want to ask about one other. as we deal with the explosion of
data. there's also the phenomenon, a widespread concern that we're also going bright. there's tremendous amount of digital information that is available to companies, into governments. and part of -- one of the issues that we face in whatever we do in addressing public policies to deal with that data is the impact on international norms. so, my question is, if it's parallel some of the cyber security questions. if we go down this road and take steps that would break the
encryption, what is the impact on more repressive countries around the world that will follow that example? >> a good question. i don't think -- it's something i have thought about but frankly not well enough to give you an intelligent answer at this point. i think that's got to be part of the discussion. i've also heard that. people say, well, we can have transparency in the united states defined clearly what access is given and when but that's a precedent for other regimes to get whatever they want. others say they get anything they want anyway as a condition of doing business there. i don't think i know enough at this point to give you good enough answer. >> thank you, sir, for taking my question. i am ananson and an author. i read a lot of newspapers. i have a question about my
situation. everything that i do the whole day, i can see as a technical -- being everything that i do. i don't know whom to contact but this kind of -- >> i missed the last part -- >> everything that i do in the whole day i can see as a tv serial, as a technical dream, and for this kind of -- i don't know who to contact. >> i have no idea. probably somebody another brookings. i don't know. its it's not my job. >> lance hoffman, george washington university. i edited a book called billing and big brother and seems like we're in the same movie a again, but maybe a little different. you said, what is the cost? and me question for you is, back then, we didn't have any to my
mind, serious cost benefit analysises that really people could trot out and say, here are the tradeoffs. has your organization or any other organization yet made some serious analysises not only economic, which are important but also the social cost and law enforcement down time and everything else? >> the answer is, not to my knowledge. i've identified only a cost and benefit in the rough order of magnitude way but not in any quantitative sense. i'm sure smart people have. it would be a useful part of the discussion. >> director, would you acknowledge perhaps some of the distress you just spoke about, comes from the government not being truthful about what is was doing, referring to clapper, the testimony in congress, and even the fbi's own history with national security letters. so perhaps the distress comes
partly from that. would you acknowledge that maybe part of the problem here. >> before i give you a yes, want to take apart your question, evan. i don't agree with the predicate that your characterization of jim clapper in particular, who we can talk about offline. a think a lot of it comes from justifiable surprise on the part of the u.s. people as to the extent and nature of the surveillance being conducted, in the name of the united states. i said u.s. people. i believe very strongly that their elected representatives had complete insight into it. so when people talk about that i can understand people being freaked and surprised, but i also think i've yet to she the rogue conduct, the lawless conduct that folks talk about. i see the government operating with all three branches, but that doesn't mean that folks
aren't ufeebly reacting and saying, they're doing what? so i think that more than anything else has fed what call the post snowden wind, which makes sense to me. the scope of it can be breathtaking. yes? >> my name is leah. i really appreciate can be here. now you got to know -- i submit evidence to the department of justice and don't give a response. so now my question is, you say you talk about three branches. now post snowden and we are talking about a lot of surveillance, we are talking about people's e-mail or something has been hacked, so
now my question is, can you agree a base on that fact and you identify who is us, e-mail or accounts or -- social media. >> i don't think anytime a position to answer that. >> greg. >> i am craig from the center for democracy and technology. talk to us a little bit more about the international implications of these ideas? for example, if you're apple or you're selling androids you can't sell an nsa, fbi ready iphone in europe. so, what are you going to do? are you expecting them to build two kinds of iphones? two kinds of android phones? are they going to have to build three oar four or six kinds when other countries follow our lead
and impose the same kind of mandates you're talking about? and what happens in the indias and the united kingdoms of the world. >> a great question. i don't want to repeat the answer is gave earlier. i don't think i'd market it as an fbi or nsa ready phone. maybe an fbi ready phone. we may have a better brand around the world. i haven't gamed this out in my head completely but i could imagine them saying, we corporations will comply with the lawful process, ebb -- enacted pursuant to law -- enacted bier congress, we will comply with requests of the u.s. government for information in connection with lawful investigations. and it wouldn't be about marketing the phone. it would be about them retain something capability to be able to access the information. again, i'm not smart enough to figure out how that would work but something like that.
