tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 11, 2013 11:00pm-1:01am EST
agreement before any additional sanctions are alleviated. i'm more worried about the administration continuing to alleviate sanctions without actually causing them to honor the base agreement that is part of the un security council. that is really where our efforts have been. there are a lot of discussions underway. something that would be disappointing would be for that basically is a triumph of politics over policy. if that makes sense. i know things are still evolving. there may be a possible sanctions bill. it is fairly toothless. that is not my effort. ensure --is to try to the administration has already tilted towards the president.
they have to suspend enrichment. very evident that that is not where the administration is going with these negotiations. i want to ensure before we alleviate any sanctions, we at least get iran to agree to the un security council resolution that is in place. >> i assume you have raised these concerns of secretary kerry. what was his reaction? not to characterize other people's answers to my questions. >> what do you mean by to follow? -- toothless? [inaudible] sometimes congress attempts to act as if they have done something relative to a particular issue. they tried to show that they are being strong against the
administration or making a statement. at the end of the day, sometimes those things are only messages that have no real substance behind them. i do not know how that discussion will leave all. to see a focus not be on that, but a focus to be on ensuring that before we alleviate any more sanctions on this country, they adhere to the base agreement that the un security council has already agreed to. the administration appears to already be negotiating agreements that are in violation of those base agreements. >> in a few moments, an oversight hearing on government surveillance programs. in two hours, health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius testified about the healthcare.gov website.
>> treasury secretary jack lew will be on capitol hill tomorrow morning. he will be testifying about international financial systems. you can see that on c-span 3. >> on the next washington journal, we will discuss a deal with democratic representative kurt schrader of work and, a member of -- of work in -- of oregon, a member of the budget committee. we will also speak to sean duffy of the financial services committee. we will speak with the founder and ceo of a small business majority group. washington journal begins at 7 a.m. eastern. >> the archduke francis ferdinand and his wife were in
vo on a tour.saraje it was a national holiday. people celebrated every year. serbia, the neighboring country, was absolutely furious. ande was a confrontation there were people who had been plotting to overthrow the archduke as a symbol of oppression. they decided to kill him. there was very sloppy police work. they knew something was afoot. they shot the archduke and his wife pull -- point blank and they both died. thearchduke -- assassination of archduke francis ferdinand and his wife. sunday night at 8:00 p.m. on c- span q&a. now a senate judiciary committee hearing on government surveillance programs.
i appreciate all of you being hill, itoing on on the is going to be busy today. i appreciate all of you being here. we have a series of new revelations. the latest disclosures have raised some questions about the scope and wisdom of our surveillance activities both at home and abroad. we have a lotat of oversight work to do. there have been press reports recorded cellas phone locations around the world and track individuals and maps the relationships. it has been reported that the nsa is monitoring online video games. just in the press report, it raises a question. we can do something that does
not make sense to do it. especially since last month the ministration released a set of documents -- the administration released a set of documents about programs, in addition to the phone record programs, and this time the nsa was gathering enormous amount of internet data under a register and trap and trace device. section 215, there is nothing in the register stature that expressly authorizes this collection of data on this deal. the internet minute data collection plan -- metadata collection plan is not currently operational as a result of a series of compliance problems. just like a section 2.1.5 problem.
authorized acquisition, not just once or twice, but over many years. again, another reason why we should have a lot more oversight than we do have. thatroblems were so severe we ultimately decided -- suspended the program entirely for it. -- for a period of time before reinstating it. it was an important foreign intelligence tool -- that is the claim that they make now about the section 2.1.5. in 2011, the government ended because ivle tool director explained, it was no longer meeting operational expectations. it is important that the administration does not believe
anything illegal occurred. a future ministration may want to pursue this program. the legal justification for internet minute data -- metadata claims that the program is based on an irrelevant stance. to this.no limit the american people have been told that all of their phone records are relevant to counterterrorism investigation. now they are told that all of is alsoternet metadata relevant and apparently fair game for the nsa. country, in any country, this legislation would be extraordinary. privacye serious ,mplications for the future
particularly with new communications and data technologies that are developed. it should come as no surprise to the american technology that -- that the american technology community is concerned about these issues. global competitiveness has been weakened and undermined. they say that american businesses are losing tens of billions of dollars in the coming years. we need to make substantial reforms. we need to rebuild confidence in the u.s. technology industry. this confidence can be thrown away very easily. it is difficult to get it back. earlier this week, eight major technology companies, including microsoft, google, apple, facebook, yahoo! received -- released a set of principles for surveillance reform. the urgent need to report government surveillance at --
practices worldwide call for greater transparency. for theo wanted limits government to rely on targeted searches about specific individuals. introduced the freedom act in the senate. i appreciate the support. we have received support from the technology industry and i look forward to hearing their perspective on the second panel. i will place on the record the open letter report from these technology companies. and i will place an earlier letter from other companies. a coalition from for civil society organizations. and investors. that will be part of the record.
support for the technology industry is -- needs bipartisan support. organizations across the spectrum have endorsed this bill. i think various senators for their cosponsorship. this is bipartisan and it is also bicameral legislation. it makes real necessary reforms. i want input on the legislation. i look forward to working on this in the coming months. i want to thank our witnesses for being here, especially after we had the unexpected cancellation in november. know that some senators have conflicts on their schedules and i thank them for being here. >> this is a very important hearing. you are doing the right thing by having the hearing. this is a subject of ongoing media attention.
earlyt held a hearing in october. since then, reports have continued to surface in the media about possible overreach on the part of government. some reports may be more accurate than others. many of them call into serious question of whether the law and other safeguards currently in place strike the right balance between protecting our civil liberties and our national security. that balance is a very important ballots. it is a balance for personal liberty as well as national security. there are constitutional implications. you cannot have one or the other. this is especially concerning given the public revelation that .15 at theon two patriot act, the government is collecting american phone records and metadata. why are americans concerned?
it is not hard to find an example of what can happen when the government overreaches and failed the american people. it has been two months since the administration tried to bring obama care -- the obamacare website online. the american people are suffering under that issue. many are finding they cannot keep their insurance plans that they liked. their premiums are rising. uncertainty is growing about what parts of the law the president will sign. we have seen reports of incidents where obamacare has not protected americans' personal data. instance, an insurance worker was accidentally provided with the personal information of 2400 people. there are many unanswered questions about the website's ability to protect going forward.
thought, -- i expect, i understand that the standards of the dedicated professionals in our intelligence community do not compare to those of the contractors who have failed to set up the website that i referred to. it is easy to see why many americans tend to be skeptical there that the government can't adequately maintain their privacy when it comes to vast amounts of information. the president apostate engagement on important matters that thought help. he said he was unaware of the problems with the website before was launched. now reports say that he was unaware of the surveillance of many world leaders. back in october, i called on the president to lead many of these are grounds and many of these programs are critical to our national security. the president continues to contribute to national debate by publicly defending them. for instance, a fort meade would help -- a visit to fort beat
would help a great deal. it is good that there are numerous reform principles. we have the opportunity to consider them going forward. there is a role for greater transparency and oversight in the process. the public trust of our intelligence community must be rebuilt. of course, we must ensure that intelligence authorities are exercising in a manner consistent with our own laws and constitution. these proposals should be subject to the same rigorous examination to which we are subjecting the surveillance programs themselves. these proposals should address specific concerns that are brought to light, not to relitigate old issues. these proposal should not withde terrorists abroad rights similar to those of u.s. citizens at home.
