tv Washington This Week CSPAN December 14, 2013 2:00pm-4:01pm EST
forle us to receive funds the community that jordan is working on. it is very well-funded and well crafted. and this is exactly what is happening on the ground. >> we had testimony that, to your surprise, maybe a whole bunch more are in the pipeline. said you would be forced off for a different approach. can you elaborate on that? >> thank you, senator. what i was trying to say is we .re in a disastrous situation refugeesst number of
and palestinian refugees. almost 1.3 million. we arrived to saturation. physically we cannot. we are in need of every single thing in terms of education, , they are competing. unemploymentbout -- we arejordanians keeping our borders open and we intend to keep them open. reach something impossible -- >> when you reach a limit. physically, not politically. all of lebanon -- i called it a pride -- a cry of pain.
we don't intend to close our borders. we have to appeal to the community that they should also come to help and aid in enabling us. that was my idea. arrive -- dous to not stretch us physically to limits. >> does the international community understand the nature of the crisis? we have testimony like this from the ambassador that says there is a limit. they will have to do things differently. are we doing a good job of making the international community understand that we are
reaching that crisis point? it sounds like the international community, you put out a startling statistic the future refugees that they don't even understand. it sounds like we are lagging somewhat there. this crisis has moved with a speed and on a scale that nobody anticipated in 2011. number ofached the 50,000 refugees in lebanon, the view was this was stretching. you include syrians that were in the country prior to the conflict, we are reaching 1.3 million. the elasticity of the capacity, i don't think anybody is in a position to say.
the study undertaken by the world bank and the united nations in august pointed to the to the people of lebanon -- of lebanon. that has been one of the earliest studies ever done such a refugee situation. it led in part to the creation of the friends of lebanon, a group whose meeting in new york that course we would wish the issue did gain greater i think we all have to keep pressing and illuminating the startling facts, which i underlined in our history as relatively unique as an organization to address. >> thank you, again hopefully that is the purpose of this that we may make the
issue rise to the surface. inc. you. >> thank you senator. thank you for your leadership on this issue and thank you to chairman lay he for convening this hearing today and to our many witnesses. we all try to work together to make sure that refugees are being treated with respect and with humanity and that we have resolved this ongoing grinding war in syria. firsthand,een myself this refugee camp we visited earlier was a deeply moving experience. we are so engaged and passionate
about what they expect of the united states. it has stayed with me for a while. briefly -- from nhc our perspective, this is unusual in that it evolves quite rapidly. there are a significant numbers of -- is a significant number of refugees in urban areas. the flow has been tremendous and i continue to exceed expectations. what is being done to connect to information and resources -- forgive me if i have missed this in previous testimony, and what -- weould we be doing to are not losing efforts, we are doing everything we can to be effective and to sponsor both collaboratively to delivering the system in lebanon, jordan, and elsewhere. i will then go to the
ambassador. >> it's good to be here in washington to also update you on where we stand after your visit to the camp. what we are doing to keep track of the refugees, we are working closely with the governor -- the government of jordan. example) or ship, we are about to establish a joint where theon system first time every refugee in jordan, probably by that february, will be rich through biometrics. we have now registered 565,000 and are registering why the day
2000. i believe we now have the biggest registration center in the world and probably the most advanced registration center in the world in jordan. this is something we have been very proud of. we had a waiting pitted bang -- and we areriod getting most syrians coming to us because they are required to be registered and access the medical system and education. there was an added vantage to that. another element that we're doing is previously documents used to be taken and bought from refugees at the border. with this new system they are returned to the refugees. way.e moving in the right despite all the challenges we have, the partnership is strong and we are introducing increasing checks and balances to ensure we know where the refugees are. part of the assessment we do is
we undertake home visits as well. one of the issues is the vast majority of refugees in jordan are hidden. they are in basements. we know that because we have undertaken 17,000 home visits. there is no other refugee operation in a world where an organization has undertaken 70,000 home visits. goodve a very understanding of where the refugees are and what their needs are. the bottom line is we are tracking refugees from the time they cross the border and we are introducing the most modern accountable systems to keep track of them and help them where we can. -- what is the united states doing to ensure that we are avoiding the vocation of effort and doing a
better job of delivering systems within the boundaries of syria to reduce the outflows and what the major challenges that we may be of help in some way with? >> avoiding the duplication of effort is one reason we provide funding through multilateral organizations. have comprehensive plans and how to address the highest priority needs and they also pull together appeals for the aid for the region for this calendar year that is about to end. the appeal that was issued last june 7 calls for $4.4 billion by $1.3 billion the u.s. has been able to give it is channeled through this .ubcommittee as was said earlier, only two thirds of the funding call for
the appeal that called for in the appeal has been raised. to providing assistance to these important multilateral partners and nongovernment organizations, they can sometimes a very nimble and address gaps in the delivery. providing aid through to close partners like jordan to help them with -- handle the refugees at the same time as they are providing services for citizens who need help. and are stretching their services to meet everyone. we are also diplomatically reaching out to other countries, asking them to do more and join us in taking this seriously. we are moving on several fronts at once. we know how precious these dollars are and we cannot waste them, we cannot fund duplicate it efforts. >> thank you.