but i think it's a serious conversation to have. about how they would do it in particular. now, going to a place where the u.s., through its congress, says, you know what? we need to force this on american companies, and maybe they'll take a hit. someone in some other country will say, we sell a phone that even with lawful authority people can get into, but we as a society are willing to have american companies take that. that's why we have to have the conversation. >> time for a couple more questions. i'm going to try to get a few people, and then let the director wrap up. sir. >> i'm with abc. you talk about the balance and sort of cost benefit, and you brought up the hypothetical example of the kid being kidnapped and trying to access the information. do you know of any specific cases where someone was in danger, was rescued but wouldn't have been rescued had you been
blocked from the information you're talking about today? >> good question. four cases where the information on the phone, which would be blocked if it was encrypted, would not have been available to us. [inaudible question] i don't think i know yet. i've asked my folks to canvass local and state partners, there examples -- i think i see enough but i don't think i've found that one yet. when i was preparing the speech, one thing i was inclined to talk about was to avoid those kinds of sort of edge cases because i'm not looking to frighten people. logic tells me there's going to be cases just like that, but the theory of the case is the main bulk of law enforcement activity. with that said i don't know the
answer. i haven't found one yet. >> have time for one more question. over there, sir. >> thank you. lucas thomas from fox news. absolutely off topic sir. there is any credible evidence that terrorist can you ebola as a bioagent here in the united states? thank you. >> no. >> do you have any -- want to wrap up? ...
>> we are going there the way that democracy should. >> i want to thank the director for coming in and having this conversation. please stay in your seat while he makes his way out. please join me in thanking him. [applause] [applause] [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> a few live events to tell you about on c-span2. the chair of the nuclear regulatory commission, alison mcfarlane will be part of a conference on u.s. policy in the
diplomacy. you can watch this coverage tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. eastern. then the brookings institution building a conference on the effect marijuana legalization could have on international drug treaties live at 10:00 a.m. eastern also here on his bantu. later a conversation on the obama administration's approach to combating the militant group isis in the middle east. it's hosted by the hudson institute live at noon eastern. >> next come a conversation on voter id laws and their potential impact on the midterm elections. we will hear from the legal defense fund and a senior legal fellow at the heritage foundation. this is one hour.
>> good morning. welcome to the national press club. e world's leading professional organization for journalists. i am myron belkind, and i am the president. the midterm elections just a few days away. since the last election cycle, election and voter id laws have been put in place in a number of states. and there have been numerous rulings on the validity of these laws that some herald as necessary to ensure the integrity of the voting process and that others condemn as they suppressing voter turnout of making it more difficult for the poor, minority groups and the physically challenged to cast their ballots. we will hear from experts on both sides of the issue. with sherrilyn ifill, as president of the naacp defense fund, she served as a fellow with the american civil liberties union and a voting rights attorney with the legal defense fund and is on leave as
a professor of civil procedure and constitutional law at the university of maryland school of law. she is able well-known voting rights litigator and a civil rights strategist and author of the book, on the courthouse lawn, confronting the legacy of lynching in the 21st century. hans von spakovsky is manager of the election on reforming initiative and senior legal fellow fellow at the heritage foundation and he has worked on tort reform and civil justice in the insurance industry. he served as consul to the assistant attorney general for civil rights from 2002 until 2005 herriot and he was a member of the federal election committee for two years. he is co-author of the book, who's counting. how eurocrats put your vote at risk. he has testified before various
committees in favor of the constitutional rights of state to establish procedures with the conduct of their elections. and if you roundels. after our speakers make their presentations, we will remind you that only credential media and press club members may propose questions. please identify yourself when you recognize that your organization before asking your westerns. i will now turn over the proceedings to our first speaker, ms. sherrilyn ifill smack into to the national press club and newsmakers. i am delighted to be here talking about the subject today and it is particularly fitting that we are talking about this issue of voter suppression and voter rights today. just yesterday our lawyers along with a team of lawyers from other civil rights organizations and law and filed an emergency motion in the united states
supreme court asking the court to vacate what was granted by the fifth circuit to keep in place the texas voter id law for november's election. later in the day yesterday the united states filed a similar motion with the court. and what happens in this case in texas in many ways will determine how these cases came to develop over the country. but the whole issue of voter id itself. every argument of new restrictive voter id laws was made in the case of texas. texas a formidable resources behind the defense and the case was decided on april record for three weeks of trial and expert witnesses.