these proposal should not make it burn in some for authorities me for authorities to investigate common criminals. these proposals should not we did not-- adequately weigh the lethality of our foreign enemies. the balance between protecting individual liberties and national security is a delicate one. reasonable people can disagree about precisely where that balance is struck. that is our responsibility here in the congress of the united aids. our witnesses on both panel represent a range of views. -- united states. our witnesses on both panels represent a range of views. i would like to describe something further that you brought up. p.m., two senators are briefing other senators on the controversial nuclear agreement
that the obama administration has made with iran. i have a responsibility to learn more about that agreement. but i want to be here because i am the leader of the republicans and i know the importance of whatever work is done there for national security as well. but the chairman did accommodate us to some extent by moving this ahead by a half hour. i will stay beyond that half- hour anyway to ask questions at least of the first panel. i have a meeting to be rescheduled, and it was the chairman's prerogative to lead this committee as he sees fit. i think it is too bad that this could not be worked out so that the senators could attend both of these matters together. i thank you. >> i wish i could get that hearing as well. we had to reschedule this once already.
everybody has agreed to be here today. i think it is not fair to our witnesses to reschedule again. a lot of these classify pre- things that we refer to -- briefings that we refer to were missed in the past. they sit there and then they are in the paper the next day anyway. usually we have more detail. >> i agree on that point. i will share my criticisms. it makes a mockery of the idea of secure documents. of -- ire of a question do recall that these classify documents that we had came off of our top-secret -- there was a photograph of one of that week's news magazines. it went downhill from there.
witness is general keith alexander, director of the nsa. he began his service to the u.s. military at west wind full -- west point. he is the director of intelligence for the u.s. central command. i thank you for being here. your comments will be made part of the record. in the time you have, feel free to hit any points you want or summarize any way you would like. >> thank you. i will keep my opening remark short. i would like to hit a few key things. nsa is a foreign intelligence agency. those actions. we do our to connect what we know about foreign intelligence
to what is going on here in the united rates. we need -- united states. we need tools and i will talk briefly about some of those tools like section 2.15. in my opinion, and in the core cost opinion, they are constitutional and legal stuff they are necessary and it benefit us. for my perspective the threats are growing. when we look at what is going on in iraq and syria, the number of people who were killed from one september -- from september to december is three times the terrorist actions in other countries around the world. in iraq alone, in 2012, the total number of killed -- people killed was 2400. that has risen to 2200 plus in the three-month. . -- in the three-month period. conflict in the middle east is growing anthrax to last run andorist activity --
threats to us from terrorist activity is growing. we cannot go back to a pre-9/11 world. >> i agree with that. we have to find out the best way for our nation to defend ourselves and our allies. the way we are doing section 2.15 is a good model. not just for our country but for the rest of the world. the courts, congress, and the administration all involved. if you look at all of the information that is out there, billions and billions of books of information that is out there, there is no viable way to go through that information if you do not use metadata. metadata is a way of knowing where the books are in the library and it is a way of focusing in the same way that our allies do. where are the books?
perspective, from the nsa perspective, we get great insight into the bad actors overseas. armed with that information, we can take that information, you you can take those numbers, the date, the duration. those are the elements of information that we use. there's no content, there are no names, there is no e-mail address. that is thepective, least intrusive way that we can do this. if we could come up with a better way, we ought to put it on the table and argue our way through it. the issue that i see right now is that there is not a better way. can we change this? you brought up a great point. 9/11 and we could not connect the dots because we did not have the capability to say that someone outside the united states was trying to talk to someone inside the united eight.
-- united states. >> we know people like picked up on something here in the united states. anyone with a brain in their head would have known what it was. i understand your point. when my first library card i was four years old. i understand libraries. we are talking about the nsa. that's the important part for us is how do you bring information that you know from outside the country to that we have inside? how do you connect the dots? there is no other way that we know of to connect the dots. do we not do that at all? given that the threat is growing, i believe that it is an unacceptable risk to our country. and we do more on the oversight and compliance? those are things that are being looked at.
taking these programs off the table from my perspective is absolutely not the thing to do. i do agree with this discussion. industry ought to be a player here. they have been hurt by this and unfairly hurt. we should put this on the table from two perspectives. industry has some technical capabilities that may be better than what we have. if they have ideas of what we can do better to protect this nation and our civil liberties and privacy, we should put it on the table. we should have a way of putting government and industry together for the good of the nation. we ought to take those steps. i want to end with this statement, we are a foreign intelligence agency. our job is to figure out what is going on outside of the united states and provide that level of information to the fbi and those who are operating within the united eight. today, we have not been able to come up with a better way of doing it.
nsa not think anybody yet has gone to a specific program, but we do need something to help connect the dots. something that can help defend the country. these programs have been affected. that is all i have. >> inc. you. -- thank you. he first joined department of justice in 1979. he served for 13 years. oflater became deputy chief the division cost public and then section entered private practice and was sworn in as a deputy attorney general in 2011. go ahead mr. cole. >> thank you for inviting us here to talk about foreign intelligence surveillance act. i will focus my opening remarks
on the two .15 program. as it has been mentioned, it involves the collection of metadata and telephone calls, including the number that was filed, the date, and he linked of the call. length of the call. it does not include names, addresses, or financial information of either party in the call. it does not include any location information. the government can search this data only if it has a reasonable suspicion that the phone number being searched is associated with certain terrorist organizations. only a small number of analysts can make that determination, and that determination must be documented so it can be reviewed by a supervisor and later reviewed for compliance purposes. of theseall portion records actually end up being searched. this program is conducted pursuant to authorization by the
courts. the court originally authorized 2006, it hasin been reapproved on 35 separate occasions i 15 individual article three judges. the 2.15 program involves all three branches of government. within the executive branch, and the entities, nsa, office of the director of national intelligence are involved in assessing compliance. we report any compliant incidents to the courts immediately. perspective congress, we have reported any significant compliance problems such as those uncovered in 2009 to the intelligence committees of both houses. documents related to those 2009 problems have since been declassified and have been released by the dni. gone to great length to better to veterans like publicly why the program is lawful. under section 2.15, there must
be reasonable grounds to believe that the records that are collected are relevant to an authorized investigation to protect against international terrorists. our 22 page white paper explains that relevant is a broad term. in its ordinary sense, information is relevant to an investigation if it bears upon or is pertinent to that investigation. lots --ave held that large repositories of information can satisfy a relevant standard or the search of the whole repository is necessary in order to identify critical documents. this is precisely the rationale that underlies the 2.15 collection program. it was recognized by the fisa court. that the entire collection of metadata is relevant to an authorized international terrorism investigation. -- it is asary to
necessary part of the process to allow the nsa to identify phone calls between terrorists and other persons. judge pots recent opinion ,eauthorize the program terrorist programs are ultimately contained within the whole of the metadata produced. it can only be found after the production is aggregated. identifiers are used to determine the terrorist organization. is relevantoduction to the ongoing investigation out of necessity stop that out of necessity. the nsa program must also comply with the fourth amendment. this is the supreme court cost decision in smith versus maryland. telephone users to convey information to phone companies
have no reasonable expectation of privacy. this is with a number of years ago. some have questioned its applicability in terms of a situation where the government retains and collect metadata and aggregated all in one place. however, a recent opinion of the fisa court addressed this is the issue. it noted where one individual does not have a fourth amendment interest, grouping together a large number of similar hit -- similarly-situated individuals cannot result in a fourth amendment interest ringing into action. i understand there is interest in legislating reforms to this program and other aspects of five, including the nature of the core processes out. -- the court process itself. we welcome the public debate about whether provisions of fisa strike the right balance between
public security and the private rights of our citizens, both of which are important have to be honored. we look forward to working with the committee to address these issues and finding right now. -- finding the right balance. >> thank you very much. panelst witness on this is robert lit. confirmed by the senate in 2009. he was a partner with a law firm. he worked for the department of justice and has testified before this committee before. welcome back. >> thank you. we do appreciate the opportunity to appear today to continue our discussions about intelligence activities that are conducted pursuant to the foreign surveillance act. it is critical to assume that the public dialogue on this issue is grounded in fact and
not misconceptions. we therefore understands the importance of helping the public to understand how the intelligence community actually uses the legal authority provided by congress to gather intelligence. and the extent to which there is vigorous oversight of it be to ensure they comply with the law. the president directed the intelligence community to make as much information as possible available about intelligence programs that were the subject of unauthorized disclosure. this is consistent with protecting national security. since that time, the director of national intelligence has declassified and released thousands of pages of documents about these are grounds. we are continuing to do so. these documents demonstrate that both programs were authorized. they were subjected to vigorous oversight. it is important to emphasize that this information was properly classified.