i am from the small state of delaware, which is smaller than the -- smaller than lebanon. population of 800,000 in our state who have absorbed that many refugees. it is a grave concern to me that humanitarian suffering is significantly impacting on your economics and politics. to what extent has this significant refugee inflow of theated some sectarian divides and to what extent is there a real risk of conflict in syria reigniting a conflict in lebanon, given the closeness of many armed elements and what might we do with your humanitarian challenges that would help minimize that impact for lebanon.
>> thank you, senator. understanding that much. you can live with us a little bit and think about this huge huge problem. the geopolitical situation is at its best between syria and the government. that is why we are suffering around the syrian predicament. as long as it does in syria, as with -- as bad as it is, that is to haveiterate we have a political solution and i hope geneva can produce something. the refugees are in lebanon. definitely there's a lot of pressure on the intercommunal equilibria in in lebanon. so far they have not been into
feeding in this. but they are staying for a long time. that puts a lot of pressure on lebanon and our security forces and to keep them also safe and try to help them. what can you do? thankd definitely like to the mayor can congress for all their valuables -- valuable assistance. a -- the assistance they provide is still essential for saving lives. and american assistance is the highest for any single one country offered. $254 million.
we thank you for that. we definitely encourage you to keep going. that is why we are here today. please continue to help. that is how i see it. it's >> thank you. ambassador, i visited jordan caller: twice. i had a number of meetings there and here. the king has been a remarkable partner. the people of jordan and have absorbed their significant challenges in terms of refugees and the strategic challenges for jordan as well. it was very moved by his personal appeal for our ongoing support. turkey has the courage or increased humanitarian relief in
the keeping syrians within syria that includes some solution to this conflict. it is a real challenge. there is an interest to help move the economy forward. i'm also concerned about the impact on jordan. >> thank you, senator. it takes amazing moments for visiting the camps. we have had longer's a partnership and strategic alliance.
-- long years of partnership and strategic alliance. this is a political issue that has a humanitarian aspect. this is the product of a dire, political situation. this is an escalating situation inside syria that is acting like a magnet. it is making gift again issues related to our security -- yet again issues to our security -- we are strong.
we are resilient. that is why we are hosting refugees in a country. we are committed to opening our borders. god willingly, we are doing that . but if the situation comes to a point where we cannot any longer , it becomes an actual physical sense. nevertheless, we are committed to that. our borders are open. our schools and hospitals are wide open. please bear in mind that we still have iraqis living in jordan.
this is a country that is able to bring together all those who are in need. this is where our common values and where we share -- you are a country that extends everything it has even with financial budget matters. each and every office that i have visited -- in spite of the difficulties, jordan is a priority. i cannot thank you enough. we are able to come across this. i cannot but applaud the good work that the u.n. is doing, especially the help of you in your team. -- and your team.
they are there every minute with our armed forces. this is a moment for me to thank you and your team and your dedication to those in jordan and for helping the refugees. you know that this is a situation that you need to act. we are working hand in hand. this is becoming more like a brotherhood. may i please add again this is a strong, resilient country that is able to take all of this and as of stay outside of the conflict, safe and secure. they are working day and night to make sure that this country
is safe and able to open its doors more for anyone who is in need. >> thank you. thank you so much for the work that you are doing. that is helping make some of this possible. it is the foundation of our shared and religious tradition that says hospitality is no stranger to the orphan or the widow. at the skill that you are experiencing these exceptional -- we are grateful for the example that you showed to the world of sustaining this hospitality even under incredibly different circumstances -- difficult circumstances. thank you. >> i would agree with that. i thank all of you for the job. doing. it is hard to imagine the size and scale of the camps that you visited.