and about the evidence is a way to frame the conversation around voting. which i think in this country has become entirely upside down. and rather than what this country needs and what every function should want, which is a robust conversation about how to ensure that every eligible voter in our country can participate fully in the electoral process. we spend most of our time and most of our effort and recently most of our laws focused on how we can keep people from voting. so we knew in the texas case that we had a hard road to hold and that we had to engage and confront every myth that has
been developed around voter id. and we did it in that case. and i would like to briefly talk about some of those myths is a way of framing a conversation. because many of these beliefs about voter ids are held not by ideologues and not by people on the right or the left, but they have penetrated the conversation of average americans. things are very obvious to people that makes them understand what the controversy is. for very often people will say that most people have a photo id. most people have a drivers license or some other form of id that they use. and that may be true, but that belies the fact that this is not whether you need identification to vote but what kind of identification you need to vote.
and the state decided to impose what has been called by a federal court the most restrictive voter id law in the country. requiring enumerating particular kind of id and excluding what she had been used in the past. and this includes those who never should've used very university id to vote. this now denies them the right to use their student id to vote. and that's why we showed more than half a million eligible voters in the state of texas black the requisite id in the vast majority are black and latino. some say that it's not like that come everyone can afford to get their idea. but a trial we put on a witness
that couldn't afford the $42 it would cost for her to obtain a birth certificate. one of the documents that she would need to get the government issued photo id. and she testified that she had to make a choice between feeding her family were spending the $42 on a new birth certificate. we don't believe that in a democracy in this country, that any citizen should have to choose between eating and voting. and yet texas, as it was shown at trial, has only managed to provide a free id for about 200 eligible voters. and so the federal court in texas found that it does function as a poll tax. everyone has a birth certificate, people say. we put on the testimony of this woman at home in her 70s whose birth certificate that was filled out at home was in error and she has no means been no
witnesses and no way of getting a new birth certificate. and so although she has both voted for her entire adult life, she has now been effectively dissing disenfranchised by voter id laws. this is also, as many have said, about voter fraud. the state of texas has all of the resources available to work in this litigation and they were only able to identify two instances of voter fraud since 2002. of the millions of votes cast in that period. this is a problem that does not list and a solution in search of a problem and a fantasy and a phantom that has been utilized to more than half a million voters. finally people say this is not about racial discrimination but about partisan politics and for that i say that partisan interests are at stake with the racially discriminatory intent
and partisan politics have always been entangled with racial discriminatory voting. our organizations for successful rights came in the 1940s when we challenged an all-white primary used by the democratic party in texas. texas fully understood the effects of this voter id law on minority voters in this law is not much different than historical teams used by texas to different black and brown voters. and this includes the poll tax, voter purges and interestingly in every instance the rationale offered by the state of texas was that what they were seeking to prevent a voter fraud. so according to this case they found that texas has engaged in an unbroken line of racial discrimination in voting. she issued a 147 page opinion with clear opinions based on the
evidence and if devastating but essential reading for you and for all americans to digest. shelby decision the supreme court decided two years ago, the voting rights case in which the court called out this provision of the voting rights act, was premised on the idea that racial discrimination in voting is a thing of the past. but times have changed. while times have changed, but the terrible a careful decision has been made, times have changed indiscriminate discriminatory voting. so what is at issue? if this date is not listed in this case we will all bear witness to the knowing disenfranchisement of more than half a million and some say 800,000 eligible voters in texas for this november's election.
based on a lobby federal judge has found one intended to discriminate against black and latino voters. just think about a half-million people being disenfranchised. that is the state of maryland in its upcoming election decided to disenfranchise every voter in the city of alton. stunning moment, whether you are a democrat or a republican, black or white or from the south or the north. if you are an american you should be alarmed by this. and what that means is that we should shift our conversation about voting to a conversation about how we enfranchise rather than disenfranchise our eligible voting population. 60% of americans who are eligible to vote, 60% are registered come in nearly 30%
are not registered. millions of voters who are absent from this process and what voter id laws have created are essentially a regulatory obstacle course for those that we want to participate in this democracy. i hope that today's conversation will help to shift the narrative and to help engage us in the conversation about how we enrich voting in this country rather than deprive voters of the opportunity to be full citizens. thank you. >> i would like to call upon hans von spakovsky, who will give his side of the issue. thank you. >> i do want to thank the press club for inviting us here to talk about this. we actually did this a couple of years ago to talk about this issue.