it has been declassified only because in the present circumstances, the public interest declassification outweighs the security concerns that prompted the classification. in addition to declassified documents, we have taken steps to ensure that the public understand how we use the authority in going forward. specifically, as we described in more detail in the written statement that we submitted to the record, the government will release on an annual basis, the total number of orders issued under fisa court. we recognize that it is important for companies to be able to reassure their customers rarely,w often, or how the companies provide information to the government. we have agreed to allow the companies to report the total number of law enforcement legal demands that they receive each accountsthe number of suspected by those orders. we believe that these steps strike a proper balance between
providing the public with relevant information while still protecting important collection abilities. a number of bills have been introduced in congress, including the usa freedom act contain provisions that would require or authorize additional disclosures. we share the goals that these laws and bills provide of providing the public with greater insight into the government use of five the. -- fisa. thereconcerned that some are some practical concerns. we have to make sure that these practices are feasible with a reasonable degree of effort and provide meaningful information to the public. to make sure that disclosures do not compromise significant intelligence election capabilities by providing our adversaries with information they could use to avoid surveillance. we are committed to working with this committee and others to ensure the macro -- maximum
possible transparency about our activities consistent with national security. anye open to considering proposal as long as they are feasible and do not compromise our ability to collect information we need to protect our nation and its allies. staff ofsion with the this committee and the wantligence committee, we alternate means of providing greater transparency well protecting our critical sources. we look forward to continuing to work with you in this regard. thank you. >> thank you. normally i would have questions at this point, but i will yield first to the senator who wants to make the other briefing. >> i appreciate that accommodation. 2, i wrote atober letter to the assistant attorney -- the attorney general, requesting information about
intentional use of authority by nsa employees. some were referred to the justice department for prosecution. i would like to know whether these cases were prosecuted and if not, why not? i asked for a response by december 1. do you know the answers to these questions. when would i be able to expect an answer? like they do not know the specific answers. we are in the process of collecting that information. a number of them were not prosecuted as a number of them the risk of further damaging the national security by threatening to release more information. other sanctions were found at radcliffeis. we are trying to put together were foundation -- to be adequate. we are trying to put together that information. understand the position on the nsa freedom act.
is not specifically mentioned, but in your testimony you state that they do not support legislation that would have the effect of ending the 2.15 program without the administration maintains that it is a lot: valuable -- it is lawful and valuable to protect national security. i want to declare for the record, you understand the usa freedom act to be legislation that would have the effect of ending the two point 15 program customer -- 2.15 program? you asked me a legal question so i will have to give you a lawyer's answer. it will depend on if the usa freedom act becomes law. it will depend on how the court interpret any of the provisions that are in it and any of the additional requirements that are contained in it. i think it will have an impact on what is currently done under
2.15. allovers more than just data collection. it covers individualized business records and acquisitions. depending on what kind of records are being sought and what the facts and circumstances are, it will depend on the nature and extent of the freedom act on impact on it. is ae old data, it question of interpretation. right now, the interpretation of the word "relative" is a broad interpretation. adding pertinent to a foreign agent or somebody in contact with a foreign agent could be another way of talking about relevance. we will have to see how broadly the court interpret that or how narrowly. >> i appreciate your legal field. of how ourdpoint legislative process works, and since the president is hopender-in-chief, i would
that we would have a firm statement from the administration on whether or not this legislation is harmful or not. better to know that before courts could make a decision, which could be years. the administration owes that to proponents and opponents of that situation. my other question, to you as 2.15, the usaan freedom act would also make significant changes to the tools used to investigate terror and espionage cases. the bill would raise the legal standard of national security letters to require that the information is relevant and material, as well as the pertains directly or indirectly to a foreign power or agent of that power. this is a change from the
current standard, which is relevance. any,operational effect, if will these changes have on the ability of your department and the fbi to protect this nation from terrorist attacks? >> the probably the largest effect it will have is the addition of the requirement that it be relevant to connected to a foreign power. many times, and s l's are used limitarytary -- or stage of an investigation. is sometimes being answered through the use of national security letters. if you must answer that question before you get national security letters, it would reduce the availability of that school. -- cool. -- tool.
>> i have two questions that i will submit in writing. litt, one of the issues we have been looking at is whether or how to add an adversarial element to the fight the court process. urt process.co a just as in his answers to the record that he did not believe having an independent console -- consul to review all applications would be necessary or desirable in the court. this appears to be an approach reflected in the legislation that was passed by the senate intelligence committee. contrast, the freedom act required the government to provide every application to the advocate. between the different advocate proposals and the u.s. freedom act and the senate intelligence committee bill, which do you
believe is a better approach to making the fisa court process more adversarial, and why? >> since the department of justice is the agency that conducts the legislation before the fisa court, i will defer to the deputy attorney general. discussionn a lot of that he can lay out. >> as we have said on a number of occasions, we find that there is a use as a value to having an independent legal representative in the fisa court process in the appropriate circumstance. we would not advocate or recommends having one for all of the proceedings that go on there. many of them, like a normal criminal cases, are routinely done. they are done with a fair degree of expedience and efficiency. we think a permanent public advocate might impede that
process if applying it to everything that is there. there would also be some constitutional issues about standing for a public advocate on every issue. we would propose that it be someone appointed by the court when the court feels that there is the need for another perspective and another point of view. a significant issue involving privacy issues or civil liberty issues, and the court would like to have another view on it, that would be a good example of a time. something like the bulk data collection probably -- programs, someone who would like to have a few other than the government's, that would be a good use. the court is in the best position to determine when and where we should use this. >> it will take you five seconds to answer this question. in july, your deputy director testified that there was an investigation in the house that was compromised by a single
contractor. the nsa would report back to congress about individual and systemic responsibilities. when can we expect that report? >> we will send that right away. we have taken 41 different actors and we will get you a report. over the next week. >> we will have it by wednesday. >> thank you. glad my penultimate question. 2.15 phone records and fisa s were authorized on appeal. the build i have does not require an advocate in every five the court case.