i'm glad that we got to this about some of the cities. in some cases these are large cities. things are being provided as fast as possible. again, really are doing a good job of providing the necessary resources. everyone is working together. we appreciate it. we will do anything we can to help you in your efforts. the hearing record will remain open until 5 p.m. friday, december 13. with that, the hearing is adjour ned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
>> we will have more on u.s. spending in the budget tomorrow on newsmakers. he will hear from the chair of the house appropriations committee, harold rogers, about the recent budget deal that passed the house last week. here's a preview of some of what he had to say. >> these anti-groups, many of them, are stirring up trouble just to raise money. getting people to sign up to pay their dues and their organizations. it is a money raising scheme. they try to influence our younger and newer members of congress. to take positions on issues that they are stirring up across the the members voting card
-- across the airwaves. the members voting card, that is how we vote, it goes to a computer machine on the floor of nobody is going to tell me how to vote my cart except my constituents. no outside group is going to dictate what i do. am i you can watch the entire interview on newsmakers tomorrow at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. eastern here on c-span. senior intelligence officials from the national security agency, the fbi, and the justice department testify about government surveillance and internet data collection programs as well as possible impact of the usa freedom act. this is from the senate judiciary committee. it is just over two hours.
raised some questions about the scope and wisdom of our surveillance activities both at home and abroad. it is clear that we have a lot of oversight work to do. there have been press reports that the nsa has recorded cell 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 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. under section 215, there is nothing in the register stature that expressly authorizes this and in andin and in in and in whole or in collection of data on this deal. in a the internet minute data collection plan -- metadata i collection plan is not currently operational as a result of a ioperational as a result of a series of compliance problems. is just like a section 2.1.5 a in a problem. we have authorized acquisition, you arewe have authorized acquisition, you not just once or twice, but and you and over many years.ou again, another reason why we should have a lot more oversight than we do have. the problems were so severe that 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 this valuable tool because iv 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 metadata collection claims that the program is based on an irrelevant stance. there is no limit to this.
the american people have been told that all of their phone records are relevant to counterterrorism investigation. now they are told that all of their internet metadata is also relevant and apparently fair game for the nsa. in any country, in any country, this legislation would be extraordinary. there are serious privacy implications for the future, particularly with new communications and data technologies that are developed. it should come as no surprise to 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. they also wanted limits for the government to rely on targeted searches about specific individuals. i've 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. and a letter from a coalition 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 .spectru 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. i 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. we last held a hearing in early 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 under section two .15 at the 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. in one 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. i 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 programs are critical to our national security. the president continues to contribute to national debate by publicly defending them. 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 provide terrorists abroad with rights similar to those of u.s. citizens at home. these proposal should not make burdensome for authorities to investigate common criminals. these proposals should not really her -- 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. i would like to describe something further that you brought up. at 2:30 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. >> is more of a question of -- i 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. our first 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 period. conflict in the middle east is growing anthrax to last run terrorist activity -- and 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. it has 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? from our 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. from my perspective, that is the 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. i had my first library card when 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. i do not think anybody yet nsa 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. >> thank you.
he first joined department of justice in 1979. he served for 13 years. he later became deputy chief of the division cost public integrity section and then 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. -- the length of the call. it does not include names, addresses, or financial information of either party in the call.
under 2.15, 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. only a small portion of these records actually end up being searched. this program is conducted pursuant to authorization by the courts. the court originally authorized this program in 2006, it has been reapproved on 35 separate occasions i 15 individual article three judges. oversight of the 2.15 program involves all three branches of government. within the executive branch, numerous entities, nsa, and the 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. we have 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.
courts have held that lots -- 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. the court found that the entire collection of metadata is relevant to an authorized international terrorism investigation. it is necessary to -- it is a necessary part of the process to allow the nsa to identify phone calls between terrorists and other persons. as the judge pots recent opinion reauthorize 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. the whole production is relevant 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. our last witness on this panel 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 about how often, or how rarely, 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 year and the number of accounts 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. where concerned that some there
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. we have 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. we're open to considering any 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. in discussion with the staff of this committee and the intelligence committee, we want 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. >> back in october 2, i wrote a 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 involved 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 that information -- were found to be adequate. we are trying to put together that information. >> i want to understand the position on the nsa freedom act. that deal 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. it covers more than just all 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. on the old data, it is a 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. from a standpoint of how our legislative process works, and since the president is commander-in-chief, i would hope that we would have a firm statement from the administration on whether or not this legislation is harmful or not. it would be better to know that before courts could make a decision, which could be years. the administration owes that to all of us, proponents and opponents of that situation. my other question, to you as
well, other than 2.15, the usa 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 relevant and material, as well as the information pertains directly or indirectly to a foreign power or agent of that power. this is a change from the current standard, which is relevance. what operational effect, if any, 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 and it be relevant to connected to a foreign power. him many times, and s l's are
-- nsl'sd as though are used in a limitary -- or limitary stage of an investigation. the question 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. mr. 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.