and that brings up a very important point. and all of the claims being made by sherrilyn ifill were made by naacp eight years ago. and we now have the data to show that these claims are not true. georgia passed a voter id law as some people like to term it acquiring government issued photo id to vote and it was first effective in 2008 presidential election. and so we now have more than six years worth of data on what happened in georgia including three federal elections and local elections and one of the handouts outside that is a paper that i did that shows what has happened in that state and the advantages is that it was one of the states covered under section five and they keep racial data
on all of the registered voters. so rather than the surmises and guesses and other things going on including those recent ones, we know exactly how many whites and hispanics and black georgians turned out to vote after the voter id law went into place and we can compare it to prior elections where there was no voter id laws and what you will see is that rather than the turnout, for example, it went up dramatically in after the voter id law went into place and the same thing happened in 2010 according to the u.s. census bureau, many note that it is a survey after every election that looks at voters and provides a chart in a table that breaks it
down according the survey information and it showed in 2012 elections that he voted at a higher rate than whites or blacks than in the state of georgia. and we have the law all the way in the united states supreme court. at the time it was one of the strictest in the country. the court upheld the law and said that it was constitutional and wired and id and it was not a substantial burden on voters and in the end it was like every other state that passed a law like this to provide a free id to anyone who doesn't have one. contrary to what you may think, that opinion was not written by by the five conservatives on the court. in fact, the majority opinion was written by the justice john
paul stevens, with where he retired from the court. and we have data on indiana also in the 2000 election when the law was in place for the first time, indiana had one of the largest increases in democratic turnout of any state in the country. in 2010 it went up again in 2012 again and this is not me or my opinion but the u.s. census bureau. it reports that blacks voted at a higher rate than whites by 10%. and so this idea that will suppress peoples rights to vote we know is not true and also on the table outside you will find another paper that i publish about a year or so ago in which i did something that was kind of
interesting and i went back to the original georgia lawsuit filed by the naacp. and they lost that lawsuit and the court throughout the case saying that the voter id law was either not constitutional or discriminatory under the voting rights act. one of the problems that they had in that case was they were unable to produce a single witness that would be unable to vote due to the election and they had a number of individuals that came forward as witnesses and those who came forward and all of them claimed that they didn't have an id and that they wouldn't be able to get one and they wouldn't be able to vote. well, about a year ago i went and i said of those witnesses all of whom had swarm -- sworn under oath to check the official
voting records and found that all of these individuals who claimed they wouldn't be able to vote had been voting in election after election in georgia after the voter id law went into place. and this is a commonsense reform it is remarkably uniform and americans support this across even party lines and they don't see it as a problem. why? because they know in everyday life you need an id for so many things, including your second amendment rights to buy a gun and your right to get married and that is considered a fundamental civil right and the supreme court said so in a case called regina versus loving and if you want to get married in any state you can check the requirement on city webpages and
you need a government issued photo id. and opponents would like to say that there is no voter fraud. i wrote a whole book with my co-author that those case after case on voter fraud prosecution in this country. is it the only answer to stopping fraud in elections? of course not. and at the end of the book there is a whole series of recommendations and this is just one of them. referring to every function in democracy. and we are one of the only functioning democracies that don't require that to vote. and justice stevens is the supreme court supports it, it
could make a difference in a close election and we have many close elections in this country and that was the conclusion of the commission which was chaired some years ago in which they also looked at this issue and also there. ohio, which as you know, has been trying to get a voter id law in place, lasser and their local elections they have something like 30 local elections decided by one vote. and that is where could make the difference. voter id not only can prevent things like impersonation fraud and fraud committed by those who falsely registered under a false name but it could prevent people from illegally from voting and it can do other things in the supreme court. that is it helps to maintain the accuracy of the voter rolls and it helps to maintain public
confidence in the election process, which is also fundamental to democracy. and my point is that we have many years of data on states that have voter id law in place and that data is the official turnout data showing that the idea suppressing peoples right to vote is not true. texas was just mentioned. on the table outside you will find the paper that i did looking at texas. it was in place in the state elections last year. and that state election is comparable to a election held in 2011 and there are very similar issues on the ballot and the turnout in texas after the voter id law went into place, it nearly doubled.