it would only be when the court agrees that it is helpful. we also have statements from ,udges that that is the case there might be more credibility with the courts. or at least more of a willingness on the part of the public to accept the courts operating in secret. do you agree with that? >> it would help the public have better confidence. court does run well. there is a great deal of independence in its rulings. it is not by any means a rubber stamp. there is a value for the public to having some other person, some other advocate, in the appropriate kind of cases. there is a value to that. i think that is a good idea. as long as we keep it to the right matters. i would agree with that.
>> we have questions submitted for the record. they will be answered as quickly as possible. collecting billions of cell phone locations. communicationring information for online gaming sites. suggests that these activities are directed abroad. we know the nsa was making plans for gathering site location information. we know the nsa engaged in bulk collection of internet metadata under the fifo register statute. an unequalts to me interpretation. they can collect massive amounts of information domestically, but not abroad.
maybe i should direct this question to you. i know the program authorized people collection of the program. -- people collection of data. under current law, would the nsa be able to restart the bulk collection of internet data? >> if the nsa and the department of justice were able to make a showing to the five the court that the collection of internet metadata in bulk, which is a category of information that is not protected by the fourth amendment, if they were relevant to an authorized investigation, and we could convince the five that court of that -- fisa court of that, it would be relevant. >> would you have to go to the court? >> i believe we would have to go to the court. >> to restart the bulk
collection of data, would you have to go to the court? >> yes, i believe we would. >> yet he would have to get court authority to do that. it would only last for a period of time. it would have to be renewed periodically. questar technological limitations. >> there are technological limitations. it would be all metadata, not just e-mail metadata. >> that is correct. it would be limited to the metadata in that regard. >> if i make sure i am understanding the answer, the limitation would be on the metadata. >> it could not be content. fisae latest order of the it excluded certain data as well. >> you have to show that the
categories of metadata that you are seeking are relevant to the investigation. you talked about legislation and updating electronic communication, and you inquire about criminal matters, how can the government in -- obtaining probable cause warrant. section 2.15 of the usa patriot act requires government to show relevance to authorize intelligence investigation in order to obtain records. i am not talking about all collection. section 2.15 relies upon obtaining the content of stored communications from a third- party provider.
>> not that i'm aware of. >> i'm hesitant to give an answer to that. it is not a question i have ever asked. i prefer to get back to you to that. i do not know the answer sitting here. >> can you get back to me by the end of the week? >> i will try. >> could section two 515 be used in find the content of information? about will have to think that considering that it is limited to the types of information you can get with a grand jury subpoena. because of the aspects of stored communications and things of that nature, i will have to check. i am not sure. i will have to go back and look at that. i will check with the legal authority to get back to you on that. >> i appreciate you checking.
there are some serious legal ramifications here. x i agree. >> good. i'm going to yield to the , but you talked about using -- going to the private sector and looking for the best practices from them. i'm going to ask about those best practices that used a 29- year-old subcontractor walking away with all of your secrets like edward snowden did. going to ask that in the next round? >> that's ok. you have been waiting patiently. i will wait my turn stop -- wait my turn.
a question for you. let's see if you can do both at the same time. i want to discuss the surveillance transparency act that you are all familiar with. among other things, general alexander, the bill requires the nsa to tell the american people how many of them have had their communications collected by the nsa. do you think the american people have the right to know roughly how many of them have had their information collected by the nsa? >> i do, senator. the issue is, how do you describe that? those who are under a court order, under fisa, to collect those types of communications, we have to get a warrant. the issue would be almost in the title iii court.
you have to tell a person who may not be a u.s. citizen that we are tracking them in the united states. we have identified that. >> i'm not suggesting you have to tell people they are being surveilled. what i'm saying is the american people have the right to know how many american people have had their information collected. that is a different question. i am not suggesting that we take off people as suspects. >> in broad terms, absolutely. let me give you an example. today, less than 200 numbers are proof or reasonable suspicion for being searched in a database. >> 200 numbers, is that 200 orders or 200 people? >> 200 numbers. some of them may be multiple numbers per person. they can be both foreign and domestic. they are. that is the total number of a
category. think -- the i deputy attorney general mentioned it. out more of what we are doing under the faa program. we can't compel the industry to deal with that in a more transparent manner. how do we do that without revealing some of our own capabilities? we are working with other agencies to get resolution on that. >> i'm being told by staff that there are a number of people who have been searched. but not collected. under 2.15, all the data is going into a repository. >> metadata. >> eggs if for example i am talking to a foreign theorist, example i am talking
to a foreign terrorist, my number would go into that repository. that wee would be is would look at those and based on our analysis, we would give those numbers that are appropriate to the fbi for them to then go to their appropriate process and look at those numbers. >> there is a difference between collection -- let's talk about 7.0 .2. that is supposed to target non- americans. >> yes. -- should heans american people know how many americans are caught up in that? again, and i don't mean to hedge. let me tell you the difficulties. in a terrorist that we are going after talking to another person,
in that communication, there is nothing that says, i am an american, here is my social security number. the fact is that when we are tracking a terrorist, if they are talking to 5 people and one of those is american, the chances of us knowing that are very small. aree find out that they american, there are procedures that the attorney general and the courts have given us on that data. >> ok, well, i guess my question asks, calls for, the nsa to report how many americans' information has been searched, how much has been looked at by agents. i am not talking about a precise 7.0.2 says that you can only look at non-americans.