-- the fisa court process. 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. -- desirable, and of quote. this appears to be an approach reflected in the legislation that was passed by the senate intelligence committee. in 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. there's been a lot of discussion 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. when it is 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 courts 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 judges 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. the 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. the nsa is collecting billions
of cell phone locations. they are gathering communication information for online gaming sites. the story 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. that suggests to me an unequal 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. in the latest order of the fisa court, 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? greg i will have to think about 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 senator, 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. >> are you 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. >> i have a question for you. let's see if you can do both at the same time. i want to discuss the surveillance transparency act
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. under 2.15 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. the other one i think -- the deputy attorney general mentioned it. we can put 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, if for example i am talking to a foreign terrorist, my number would go into that repository. the issue would be is that we 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.
>> are americans -- should he american people know how many americans are caught up in that? >> 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. if we find out that they are american, there are procedures that the attorney general and the courts have given us on that data.
>> ok, well, i guess my question is -- my bill 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 number, at 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 suspect that something -- they are very skeptical and they suspect abuse. part of 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. i believe that you gentlemen have our national security
posture interest -- that is your interest. i also believe that you keep saying there is oversight from all three branches, and we are 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. my concern would be two days 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. what i have been told is that
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 agree with you. i think 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. >> we've discussed this a lot. >> firmly planted, sir. >> eager to answer. and that is why i'm afraid i've run 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 proximity 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 of my discussions with o.d.n.i. where you 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 referring 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.
-- let me go beyond that. 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 and 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 come walking in and that your 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 one location where a private first class i believe he 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 of 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 snowden 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. so 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 dropping the ball so badly? >> first on the checks and balances and things we've done, that's the things i discussed for senator grassly that would best practices. it would drastically improve that capability. >> we need to infer the committee that sax taken. >> was it just --
>> actually chairman the reason it happened is his job was to move data. he was the person who was to move the books from point a to point b. he was the seb server administrator. his job was to do what he did. 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
difficult if not impossible to see that person replicates a 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 wiki 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 setup this road block inconveniencing everybody. i said look how much more you could collect if we set those they spent a huge amount of 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. but my point is we've already established that section 215 phone records collection program was uniquely valuable in just one terrorism related case, not established that section 215 road blocks on every single 54 that have been talked about before. the n.s.a. shut down a collection program because it
wasn'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. 54 that have been talked about 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 meta 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 meta 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 meta 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 without going into war stories, 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? i ask this question that i 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 as technology 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. and you know the rest of that. and i would tell you that the oversight we have, especially by the courts, ensures that what happened that you brought up will not happen here. from my perspective, we have great oversight in this program. and at times, i complain 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 weren't revealed by
snowden. we had already reported those incidents. i think you can see that we're acting well and faithfully to discharge those duties. just to correct one thing to add to what bob said. there have been no willful or intentional violations under the 215 or 702. as you do know, there were 12 under executive order 12333. in both cases, all the violations we know about we've self-reported. some of those we knew would be significant. we brought them up to the white house, to the dni, 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 you read some of those. but from my perspective, 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.
senator, why don't you take over here. i apologize to the next panel that i'm going to -- i may not be able to get back. i'm going to try to. you want to take the seat here? >> sure. i'll do that when the panels shift. but let me just take a little bit of time myself right now with this panel before they're excused. first of all, we are at a time where we have entered a new technological era. the era of big data. and i'll loosely and unprofessionally define big data as the ability to have enormous amounts of data that don't get looked at and figure out once they're aggregated how to search for things in that big heap of data. that raises questions about whether the aggregation is a search or not a search until a human being actually asks a
question and the information gets to another human mind. some of these are pretty difficult questions we have to work our way through. i think 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, very actively in big data, data mining and doing things like that. what can you tell me about what other governments are doing without ses if iing names and releasing any security information. i take it that other foreign sovereigns are doing very aggressive things in this space to try to pull as much information as they can as well out of the cloud and out of the capacities of big data. who'd like to take that?
general? >> senator, i have some experience in that. my opinion, none of them have the oversight by all three branches like we do. either their parliaments, congress, courts and their administration. >> understood. my point is that they're all out there doing it. >> they do. well, not all. >> well, the ones who have capability. the most powerful ones all do it. >> that's right. >> and if we were to pass a law that prevented our intelligence and defense establishment from operating in that big data atmosphere, we would be essentially unilaterally disarming in an arena in which other governments are very active. is that true? >> that's true. in fact, i think some have likened it to -- because we have a powerful intel community or powerful navy, we would tell our submarines to surface in those areas where people -- their subs aren't as good.