and if you look at that paper of mine you will see that i have looked out at turnout at some of the counties in texas that are counties with very large hispanic populations in counties with large black populations and in many of the counties the turnout went up even more. and that includes election returns across the state and it's not an academic production or gas, which is what you're getting in this lawsuit in texas that was decided. we know because this law was in place that all the predictions once again, that it is turnout but simply does not happen. voter id has been perjury by many as part of a republican
attempt to suppress the vote. if it is, which i don't agree with, it seems to have done the opposite and spurred turnout. the rhode island passed a voter id law in this state in which the democratic party controls the state four to one against republicans in kansas which past this and the majority of democrats voted in favor of the law. and this is an effort to make sure that system that we have is one that is securing and is free and fair and it will not keep people who are eligible from voting from being able to vote. thank you. >> we have gotten about eight minutes ahead of time. so i would just like to use the presidents prerogative and ask
that each of the speakers would like to give a two to three minute response to what they have heard this morning. and then we will start the questions probably 1030. >> we usually allow a half-hour for questions. and i thought i would give you each a chance to have a journalistic practice. >> okay, where do i begin? i think that what you just heard really in many ways, almost all of what it said is a diversion
and i've been in academia and i've also been a litigator. i don't consider litigation and the findings of a federal judge an academic that. what i learned in law school is that you have evidence at trial and one that is accepted and found by a judge in this and what i described to you or to facts. they are not my opinion or ideology. the reality is that at the end of the day for what are the reasons that he himself says relate to what he calls confidence and in the possibility of an election turning on one vote, we are talking about the disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of voters. it's impossible for me to see how that balances out. and the issue of turnout, this is something that he has written about and talked about for some
time and it bears some conversation because turnout is actually not the proper measure to determine whether or not the restrictive voter id law disenfranchises eligible voters. and a political scientist will tell you that turnout is driven by a whole series of factors and their many communities than in the 2012 election, they say it is a badge of honor. the increased turnout that they could accomplish despite this voter suppression measures and this is precisely because there is an effort and that includes remembering those long lines, standing on line for sometimes six hours in florida to vote.
so crawford at the time was the most restrictive order ideologue, but it certainly is not today. there was not really a factual record of the effect of the foggy law in that case. even just ) the seventh circuit court of appeals who wrote the appellate decision in the crawford case would say today that they did not really have enough evidence and the record to understand what the effect of that voter i.d. law would be. so all of this kind of obscures the facts. we go in and out of cases. sometimes a matter. sometimes their academic guesses spirit and dressed -- directing you to the case that was decided last week in the evidence that the judge walks through the you can find on a website.
read it. if you disagree with it, fine, but it is facts. what we need our thanks to anchor this conversation about this important issue in our democracy. >> thank you. in that range. >> you have a decision from a texas judge. but the majority of federal courts that have looked at this issue have all concluded that voter i.d. is both constitutional and nondiscriminatory. you want to look at those cases, those are federal cases in tennessee, georgia, indiana, ariz., and south carolina. as you all know, the justice department objected to south carolina's voter i.d. law saying it was discriminatory under the voting rights act. at three judge panel in 2012 through that climb out and said it was not discriminatory.
and so the law is in place. as been in place next since 2012. the 2012 election but has been in place in local elections. and you can go will surge this and you will find that there have been no reported problems with the. that is an important issue again which is that when you look at the actual data it shows there is no problem. now, well, back when the indiana case was decided in 2008 it was in as applied challenged. those of you are lawyers know that is when you file a lawsuit and said a law on its face is unconstitutional and that is correct. the court said, it is constitutional. but let me point out, it has now been six years. in place. it is now been six years that the georgia law has been in place, and yet there
has been no supply challenge filed against either of those lawsuits. if color in fact, the effects were has claimed then the civil rights organizations and the justice department would have no problems filing lawsuits saying that this -- we now have six years' experience. as apply this law is discriminatory and needs to be tossed out. no such lawsuit has been filed. and that tells you something about what the evidence is on that issue. >> thank you, again, to both of our speakers, panelists. and i now turn over for questions. please identify your organization. as i always say, please keep your questions sink. no speeches please. i am looking for the first
question. >> yes, if you could. whoever is ask the question, will step aside. come forward. yes, please. >> hi. i am a freelance journalist. when you said the turnout has increased, well, one question, actual numbers or percentages? the other question that i have is, as you done any research about people who are not able to vote because of the photo id loss? and i would also like to comment. there was a recent gao report that just came out the said that the affect of these photo id laws is to actually suppress the vote and keep the vote down. if you could comment.