my feeling is this. the american people are tactical of -- skeptical of the use of power. when there is a lack of transparency, they tend to -- theythat something are very skeptical and they suspect abuse. the reason that transparency is so that people can be able to make their decisions based on some real information about whether or not this power is being abused or not. you gentlemen have our national security posture interest -- that is your interest. you keeplieve that saying there is oversight from arethree branches, and we
one of the branches. we are doing oversight. my feeling and doing the oversight is that i would be more comfortable and the american people would be more comfortable and feel like they could decide for themselves if they knew how many americans were being caught up in a program like 702 that is designed by law not to target americans. i think senator, absolutely. i would add to this that what we are going to do is give you faithfully untruthfully that which we know. two daysn would be later, we find out that was also an american. we can report that later. >> what i'm am talking about you may legislation is not the precise number. it is a range. thati have been told is
producing this estimate would be very difficult. i do not think it would be that difficult. i would offer senator for you to come up -- we can sit down and come up with a reasonable way to do that. i this this is the right thing to do because the number isn't that big. if we could explain it to the american people and you as one of our three elements of our government could say here is what we see and here is what the administration sees and that's the best number we can come up w. when the american people understand that, they'll know we're doing this right so i agree with you. discussed this a lot. >> firmly planted sir. >> eager to answer. and that is why i'm afraid i've
un out of -- no, go ahead. i've never seen him this eager. >> this is a good example of the kind of thing i was talking about in my opening remarks. we all agree the question you pose is a reasonable one which is how many americans are being caught up in this. the problem is finding a way to provide that information in a way that is feasible and doesn't compromise sources and methods. we have ideas in that regard. we want to work with your staff and see if there are ways we can arrive at something that will give at least some sort of reasonable approximatey that gives americans an idea of what the impact of this surveillance is. >> i'm glad i've got this answer today because this has been part o.d.n.i. ussions with
wru said this may too difficult to do. it sounds like we have a little bit of movement on this. i want to ask a question about what you were refering to mr. chairman about location information. but i really am way over my time. thank you for your indulgence. this is on the capacity issue. general alexander in a hearing -- let me go dwhrooned. last week the washington post asked intelligence officials speak on the record to estimate how many americans had had their location information collected by the n.s.a.. the official answer quote it's awkward for us to try to provide any specific numbers. right after he said that the article says that an n.s.a. spokesman interrupted the conversation to change that answer.
do you believe it's difficult for this administration to estimate how many americans have had their information collected or do you think it's awkward? >> i think it's difficult but i think we're talking by each other fy might explain. >> good. >> there was a series of questions on location information that senators had asked and we have walked down that road. that's one the court said we don't do that. there has been a few records that were done to check to see if technically it could be done. that was the first set of issues. so there is no location data that we're using today period. second, if an american travels overseas and his communications are collected, the chances are in that collection we may not know that's been collected that it was an american person. but the chances are if you collect you'll probably get the cell site location with that because that's also collected.
the irke how many have been collected and the answer is we're not looking for that. it may have been collected because they talk to and i don't mean any people are bad -- >> you point to them a lot. >> i want you to be careful because they are right behind you. i am concerned senator that in that case we won't know at all who are the americans and who aren't in those issues for the same reason before. but what we can tell you is i think good numbers on those we target overseas the americans under those procedures. we can give you those numbers that fall into that. and that's perhaps what we're really looking for. does that make sense? >> thank you. and mr. chairman thank you for your indulgence. i also want to go down to the briefing. thank you gentlemen. >> say hello to everybody for me.
>> back to the question i asked. let's go back to the snowden case. as you know, i've expressed grave concerns about how a 29-year-old subcontractor can your alking in and that system of checks and balances was not good enough to stop him from walking out with a huge amount of data. i see something similar although a different type of data when our own state department and department of defense put huge numbers of highly classified and
highly sensitive cable traffic from some of our embassies into private on where a first class i believe he was was able to go in and take it all out on a lady gaga c.d. and we know the enormous problems caused to our diplomacy and the security of a lot of americans and our allies because .f that situation i've never found anybody to say what we ever gained by putting all that material in one place. so now we go to the snoweden case, whether somebody thinks he's a hero or a villain is not
so much the question as it is i think we can all agree that a lot of the material that has been released because of him has been very damaging to the united states. it has certainly been damaging to our allies, our relationships with our allies. i realize as you and others do that some of our allies have said how terrible it is we're doing this has to make one think of the scene in the movie casa blanca i'm shocked to see this going on knowing they are doing very similar things. but having said that, there were things that created greater problems for us. o my question is first, have and can you say with confidence that you now have checks and
balances at n.s.a. to stop something like this from happening again. and secondly, has anybody been disciplined at n.s.a. for ? opping the ball so badly >> first on the checks and balances and things we've done, that's the things i discussed would tor grassly that best practices. it would drastically improve that capability.
and there inlies part of the problem. we had one individual who betrayed that trust. we believe that they would execute that duty faithfully and in a manner that everybody had agreed should be done. >> to use your analogy, general, let's say i run a company that sells millions of dollars worth of diamonds and i'm going to have to transfer them from my warehouse in this state to my warehouse in this state. now am i neglect if i say we have this 29-year-old subcontractor here are the keys to the truck that carries these diamonds. get them there safely, by the way, here is a map. or is it better i have two or
three people that check on how it gets there? >> so prior to this event, it was standard that one person would do one job and have backup help and oversight of that. but in doing that job it's very difficult if not impossible to see that person rep pli indicates a caller: of what he took. a little different than in the diamond case. but your point is well taken. you wouldn't give the guy the keys to the car to drive your diamonds across state especially one you didn't know. in this case we've put in a two person rule for these specific issues and you'll see that in parts of the writeup. i would point out one of the notes i got from the wick ki leaks we were implementing issues that had been found. we were implementing that. this specific vulnerable that he exploited was not found in the wiki leaks area.
there are things i prefer not to go into here. >> there are going to be people out there wanting to find more things. will we both agree on that? >> absolutely. >> can we also agree that the vast majority of people who work with you are very honest and would not want to do anything to betray the country they serve, is that correct? >> absolutely. >> we talked about the legal standard for ball collection programs. that is one thing. the other thing is do we really need to be collecting massive amounts of data on innocent americans to keep us safe? just because you can do something, does it make sense to do it? we had a question of an entirely different matter before this committee once when i raised the question about road blocks being
set up by our border people in vermont on our interstate highways about 40 or 50 miles from the canadian border. and they said that over a period of x amount of time they found four or five illegal immigrants and collected x amount of marijuana and some cocaine. i said wonderful. they spent a huge amount of money to set thup road block inconveniencing everybody. i said look how much more you could collect if we set those road blocks on every single bridge coming into washington, d.c. in the morning. 200,000 people come in from mayor and virginia and west virginia unless we have two inches of snow and we have to close.
vermont anything under five inches is called a dusting. i digress. but the fact is if we set those kind of road blocks we'd collect hundreds of illegal immigrants. we would collect huge amounts of illegal drugs and probably other contraband. would we do it? no. the place would come to a screaming halt and there would be those people who are totally innocent and all who might be screaming about it including chairs of various oversight committees. ut my point is we've already established that section 215 phone records collection program was uniquely valuable in just one terrorism related case, not 54 that have been talked about
before. the n.s.a. shut down a collection program because it sn't meeting operational expectations. and n.s.a. has never done an assessment of the effectiveness about collection of 702 despite the fact the program led to the collection of thousands of domestic e mails including their contents. we can do a huge amount but then at some point have you to ask what do we get out of it. i ask you shouldn't the n.s.a. assess the utility of it's various collection methods in assist mat i can way especially if they pose a risk of obtaining americans communications? the question is simple if we talk about going into everybody's home to look at their letters and their files
and those personal things. but somehow we're looking at it differently because it's out there electronically. >> senator chairman that was exactly why under the pen register trap and trade. the e-mail metta data program, when we looked at that, we and i was the key n.s.a. official to say this program does not meet the operational requirements for the amount that we're putting in and we recommended that we stop that and inform congress. so we made that operational decision based on what we got for what we put into it to what it cost us. we are doing the same on the business records fisa, the metta data program. >> you're doing that now in the prtt. >> we did the prtt back in 2011
when we stopped that program. and that was based on my recommendation. >> did you find any terrorism? >> with the pen register trap and tape? i'd have to go back and get you the specifics on that. that will take more than wednesday though. but i will get that you answer. because i'm thinking when director english testified there was only one time section 215. >> now we're going to 215. >> right. >> the issue i have on 215 and why i am so concerned. i agree what congress, the courts and the administration have given us here is extremely intrusive taken in its whole. but the way we've put the oversight in compliance and the regimen around it and the over sight by the courts and congress ensure we're doing this right.