>> so they're -- 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 scrupulously. as i understand it, this operation is overseen by multiple inspectors general, multiple general councils, multiple federal executive agencies, nsa connects in ways that provide varying levels of visibility, but in most cases complete visibility to our department of defense, to the fbi, to the department of justice, jim, to the odni, the office of -- the director of national intelligence, to the president, to the national security council. so there's 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 senate intelligence committee and 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 just kind of leave this question to the nsa. we have built a system in which every branch of government and within those branches of government, in many cases multiple different agencies and in some cases within those agencies and some independent sectors all compete to have a look and make sure the right things are being done. so i'll let you all go. i appreciate what you're doing. i understand that we need to get this right.
but i think it would be a mistake to yunilaterally walk away from the realm of big data to protect our national security when we're perfectly comfortable with private companies doing that to make money and to find out more about us so they can market to us better and when foreign governments are energetically penetrating this space in order to accomplish similar results. and i think nobody should leave this hearing not aware that the layers of oversight and checking and double checking and triple checking that are done here are very, very rigorous and considerable. i know you have to live with that all the time. if you'd like to make any closing comment to that, you can do that. otherwise, i'll let you go. >> i think you summarized it very well, senator. >> all right. we'll leave with that. i appreciate very much you all being here. thank you for your service to our country. >> thank you, senator. >> we'll take a minute and call up the next panel.
>> it was hard to get bob litt out of here, professor. he loves it so much being in front of us. all right. let me ask the panel to stand to be sworn. do you affirm that the testimony you're about to give to this committee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you god? thank you very much. please be seated. i am delighted to welcome our second panel on this important issue, and why don't i just 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 in the classified area. so obviously that's of interest. we'll start with ed black, who has been the president and ceo of the computer and communications industry association since 1995. he previously served as chairman of the state department's advisory commit' on international communications and information policy, and he worked as chief of staff and legislative director for two members of congress. mr. black, welcome. please proceed. >> thank you, senator whiteho e whitehouse -- for the opportunity to be here. thank you, senator whitehouse. this is an important subject.
i want to start out by just pointing out that 16 years ago the white house charted a course for a vibrant internet economy into perceptive magazine report. 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, quote, if internet users do not have confidence their communications and data are safe from unauthorized access or modification, they will be unlikely to use the internet on a routine basis for commerce. that may sound rudimentary today, but we should not take for granted decades of progress in kree yagt security and fostering user trust. and we should not discount out easily that foundation can be damaged. the broad nsa surveillance regime and the way it has been received internationally has harmed u.s. companies, u.s. competitiveness, and the internet itself. the u.s. government must be
proactive in addressing these concerns. the status quo is no longer an option. if we do not act, we will put at risk our economic security and undercut our diplomatic ability to influence the future of the internet. therefore, mr. chairman, c, i supports the usa freedom act and look forward to working with the commit' and staff on this important piece of legislation. a healthy global internet is a source of american competitive advantage. the u.s. itc documented a growing digital trade surplus. our global competitiveness is not just good for commerce. it is an essential component of our long-term national security. the internet doesn't only benefit the u.s., however. the open internet provides great global commercial benefits. the internet economy in g-20 countries is expected to reach $4.2 trillion by 2016. 21% of economic growth in mature economies over the past five
years is attributed to the internet. traditional industries are the beneficiary of 75% of the economic value derived from the internet. thus, we should not underestimate the internet's role in global economic development, which in turn has its own security benefits for the united states and the rest of the world. the nsa's practices clearly impact the business of u.s. internet companies. so much of online commerce today is fundamentally based on trust. if users are going to turn over very sensitive, personal, and confidential information to accompany e-mail and other cloud services, they need to believe the company will act as a responsible steward of their data. although, traditional debate on utility of broad surveillance has focused on hard power arguments, one must not overlook the effect on soft power. it is important to recognize the dramatic effect these revelations have had on our international and diplomatic