>> the first part was directed at you if you would like to incident. >> you could check with the secretary of state. the percentage of voters when up. in the percentage of voters, particularly hispanic and black voters went up at a higher rate than the census shows the growth of population. on the gao report, a gao actually should be embarrassed that the issue such a report. let me point out a couple things. they only looked at tennessee in kansas is voter i.d. laws were only in place in 2012. you have to wonder why that didn't look at georgia or indiana. there is lots of data. if you want to know how bad that report is you have to wonder, they compare tennessee and cans is to force states. delaware, ark., maine, alabama because they said there were similar states the law but they are not at all. the issues on the ballot
were not similar in all. one quick example. kansas' in 2012 had no statewide races. you all know what drives turnout is competitive races. there was no competitive state race. there was no senate race. this year, there was no competitive senate race in kansas in 2012. in maine, which the state is being compared to there was a competitive senate race. as you all know, a longtime republican senator retired and it was an open seat, which would mean you have a different driver turnover in the state of maine. the last time -- and so there were basically comparing apples and oranges. the last time in kansas you had a presidential election year with no statewide competitive race like in the u.s. senate race in kansas was in the year 2000, and in
the year 2000 apparently the turnout was 66. in 2012, very similar conditions, the turnout was 668. the only difference being in 2012 there was a voter i.d. line place. if you look in the appendix of the 200 page gao report you will see letters there from secretaries of state in kansas, arkansas, and tennessee pointing out the major problems with the gao analysis, which includes the fact that as opposed to going to the secretary of state in getting their certified turnout data and getting an up-to-date copy of their registration last, no, gao contacted this workout to a third party who not only provided them with data but apparently the algorithms used for what they called experimental analysis. he was the third party?
a company called catalyst. have your word of catalyst? started by harold. on his website it says it as no other mission and to service the data needs of the progressive community. if you want to know how accurate their data is allies suggest you do a global search between catalyst, virginia, and dogs. you will find a series of stories in 2012 about how catalyst provided the data to the democratic party and democratic candidates in the state of virginia who used that ted sent letters out to people that catalyst said were eligible voters were not registered to vote. well, this came out because all of these people in virginia started complaining to the state election board that they were getting letters for suppose the people in their homes and needed to get registered to vote who were dead, who have moved out of state, and they were getting letters
addressed to their dogs and cats saying they should get register and vote. that is the kind of data catalyst has, and they were the ones providing the data for this report. you should read the secretary of state letters. they point out all of the many problems, and you have to wonder, why did they compare them to those as opposed to other states that do not have voter i.d. such as west virginia, hawaii, new york, new mexico, all of whom, by the way, had lower voter turnout in the 2012 election that kansas. >> your response. >> i will be brief. so i would direct you again to the opinion of the district court in the texas case which includes some of the testimony about people who don't have voter i.d. and why they would have difficulty getting that
friday. at the gas polk already about the issue of the cost of getting the underlying documents. a lot of states have been thrown out, the state's mesa been thrown out. it is important to understand. voter i.d. and voter i.d. so there are different kinds of voter i.d. their required . so for example, trouble in the south carolina a example in the litigation in south carolina. the reason it was upheld is because the state of south carolina during the litigation changed the voter i.d. law, i think he was 34 * in order to create a voter i.d. regime that would not 55 disenfranchises many voters as the original plan did. south carolina now provides the opportunity for voters to present evidence of hardship or reason why they
could not obtain the at the that allows them to still be able to vote. that happened in the course of the litigation. south carolina is not a great example. and we are talking about different states and what they require, and that is why i am saying, you have to pierce through all of the allegedly did that is being thrown out and get yourself into a fact situation in which you can get your hands around what is happening. i am suggesting you use taxes because we just had a trial. it is regarded as the most restrictive. by the way, you know, texas was all in. if there was evidence coming here is a stake with a large minority population, a large immigrant population commending restrictive voter i.d. lot of state in which the attorney general to hours after the shelby county decision to leave his intention to reimpose the
voters read the law that had been struck down under section five of the act just a year before. passionately engaged in upholding this voter i.d. lie in this case. and yet there were only able to produce two instances of in person voter fraud? what about all these states just mentioned whether is not voter i.d.? where are these rampant examples of voter fraud, in person voter fraud, mind you . that would justify the disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of dollars. so the question you have to ask yourself is to what is the motivation for this? where does it come from? in the texas case the federal judge issued a finding that is a very rare finding and that sets that case apart from every other case. she found that the state of texas' intentionally discriminated against blacks and hispanics in the imposition of taxes voter
i.d. low. that is a constitutional violation. that should be repugnant to every american. that should never stand and allow the state to justify based on the possibility of one or two instances of voter fraud and the possibility that there may be an election in which one or two votes might make a difference. that should never be justification. and i have yet to hear a response. i am a little bit of a student. i read all of this stuff. and i am still waiting for the article that is about how we get people to vote. i am still waiting for the focus of someone who is a legal scholar in the area of voting, how we enfranchised people, how we make this democracy more accessible to people. have not seen that article yet. i am interested in it, and that would be willing to
partner if there are some ideas about how we open up the process, not how we restrict the process. >> thank you. >> another question please. >> talk radio news. i was wondering, the mission of states with voter i.d. laws that have offered to give rieti's to people who don't have them, i was wondering if all states offer this and if so, what type of idg they offer? is it a special one for the circumstances, or is it just redirection? >> thank you. every state that has passed a voter i.d. law provides for free eddy for anyone who does not have one. and it is typically, you know, anybody can go to that dmv in get and non driver's license. looks just like a driver's license.