and the frequency we look at that. less than 200 numbers approved and less than 300 for all of 2012, that shows we're being judicious in how we do it. there is oversight by all three branches of government and complete audibility in every action we do. we don't have a better way of doing this. so that goes into that question of industry. so my question is i don't know a better way to do it. i'm being completely candid. i am concerned with all that our country is going to face if we failed the nation if an attack gets through. so you've asked us to do that. yank of a better way. i think this is where industry, do they have a better way of doing it? we ought to put it on the table and argue that through all branches of the government. nobody has come up with a better way. and so that is my concern with the metta data program we have today. i don't think of a better way. it's like holding on to a
hornet's nest. we're getting stung. you've asked us to do this to defend the nation and get the intelligence we need. nobody has come up with a better way. if we let this down i think we let the nation down. that's why i'm concerned. >> general, i think back to my days as a young prosecutor without going into war stories, i remember when as a member of the executive board of the national d.a.'s association we had a meeting with j. edgar hoover and we went across the spectrum politically. we were all chilled by what we heard from him, his disregard of the constitution, his willingness to do things he explained to us there is no such thing as organized crime in
america even though there is a massive organized crime operation at the but we had to fear communist. he suggested to us that "the new york times" in its editorial policy was close to becoming a communist newspaper and was about to investigate it as such. i'm serious. i'm almost thinking what would it have been like if he had had the power that you and the n.s.a. have. and that's -- i had a friend who died in the towers, 9/11. i think about that all the time. i think of my wife who say medical surge cal nurse at arlington hospital going though own though she had retired to volunteer with the wounded coming from the pentagon. there were no wounded. you were either alive and walking or you were dead.
there was nothing inbetween. i also think of the hoover type thing and as an american it's very easy to go to another country and complain to them about their police state. and i'm not suggesting that's what you are but their ability to go and listen to everybody and search everybody. we give up a lot of our privacy in this country. and frankly i worry about giving up too much. can we be totally secure? of course we cannot. you can't be totally secure going out to dinner in the evening from some random shooter who isn't even aiming for you. i look at the administration declassified a number of court opinions and they get credit for doing that but there is been no
release of any fisa court opinion for the 2006 time period for the legal analysis of the phone records program s. that because it didn't exist or hasn't been declassified? that i s question really feel that our oversight has not been adequate or that so much of it is done secretly it's too easy to say if you knew what we knew you wouldn't ask us questions. and i worry aztech noling gets greater and greater the temptation whether it's this administration or the next administration or the administration after that to people to misuse it. i know i've been critical of these things. i hope none of you take it
personally but i'm very concerned about my privacy and everybody else's. did you want to add anything? >> mr. chairman, i think that we are all concerned to make sure that we get this balance right and that an important part of that balance is transparency to the american public, keeping their trust in what we're doing. making sure while doing that we don't compromise our abilities to be able to use classified technique that is will help keep them safe. but there is a tension between those two. and there always has been and finding that right balance is something that is difficult but it is our job. and it is our collective job in all three branches of government including with oversight from the united states congress as a very important part of that. so i think the path that we are on now is very much the one
you're describing of trying to make sure that we find that line and find that balance of giving the information that we can give providing the transparency while maintaining the operational integrity of what we're doing. we should be saying to you, particularly from an oversight function if you only knew what we knew you'd say we're doing fine. we should be in a position to be able to tell you what we're doing. >> if i could add a couple of points. i'm sure you know there is nobody in the intelligence community today who ormentes on the assumption that you ascribe to j. edgar hoover before i don't care what the constitution says. everybody is focused on complying with the constitution and the law. in all the material that has come out there has been no willful abuse or violation of people. the violations have been technical and unintentional.
nobody is attempting to illegally spy on americans or anything else. the other point is a philosophical one because the point you raise worrying about the next person was a concern back to the framers of the constitution which is why they set up the constitution with checks and balances to try to assure the innate tendency of human beings with power to abuse that power is checked. that's what we try to accomplish within the intelligence community with the degree of oversight we have. the number of people looking over other people's shoulders, the number of reports that have to be done. the technological controls we have in place f. there are ways we can do that better, we're open to that. we'd like to ensure there is oversight that is sufficient to persuade the american people that we are doing the right thing on their behalf. but we do think it's important that in considering what to do we don't throw out that the baby
of national security with the bath of water of oversight. >> there are better ways of doing things, there is any ilver lining in the snoweden steps you are taking the to make sure that mistake won't happen again. >> we're going to do our best. >> and after you speak general i'm going to turn the gavel over to senator whitehouse because he's a nicer person. >> chairman, first, two things. aws correctly stated there was ne unique case under 215 where the meta data helped. there were four where it didn't find anything of value and we were able to tell the f.b.i. that. that last part of value, i want to point that out.