as your photo. in georgia you can get one of those that only at any dmv office, but that in the county election office. naturally, the state provided when the law was first in place to my don't know if they still do it today. they basically equipped a mobile van. in any group in the state that was doing a voter registration drive could call up to stay and get the van to come to it, but the point is, it is a photo i.d., non driver's license photo id. by the way, in georgia those numbers, and i know you have heard numbers, 10%, 20 percent of americans don't have id. in georgia, 6 million registered voters in the next eight years since they have been issuing nit to anyone who does not have one, the average rate per year to have people coming
in for a free ideas 5101 percent of the number of registered voters, a tiny percentage. >> i just only say that once again that was an issue in the texas case. they had the upper j.d. come forward and tell us because they have a free guide the program. and somehow they have only managed to issue 200. so i would -- i have some concerns about the will and the willingness of states to aggressively pursue this, to enfranchise their own voters when has been clear for some time that we have been talking about voters who don't have access to this id in the hundreds of thousands. it is nice to sit here and say you just go to the motor vehicle office, but if you know anything about the state of texas, it is a pretty big state that people in rural areas have to drive and in many cases very long distances. it is a problem that our
students face as well in various campuses. if they don't have access to a car. then, of course, the cost of the underlying documents. it will just give you the election identification card. he still have to be will approve and provide the underlying documentation that they seek. and that has its own cost as well and also can require going to various offices to get the underlying documents like birth certificates and so forth. >> another question. yes, in the back. thank you. >> hi. i am just wondering what you are expecting in terms of impact on the midterm elections, the laws that are in place currently, not just to override the laws, but early voting, registration, audi's see these impacting
the upcoming election? >> why don't you go first. >> well, time will tell. in some ways it harkens back to my earlier comments about 2012. the reaction in 2012 was that in many jurisdictions people really decided that they were going to come out and there was increased organization, which i expect is happening now, increased voter registration and has been happening, and activism around getting people love to vote. but when you drop early voting, as in ohio when you drop that, the kind of sunday's soul patrol for african-american voters as, we look at the situation in texas and of course we will find out surely this week whether the supreme court less than a state permit we're talking about early voting talking -- on september 20th and texas. we are talking about soon. and how people will be able to respond and react. obviously in texas if you
need a photo id and do not have the you will not be voting. so we're talking about we just had this trial last month. and so we're talking about more than half a million people will not deal to participate in the political process. what does that mean for midterm elections? it remains to be seen in terms of every -- various jurisdictions. turnout is driven by many factors, some of which have to do with whether or not you're registered to vote. the photo id, some of which has to do with whether there is a hotly contested race, organizing at the local level, with the political parties are doing in terms of organization and the weather. so it remains to be seen, but certainly, you know, in places where you have large numbers of citizens who do not have the requisite friday or who are unable to take it vantage of the expansive early voting that they had been accustomed to, particularly thinking about people who work two jobs, who have children, who
really do not have available and flexible free time, it can really make a difference . >> let's go back to the u.s. census. does a survey after every federal election. but they do is go out and survey people who did not vote and try to find out why they didn't vote. those census surveys are interesting and are worth looking at because all of these claims that you constantly hear that the reason people don't go to the polls, have higher turnout is because of all these procedural difficulties that they have in trying to vote or because they can't get to the polls is not borne out. the number of individuals who cite some sign -- some sort of procedural issue that kept them from voting is like one of the tiniest percentages on the survey. the vast majority of reasons people give for not voting is, frankly, a cultural society when witches, they
are not interested in the elections. they're not interested in the candid it's. they don't think whoever gets -- they don't think -- it doesn't matter who gets elected. they don't think it will make a difference in their lives. that is the biggest reasons people tell the u.s. census for not voting. this whole fight in ohio over the fact that they lowered their early voting days from 35 days to 28 days is, frankly, ridiculous. early voting is relatively new phenomenon. there was not in the early voting two decades ago. this is something that has been put in, but there are a large number of states where there is no relief voting. at 28 days in ohio still had more early voting days than almost any other state in the country, and the idea that that is going to somehow keep it out of the polls is not borne out by the data. the center for the study of the american electorate and american university has a number of studies comparing early voting to states