this summer there was a big issue on terrorism we all went through. this program helped us understand was that focused on the united states or else wrfment we used that program to determine none of those leads were coming into this country and were able to focus our efforts elsewhere which thepped intelligence community and the f.b.i. in that case. the second part, i've been in this job for a little over eight years and my experience from dealing with the people that we have, dealing with congress, the courts and the administration on this is our folks take the constitution to heart. we have -- we see this as two roles, defend the nation and protect our civil liberties and pride. we support and defend the constitution. you know the rest of that. i will tell haw the oversight we have especially by the courts ensures that what you brought up
will not happen here. from my per specive we have great oversight in this program. at times i complained that the oversight was so robust that it was crippling but now you can see that everything that we've done, all the things that have come out were either self-reported or brought out. they rernt revealed by snowden. you can see we are acting well to discharge those duties. there have been no willful or intentional violations under the 215 or 702. 03.e were 12 under triple some of those we knew would be significant. we brought them up to the white house, to the d.n.i. to the department of justice, to the courts and to congress. we made a mistake. these were not intentional. they were significant and you've
read the court things and read some of those. but i think we should take great pride in the fact this agency in every case reports on itself, tells you what it did wrong and does everything we can to correct it. >> thank you. i apologize to the next panel that i'm -- i may not be able to get back. >> let me take a little bit of time with this panel before they are excused. at a time , we are where we have entered a new technological rare, the era of big data. and i'll loosely define big data
as the ability to aggregate enormous amounts of information that don't get looked at and then figure out ways to search for things in that big heap of data. and that raises questions whether the aggregation say search or whether it's not a search until a human being asks a question and the information gets to another human mind. some of these are pretty difficult questions we have to work through. the attention the committee is paying to this is a very sensible attention. but our national intelligence establishment is not the only group that is playing in this big data area. we all know that google and other private sector providers are very actively in big data and doing things like that. what can you tell me about what other governments are doing without specifying names and releasing any national security
information? take it that other foreign sovereigns are doing aggressive things in this space to pull as much as they can out of the cloud and out of capacities of big data. who would like to take that? general. >> i have some experience in that. my opinion none of them have the oversight by all three branches like we do. either their parliaments, their courts and their administration. >> my point is they are all out there doing it. >> they do. not all. >> the most powerful ones all do. >> that's right. >> if we were to pass a law that prevented our intelligence and defense establishment from operating in that big data atmosphere, we would be yuan latraly disarming in an arena
others are very active, is that true in >> that's true. some have likend it too because we have a powerful intelligence community or powerful navy we would tell our subma troins . rface in those areas >> and the actual collection of data in the sense that it is brought to the awareness of a human mind somewhere has to be overseen very scrup lousely. as i understand it this operation is overseen by multiple inspectors general, multiple general counsels, multiple executive agencies, n.s.a. connects in way that is provide varying levels of visibility but in most cases complete visibility to our
department of defense, to the f.b.i., to the department of justice, to the o.d.n.i., to the president, to the national security counsel, so there is considerable attention that is being dedicated to this. we have a court that is dedicated to this that reports to the supreme court. we have this legislative committee, the house committees. so it's hard for me to think of whatever we might do to add to the level of oversight. i think we may make it more efficient and effective. but i don't want anybody to leave this hearing thinking we leave this question to the n.s.a. we have built a system in which every branch of government and within those branches of government multiple different agencies and in some cases
within those agencies multiple different and in some cases independent sectors all compete to have a look and to make sure that the right things are being done. so islet you all government i appreciate what you are doing. i understand we need to get this right. but i think it would be a mistake to unilaterally walk away from the realm of big data to protect our national security when you are comfort wble private companies doing that to market to us better and when foreign governments are penetrating this space in order to accomplish similar results. i think nobody should leave this hearing not aware that the layers of oversight and double checking and triple checking that are done here are very rigorous and considerable. i know you have to live with that all the time. if you'd like to make a closing
>> do awe firm the testimony you're about to give will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god? thank you very much. please be seated. i'm delighted to welcome our second panel on this important issue and why don't i go right across the table and ask each of you to make your opening statements and we'll do collective questions at the end. we may be rejoined by a number of my colleagues. this is the time that the administration briefing on iran is taking place and classified area so obviously that's of interest. we'll start with ed black who has been the president and c.e.o. of the computer industry association since 1985. he previously served as chairman on international communications and information policy and he worked as chief of staff and
legislative director for two members of congress. mr. black welcome and previous proceed. > thank you. thank you very much for the opportunity to be here. this is an important subject. i want to start out by pointing out that 16 years ago the white house charted a course for internet economy. the first u.s. government policy statement addressing the needs of internet commerce. that policy statement correctly identified user trust as the foundation of internet commerce. it noted if internet users do not have confidence their communications are safe from unauthorized access they will be unlikely to use the internet on a routine basis for commerce. that may sound rud meantry today but we should not take for granted decades of progress in
creating security and fostering user trust and we should not discount how easily that can be damaged. the broad n.s.a. regime and the way it has been received internationally has harmed u.s. companies and the internet itself. the u.s. government must be proactive in addressing these concerns. the status quo is no longer an option. we will put at risk our economic security if we don't act and our ability to influence the future of the internet. there are we support the freedom act and look forward to working with the committee and staff on this important piece of legislation. a healthy global internet is a source of american competitive advantage. the u.s. documented a growing digital trade surplus. it is not just good for commerce, it is an essential component of our long term national security. the internet doesn't only
benefit the us. it provides great global commercial benefits. the internet economy is expected to reach in g-20 countries 4 trillion by 2016. '1"% of economic growth in mature committees is attributable to the internet. traditional industries are the beneficiary of 75% of the economic value deriveed from the internet. we should not underestimate the role in global economic development which has security benefits with the united states and the rest of the world. the n.s.a. practices clearly impact the business of the u.s. internet companies. so much of online commerce today is fundamentally baced on trust. if users are going to turn over personal and confidential information to a company providing online e-mail or cloud services they need to believe the company will act as a responsible steward of their
dattafment utility of overbrad n.s.a. surveillance has focused on arguments one must not overlook the effect on soft power. it is important to recognize the effect these have had on our diplomatic authority particularly in regard to the future of internet governance. there is deep international division over whether to subordinate the open internet to the political mechanisms of world governments including oh progressive regimes. the u.s. needs to be a beacon of openness and freed new mexico this battle. we need transparency, clear protection for americans and baseline protections for international users. with regard to transparency and reform all governments should share information about their surveillance laws, their
interpretations and judicial procedures that govern this powerful authority. the u.s. cannot demand this from others unless it leads by example. companies should be perpted to disclose to their use terse precise volumes of request from governments. businesses should not be permitted to release those reports but encouraged to do . so we reject that open government will do damage to security. it does not appear to have affected law enforce. . in order to to have a robust check on the government it must to ve to include a advocate provide a viewpoint on novel questions of law. second focusing on protections for americans. the government may collect american data for national
security purposes are badly in need of reform. is collection of meta data one area obviously revealing a great deal of sensitive private information. first amendment rights of association are implicated by the government asemiling it's own verse of your social network and their analysis. the freedom act address this is problem by prohibiting this collection both on the internet and on telephone networks that. is one reason we are supporting it. third, protection for foreigners. a difficult stoubt deal with but the policy continues to presume u.s. citizens deserve protection from unwanted surveillance while others do not. if foreigners lack assurances foreign competitors will sur plant in invasion and digital
commerce thus undermining strategic economic and other security interests. this is especially true going forward as foreign markets are increasingly important. thank you for the opportunity to testify. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much mr. black. the next swns julian sanchez who is a research fellow at the cato institute with a focus on national security and surveillance issues. he previously served as the washington editor for a technology news site and has written for a wide array of publications. welcome. >> thank you. it is a privilege to address this committee. i want to begin by suggesting we step back from the disclose yours we find a disturbing pattern across multiple programs and authorities emerges focus in articular on the meta data
program, the now defunct program of the patriot act and upstream collection of the fisa amendments act. in each of these cases we extraordinary and limitless authority secretly interpreted in way that is perpted far more extensive collection than the public and legislators believed at the time of passage had been authorized. this was done in part because the fisa court that was established on the premise it would be authorized and finding probable cause on targeted surveillance found itself in the position of addressing broad programs of surveillance involving legal or technical issues that it was not established to consider. in the mata data cases these took the form of unprecedented
reading of relevance that held entire data bases that contained information about millions of admittedly innocent americans to be relevant on the grounds that a pishing expedition might turn up evidence that would not otherwise be detected in the absence of some specific grounds for suspicion that is probably true but it is true of any fishing expedition and defeets the purpose of the relevance requirement if that saurment allowed to go through. there is no limiting principle for any type of records. i was particularly disturbed to hear earlier mr. lit refused to assure us that the scope of the records obtainable does not exclude the contents of the digital communications or cloud stored documents. it's also troubleling to see this applied in the case of the internet meta data program because in that case holding versus maryland was applied as
though it troferede meta data generally which is not a term we find in the 1975 division. involved is case it e-mail meta data. there is a additional constitutional question in that case i think. in the case of 702 we know the supreme court relied on the recent ruling on represent teenages that only communications to or from specific overseas targets were being intercepted. we now learned that also communications refering to overseas targets would be intercepted and for technical reasons a single e-mail would ead to the entire inbox of the commune can't being obtained including entirely domestic
e-mails on many tens of thousands per year under that one collection program. we learned that for months or years the actual technical details of how these programs operated were misrepresented to the fisa court which was not therefore abling to conduct oversight and in each case again elaborate safeguards and restribs imposed by the fisa court as a condition of authorized those programs were neglected because of the vast scale of those programs. we found that the claims of efficacy made at the time don't appear to have held up under crutiny. we got one instance involving funding and material support writ played some valuable role. given limitations, it's not clear why more targeted records
could not have been used without sweeping in millions of innocent person's records. we are assured that the problems detectived with these programs have not be willful or intentional. this is not comforting to me for several reasons. the first is if we look to history we find that abuse of intelligence powers were committed by people aware of the mechanisms in place who took elaborate steps to game those restrictions. in the case of snowden we know that steps were take on the evade oversight. we know that happened many times in the past and why abuses went undetected for so long. the scale of collection itself makes abuse more difficult to detect andless likely to be detected whit does occur. you think of illegal wire taps on the southern christian leadership offices. that was halted by an attorney
general. when you are doing collection on this scale, the mere existence of communications or records are not themselves that kind of essential indicator. finally and most generally i would encourage the committee to this architectural. we recollected not authorize that on the basis we have confidence on the persons controling the levers. james ottiss whose condemnation was part of the ins pi ragse relation for the fourth amendment condemned that saying from their mere existence every household in the province becomes less secure. while they may protect us against foreign attacks we are less squre when the government maintains vast data bases on americans without suspicious.
i thank you and look forward to your questions. >> thank you mr. sanchez. carrie l witness is cordero. she is an add junct professor of law at georgetown university law school. she's helped several national security positions with the department of justice and she has testified before this committee before. professor. >> thank you for the opportunity to return to the committee. since the october hearing the conversation i would suggest has shifted from where it first was. first i would suggest that the conversation has evolved from objections to specific programs to a discussion of our understanding of and tolerance
for foreign surveillance acktiths more broadly. second they are coming closer to scaling back legal authorities in a way that might take the country back to pre9/11 standards. and disclosure on a way that is responsive to the private sector remains a worthy goal but a significant challenge. with the meta data collection, an argument increasingly regarding the power of meta data and that argument is it's a very powerful tool and can reveal a lot of about us and should be limited on the use oist. the problem with the argument made in the context of the debate on 215 is the asemblance bears no relation to the existing 215 program that congress is considering. the 215 program collects an enormous volume of call detail
records but it does not appear to include content of phone calls, names of subscribers, payment information or location information. the vast majority is never viewed by human eyes and the records are handled under court ordered rules. so that congress should out law for better or worse every day americans use the internote communicate. we all government leaders as well as those who are national security threats use the internet, computers and smartphones to communicate. just as everyday citizens should not restrorte using only the postal service and land lines negotiate should the law enforcement have to. it is just as unrealistic to expect citizens to unplug or expect the n.s.a. or f.b.i. to se 20th century collection techniques to protect 2345eugs from 21st century threats.
a few observations on the u.s.a. freedom act that has been submitted. sections 101 and 201 would change the standards to obtain business records and pen trap and trace devices to a connection -- to an agent of a foreign power. they add a material requirement. it is to eliminate the meta data program. but the proposed changes would have far more reaching consequences for traditional day-to-day investigations is. the standards are currently aliped on the national security side in the criminal context which operate on a relevant standard. by raising the standard these would render these techniques nearly useless in the early stages of an investigation when they are most useful. these changes would return us to the days prior to september 11 when it was hard tore conduct a national security or international terrorism
investigation than it was to conduct an everyday drug or fraud case. similarly section 501 would teamed collection of statutory security letters by requiring the requested letters to have a connection to a foreign power this. would have a similar effect in limited the f.b.i.'s ability to conduct timely investigations. another section, section 301 would prothibt intelligence community from data to search for u.s. person communications. under the current procedures approved by the court, the n.s.a. can query the communications under 702 for u.s. person communications. the proposed legislation would only allow the qurry to take place if the person is a target of a wiretap or fisa based on probable cause. this could prothibt intelligence community from querying acquired
data to search for the methods of communication who happens to be also american and i give an example of how i think this could play out in practice. a few words just on a particular propose toll enhance transparency that is in the bill. in my view there is value in congress working with the executive branch and the private sector to rebuild confidence between them. and for the government to help restore confidence. but a problematic propose sl section 602 of the bill. it proposes that the government disclose it is number of persons stoubt electronic surveillance. i believe this is intended to include not only targets but persons whose communications are incidently clect. if that's the intent in my view this provision would degrade
privacy protections because a requirement to report on the number of persons collected would require that the intelligence community personnel look at, read, review, count and keep records and report on information that otherwise they would disregard in pursuit of their actual mission of discovering, annual liesing and reporting on foreign intelligence information. thank you for the tunalt to be here today and i look forward to your questions. > thank you very much. let me start way question for mr. black. there is legitimate concern that the knowledge of our national security activities cast a shadow on the ability of american companies to compete internationally. that was the basis of your testimony. do you believe that foreign customers believe if they sign up for a service that the chinese government is not
looking into this data or the russian government if they sign up in areas under its jurisdiction or the french for that matter, do you think the united states government actually the only government that is trying to take advantage of big data? >> i hope our standard isn't decwroust meet that. but governments in general are inclined to want more and more information, too much. that's why what we address in our testimony is standards that all governments should be asked to undertake in terms of disclosure, in terms of limits. the difficulty is that the united states is very in a difficult position in credibility when we are seen to have an extremely pervasive, effective, widespread and as some would say not effectively limited process. by no means --
>> the russians are more effectively limited -- >> not at all. >> than the united states is? >> i'm not doing comparison. i'm simply saying i don't think most people, the citizens and the customers of the world think that the united states laws -- first of all, i believe we do have some checks and balances that have some effectiveness. don't get me wrong. u asked about the perception of the world. >> they are also engaged in this behavior correct. >> i hope we have better ones. >> do you know of a country that has a better one. >> i believe there are countries that don't do as much as we do. >> there are tiny countries that barely run a phone system. but in terms of our major competitors, major economic and political actors on the world
stage, the ones that we're all thinking of -- >> what kind of future do we want? what kind of internet do we want? one that provides tremendous conomic growth, tremendous empowerlement and diplomatic opportunities. do we want one where people can have association with other how do we take steps to move in that direction? do we except the reality that all governments are going to do ? maximum collection it is difficult to want to a governments desire for more information, especially our government where we have well motivated