without early voting for no-fault absentee balloting. looking at what happened to turn out in the states. and those studies pretty clearly show -- this was confirmed by another report i think just a year ago by the university of wisconsin. early voting does not actually increase turnout. may hurt turnout. i know that sounds counterintuitive, the what they found when they look at all 50 states was that in general elections where the turnout rate across the country has gone up like in 2008, in states with early voting it does not increase at as bigger rate as in other states, and in general elections where the turnout rate goes down from the prior election it goes down even steeper in early voting they don't really know why, but the theory for that is that, as you know, campaigns
and parties to spend the majority of their money in a couple of days before election day in their get out the vote effort. and if you have all along early voting timeframe of several weeks to a month to month and a half, that kid out the vote effort gets dispersed and diffused over much longer and it may not be quite as effective. the end result is that you apparently have a slight deviation in early turnout. it is a small percentage, but this idea that early voting somehow would help increase turnout, studies show that that is simply not the case. >> did you have -- was there one more question from this side of the room? did you have the follow-up? >> different types. there are different types of voter fraud, and i often think that i am confused as
to whether we're talking about voter registration fraud or actual voter fraud. actual voter fraud is somebody who goes in and attempt to vote based on inaccurate information, whether they are misrepresenting or saying that they live someplace else. so what i would like to know is, what are their rates of voter registration fraud, what i am calling voter fraud, and how much voter registration from actually translates into people who attempt to illegally voted an election? >> thank you. we are coming up to within six minutes of the end. so if you could each give a sustained and informative response in a minute or so. faq so much. >> well, i don't know why you differentiate. consider voter registration drive to be voter fraud. if you want to know how that can be used to adjust a year
or so ago a city election in california was overturned when the court determined that enough voters had voted in the election to have claimed to reside in the city you actually did not live there to overturn the election. there was clearly voter registration from. the miami mayor's race in 1997 was overturned by a federal court because of a massive absentee ballot fraud. one of the things they found in that case was that there were many people engaging in voter registration fraud by claiming to live in the city because they wanted to vote in the election but did not do so. i can cite you more cases like that. that is something that unfortunately happens. we just discovered 17 individuals in fairfax county, virginia, where i live weather records show have been voting in both states, virginia and maryland in elections
illegally, which is a felony under federal law. so voter registration fraud can lead to a fraud in the election process. >> our response? >> you best a very good question. what kind of fraud you're talking about, it's important because voter i.d. loss, the only kind of fraud that is really relevant to the voter i.d. law is the in person voter fraud. and that is to minimus. in fact, even their registration fraud also does not occur at a statistically significant high. so the registration fraud is not a rampant problem, but in person voter fraud is even less in occurrence than
voter registration. secreting entire apparatus of voter ids to address a problem that does not exist is really, i think, the heart of the issue. when you're faced with an apparatus that has been put in place, the solution that has been put in place that transform something that has been in effect all this time, we have not had voter i.d. laws in texas for ever and ever and ever and suddenly we needed them. are all those elections before somehow when firmed? why do we suddenly need them of the elections in new york are in from ben and all the other states that were cited? where does this come from? why do we suddenly need this ? when we ask that question and start peeling back the onion we end up looking in right in the face were judge ramos left us in the texas case. but the purpose of this law was designed to try and suppress the vote of
minority voters, as other schemes have been designed in texas in years dating back through the past century. >> another question from our attendee. i would just like to ask the 90's question, but listening to both of you, you spoke about partner in. and i think you both have the objective of insuring that the u.s. to mock receipt fulfills itself to the utmost during elections. in that general election more than 200 voters in 1967. you spoke about james baker, secretary of state, republican. jimmy carter, former president and democrats working together. is there a way that the both of you could work together?
the aclu and the heritage foundation to come up some guidelines on this issue? two minutes left to go. up the question is appropriate. stand by my earlier offer. my organization remains in the tradition of thurgood marshall, john lewis, and all of those who have fought for the enfranchisement of americans, particularly those for whom the vote is their voice. they don't have the money or the power or the influence. that is the way that they express themselves in a democracy. and i am of the belief that
our work should be focused on how we can insure that as many of our citizens as possible have the ability to participate in the political process and vote. i do not understand why a 18-year-old young man would have to get to the post office and register for selective service when he turns 18 but does not have to go to the post office and register to vote. .. >>